If being a mom to four boys has taught me ANYTHING, and … well, it has taught me a lot … it has certainly taught me that the bathroom will forever and for always be an area of INTEREST for a young man.
Maybe it is the whole, “oh, I have a PENIS!?” thing, or possibly the idea that they ALL have them and so there is instant comparison of whose is longer, which one hangs funny and – the EVER embarrassing – which one can SHOOT the farthest when one fo the boys “REALLY” has to go.
^^ PS, for those moms who have yet to experience the “pee-bone” … it is, well, shocking the first time. Honestly, every time it is a little alarming! I mean, seriously!!! They are only kids and that thing is locked and loaded, and *heaven forbid* someone call their name mid-stream … disaster!
But, for real. The bathroom and the whole potty-training ordeal is one that I’ve mastered.
Mastered in the sense that I take it less seriously than I do selecting what underwear to wear most days – are they clean, do they fit, are they sexy … wait, who cares if they are sexy, my husband works so hard he’ll hardly have time to notice if they are “sexy” or not, they are coming off and that is all that matters.
Teaching my boys how to use the bathroom, so far, has presented itself in two STARKLY different ways, leaving me with absolutely NO concrete plan for our third and forth, and reassuring me that there is never EVER any truly “fool proof” method of achieving success.
Now, a touch of background into our world of potty-training and some of the quick lessons we learned as I scoured Pinterest for the perfect solution, you know the ones, “How to Potty Train your Son in 1 Day” << that kind of thing!
Potty training, in the sense of us, as parents, TEACHING our children how to master control of their very tiny bladders and bowels, is not something I recommend too early. I mean, it is all fun and games when you can say that your 13 month old can use the toilet on their own, and sure … maybe there is a prize or some sort of acclimation for the moms and children who achieve such mastery so early, but, in my experience, it is best to start when your son is ready.
I know, you all rolled your eyes, sighed and thought to yourself, “sure Cass, when they are ready, WHEN WILL THEY BE READY!?!”.
When they’re ready is the equivalent of me saying that they will eventually just do it so WHY worry, there are very few grown adults that still wet themselves so why push it.
^^ that is just silly!
But, seriously, they will be ready and, if you have ever TRIED to train your son when they WEREN’T ready and you got quickly tired of cleaning up the puddles and messes made as they engrossed themselves in their games, toys, or activities … and then gave up only to come back to it when they were READY, you will know what I mean.
Your son is SMART, he is watching you and I’m sure he is wanting to be more comfortable.
When he starts to let you know that he JUST peed or pooped, or he starts to grab himself BEFORE he goes to the bathroom, *these* are the cues you need to look for to determine his “readiness”. THEN, it is time to start the training. It is also the opportunity to be one of those, “yeah, we trained him in a day.” Moms.
How do I know?
Because, with our oldest, I was on the potty training wagon. We were GOING to do this!
I waited until he was 2 and it was warm (which coincided because his birthday is in May so #winning).
I googled, pinterested and asked every boy mom I knew at the time, how to do this “the right way”. To which I deducted that the easiest way to train him was to allow him to be wild and free.
It would only take 3 days.
Let him run the house and the yard naked and BAM he would learn when he had to use the bathroom.
Sounds wonderful and super easy, especially when all our floors are hard surfaces so cleaning is a BREEZE.
Well, four or five days in , countless accidents and even poops in the corner later, opting for pull-ups and going the “ask him if he has to pee every 15 minutes” route for an additional 2 weeks, THEN asking his care givers to maintain the 15 minute regime to help us achieve SUCCESS … well, let’s just say I gave up.
2 was too young for him, he wasn’t interested in using the bathroom and he wasn’t learning when HE had to go, we were basically surprising his pee into the toilet (I should mention that he was one of those babies that would pee EVERY SINGLE TIME his diaper came off).
And so, we waited.
And about 6 months later when he wasn’t feeling well, he decided that he no longer wanted to mess his diapers (probably to avoid the rash and constant wiping) and he used the toilet.
FROM THAT MOMENT ON.
Potty training success in ONE DAY! … kind of!
And so, with our second, we opted not to pressure him when he turned 2, I tossed out the idea that I would let him go naked for a few days (at this point I had a 3 year old, a two year old and a six month old >> I had enough on my plate, so I avoided cleaning up “spills”. And so we left it a bit.)
Well, and this sounds a little like witchcraft, I’m sure, about 6 months into his second year *so when he was 2.5 years old, or 30 months for those special moms who tell you how old their children are in months past 1 year, or even baby number 2* … our second lad ASKED to use the toilet and to wear big boy underwear.
Now, I will tell you … it took a little bit for him to master pooping in the toilet, and every success was celebrated like as if the Leafs had won the cup. But, one day in and he no longer wet himself, about a week … maybe two, and I wasn’t dropping giant turds into the toilet and soaking underwear in the sink.
So … with our third, I have this thought – he will let us know when he is ready and excited to transition into big boy underwear, we will NOT do the naked thing or the 15 minute nagging, we will watch for signs of his willingness to make the change and praise the crap << pun intended >> out of each success.
Honestly, life is too short to be wasted pressing timelines and pin perfect parenting on our children. They are all so very different, they all take a certain style and patience, and – seriously – what’s one more box of diapers?