As I’ve probably mentioned before, we’ve been incredibly blessed that our little guy started to use the potty when he did, which was around Christmas time at about a year and a half. We were shocked, surprised, a little overwhelmed, but completely over the moon that he decided to guide himself and tell us that he was ready to start using it.
Lately though, there’s been an odd little trend developing – the potty as a delay tactic.
Much like a well-planned army strategy, the little guy will very agreeably go to bed, per routine, after we’ve read a few books. All seems well until he begins to realize he doesn’t quite want to go to sleep. First, you hear the rumbling in the crib of a little one moving around. Next, the toys that talk as he plays, puttering around as we hope he starts to fall asleep. Then it comes.
“It’s sleepy time, buddy. Time to go to sleep.”
“Potty! Go potty!”
One of us enters the room.
“You’ve gotta go potty, buddy?”
“Uh-huh. Potty! Go!”
And it’s into the bathroom, plopping him on the potty (with his cushion-y little seat adapter for little buns) and away we go. Sometimes, yes, it is quite legit, and we’re very thankful that he tells us so that we can avoid the alternative. But there’s some nights, like a recent Monday night, where while legit, quickly turned into a 45 minute gab session as he sat on the potty, done for a while and just wanting to talk.
“I think you’re done, buddy. Are you all done?”
“Okay, well give it a try to get anything else out.”
And we sit and we talk, and we talk. And before you know it, a half hour or 45 minutes has flown by and you start to realize “he has completely played us.”
And I fall for it every time.
Improvisational rhyming in the house takes on a whole new level of caution once you become a parent.
Take, for instance, this ditty my wife and I were singing while our son sat on his little potty and ‘gave it a go’ recently…
ME: “We’re sittin’ on the potty, sittin’ on the potty…
HER: We’re gonna sit, sit, sit…
ME: Til’ we –
HER: (abruptly): Are done!
Suffice it to say, Santa brought the little guy a Baby Bjorn potty for Christmas and we’ve already started putting it to use.
While at first, he just wanted to carry it around the house and use it as a convenient chair when he wanted to sit down, we explained to him each time that it’s actually used for. (Sometimes using the term ‘poopies,’ ‘potty,’ or ‘uh-ohs,’ the phrase he has started using sometimes when he realizes he’s going to go to the bathroom.)
At one and a half, we honestly were not sure what he would understand or if any of it would make sense, but I think some of it has started to sink in. While I don’t see us ditching the diapers anytime soon, we have had a handful of incidents since Christmas (including one at grandma and grandpa’s) where he made it known that he wanted to use the potty. It sometimes involves carrying the potty out to grown-ups, going to it and pointing, or just grabbing his diaper. If we can act quick enough, off the diaper goes and we give it a try.
I know it sounds cliché, but it seems like it was only a week ago that we were in the hospital and I was changing those black-as-tar diaper messes of a newborn. Now, he’s letting me know when he has to go. The changes are coming and their coming fast.
And so this latest phase, the potty training, has begun in its own small way. While we’ve had a few successes so far, I don’t want to get overly optimistic. I’m certainly hopeful, though. It would be nice if we can keep it up and keep the momentum flowing. (Bad use of words?)