“MESS!” The 2.5 year old toddler shouts from the other room.
“Oh shit” the mother mutters under her breathe for the hundredth time that day. She is hoping that it is just a wee and not the other one. She doesn’t think she can bare it.
That mother is me.
I walk into the other room to assess the damage. Jeez, I can smell it. He still has his pants on, the potty is empty and I can just make out the little trickle around his ankles.
“I’m living the dream” I think to myself as I inspect whether his pants are worth saving. I sit him on the potty and remind him this is where he sits if he needs a number 2. He says he is sorry, but then does a wee, I congratulate him and clap my hands, he smiles and hi-fives me. No lasting mental scars, not for him anyway.
We have been potty training since Boxing Day. The perfect opportunity if you want to crack it without the need to leave the house and if you do need to it’s to the shop quickly. For the foreseeable if anyone wants to see us they will have to come to our house, that is unless Ethan makes a miraculous transition from nappies to a potty which, apparently, it was not.
The first few days I genuinely thought it was never going to end, all the wee, the poo, the washing, it was never ending. How can so much stuff come out of a little person like that? But after about a week he finally caught on, he started requesting to go to the potty! Hooray!
Obviously it gets even more frustrating though when you know they get it and yet they STILL have accidents, kind of like “oops” moments, he’s not paying attention, he’s too engrossed in what he’s doing.
Our breakthrough came last week, I was stood out on the playground waiting for Korey to come out of school and Ethan was playing on the yard, he comes running to me; “wee” he shouts at the top of his voice. “Oh god” I think to myself ” timing or what!” I rush him to the reception at the school and beg to use the toilets, I’m told that because of security I will have to be escorted to the toilets and I’m thinking “Ethan better pee now, she’s had to shut the whole office up for him”. But we get to the toilet and he does, he has a wee. I must have sounded like a mad woman congratulating him in the tiny school toilets “well done Ethan you did a wee on the big toilet!”
Since then he hasn’t had a single accident. Iv given him just over a week since the day at the school to see if he really has caught on and he has. Obviously I know there are going to be accidents in future. But I reckon we’ve cracked it for now. I’m super proud of him because he’s saving me a small fortune now I don’t need to buy nappies as much.
He still wears one for bed, we will crack that one another day!
Here’s 5 tips I found useful while potty training Ethan:
- Keep the potty in the same place, preferably in the most used room. This was very obvious to me, if he sees it he will use it, if he knows where it is he will know where to run to.
- Give treats. I gave Ethan a small chunk of chocolate every time he did a number 2 because he got very upset every time he did one. He would cry because he didn’t like making a mess, even if it was in the potty. We would hi-five for wees because that came easier and didn’t need as much of a fanfare.
- No matter how many accidents don’t get angry at them. I would get really annoyed at Ethan for having accidents but I’m sure he REALLY didn’t mean to miss the potty. It’s one of those things and can be easily rectified. I wouldn’t show my annoyance, he didn’t need to see it. I just put him on the potty and remind him this is where he goes when he needs to go.
- Take ALOT of clothes out with you if you have to leave the house. You will probably need them.
- Don’t give up. The amount of times I wanted to put a nappy back on him and try again another day was unreal but all you’re doing is undoing all the hard work you’ve already both put in. If they really aren’t ready then fair enough, mum knows best but you have to have a really good go first.
Have you got any tips on potty training? Did you find girls or boys easier? I’d love to hear your stories!