Sunday, July 8, 2012

Potty Training, Do I Have To?

Ever since Red turned two, the question of when to begin potty training has been on my mind. This is mostly because my mom keeps asking, “When are you going to potty train that kid?” If it was up to me, the answer would be NEVER.

Potty training the Eldest was so traumatic that I have blocked out most of it. Every now and then I will have a flashback, like the time we were buying yet another box of Pull-Ups and I was so frustrated I yelled, “They don’t make a bigger size, so if you don’t stop peeing your pants soon I am going to have to buy you Depends!” Unfazed, Eldest thought for a moment and replied, “Well, Mommy, I guess you had better buy some of those.”  I don’t remember how we eventually got him to use the toilet consistently, but I do remember visiting every public restroom in the Metroparks. If the toilet perched on a hole and there was no way to wash his hands, he HAD to use it. I have been in no hurry to start all of that again.

I had plenty of legitimate reasons not to potty train Red—I was pregnant, I had a newborn, I really should organize the closets first…. Who wants to potty train when all the closets in the house are a mess?   

Eventually, my mom decided to go over my head and deal directly with the redhead himself. When Red would crawl behind a chair in her living room, she would peer over the throw pillows he had stacked up for privacy and ask, “Do you want to go on potty?” He would peer up at her and grunt, “um, no.” Undeterred, she would continue, “Don’t you want to be a big boy?” Then he would start to cry. My mom would look at me and say, “He really needs to start using the potty.”

“I know, I know.”

Before I knew it, I was no longer pregnant, the closets were organized, and the Husband started talking about potty training my redhead. “You know he is going to be three in a couple of months. And preschool won’t take him if he isn’t potty trained.”

“I know, I know.”

Finally, I agreed to begin the torture known as potty training once Baby Girl was sleeping through the night. I was feeling pretty smart because the boys essentially catnapped through their first six months. Then, at barely three months old, Baby Girl thought we looked a little tired, and started sleeping for 12 hours through the night.

Now I have to convince Captain Ants-In-His-Pants to sit still long enough to use the potty. How am I going to do this? Two words: gummy worms.

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