Saturday, September 16, 2006

To Pee or Not to Pee...

Life's a bit hectic right now ... even more hectic than normal. My "paying" job has been extremely busy, to the point that I have threatened to take our children AND their fingerpaints back to my boss's house if he nominates me for another special project.

In addition to that - I have been involved in several different play groups and am picking up momentum on teaching people how to knit. Then there's the gym that I feel compelled to attend at least once a month in order to shave my legs justify the $29.99 fee ... and this little blog I must update for fear I will rapidly forget all of these wondrous days of toddlerhood.

There are a lot of things I would like to write about, but today I am going to focus on one of the items that is high on my list for "Brain chatter that must be unloaded on to the blog at some point before Christmas, because otherwise you will forget the details." For the past month, I've been attempting to potty train our kids ... which is why today's topic revolves around "the catastrophe that accompanies a diaper free lifestyle."

Ever since I've set out on this quest to potty train our children, I have heard and/or read stories about people who "purportedly" potty trained their children by 9-months of age. After 30 consecutive days of working with toddlers on potty training, I can tell you that these people are obviously drunk clearly confused with dog years.

In human years ... I do not believe it is possible for a child to be knowingly potty-trained before the age of 3. It does NOT count if you take off their diaper and spread newspaper on the floor. However, if I don't see an improvement in our progress ... maybe this will count next year.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned thus far in parenting - is that potty training is not something that should be rushed or even attempted when you have a million other things on your To-Do list particularly if your child still sleeps in a crib. Since I've already made it abundantly clear that our children will be in cribs for as long as possible, only when the time is ripe ... will I embark on potty training our children - one child at a time.

Maybe I am just being lazy ... but I feel confident that one day our kids will let us know when they are ready to go "on the pot" and until then - a wise person knows when to stop kicking a brick wall. Or, more appropriately, a wise person knows when to stop putting their 23-month old toddler in cotton pants* with the expectation that they will become more aware of "pee-pee" and not consider this to be a miraculous puddle that randomly appeared between their shoes for the sole purpose of their splashing pleasure.

The advantage of the cotton undies is that some of our children (i.e. the girls, ONLY the girls) recognize when they have gone and they will stare down at their little puddle with a look of absolute astonishment. I can just see them thinking "Wha...? Wha...? Is that what I think it is?!" William on the other hand, is completely oblivious to his wet pants and gets so excited about his own little personal puddle that he does a jig and then sits down and plays in it.

After talking with my mother, I was convinced that maybe what I needed to kick this training off right, was a little potty chair for the children.

It took me 45-minutes to pick out the perfect chair. I was positively dismayed at all the features you can get on a child's potty chair these days. Of course, as I'm standing there in the store, I'm collapsing under pressure. I have to get the perfect chair ... potty training is such an important step in our children's development.

I cannot screw this up.

What I learned is that you can get the kind of potty chair that plays a little song when there is a drop of moisture in the pot ... you can get the kind that has a faux toilet paper roll ... you can get the kind that converts to a stepping stool ... you can get the kind that has a little toy "flush".


You can get the cheapo bucket with a lid because you know in your heart of hearts that your money at this point in time is better spent on Pampers. After 45-minutes of nail biting and fear that the wrong purchase would mean sending our kids off to Kindergarten in diapers, it dawned on me.

It's. A. Potty. Chair.

It's not a Lexus.

I'm glad I went the inexpensive route. Ten minutes out of the box, our little potty chair was nothing more than a flip-top chariot for Elizabeth's bunny to get rides in around the living room. And the kitchen. And the nursery.

Even though we are far from where we need to be ... the girls are definitely light years ahead of the boy in the department of "bodily function awareness."

Carolyn and Elizabeth will tell me before, during and after they go "pee-pee" or "poo-poo". But if I so much as try to put them on the toilet to do their deed in the pot ... forget about it. They'll read a magazine, squirm every which way, and then jump off and wave "bye'bye" to an empty commode ... which they insist I flush.

It's no joke. Our water bill has gone up $24.00 in the last month and I'm convinced it's due to the additional 200 gallons of water a day I've been wasting on flushing ghost poops. Not yet have I flushed a legitimate poop.

Yet, these children know that when I'm going in to the bathroom, the toilet will be legitimately flushed ... and they cannot bear to not witness that event firsthand and wave "bye'bye" to whatever happens to be in the pot. These days, I can't step foot in or near a bathroom without having an entourage of toddlers follow me.

At first I figured it would be kind of cute and good practice for them to come with me and see what all the fuss is about ... you know, mother duck - showing her chicks the ropes. But it appears I have done nothing more than create three little monsters that will stop at nothing to invade my personal space, or any one else's personal space, that comes to our home for a visit. It's like a scene from a horror movie ... pudgy little fingers reaching underneath the door to grab you.

The majority of times, I can't concentrate on the task at hand with the tremendous racket going on outside the door. So, I'll let the children in to the bathroom with me where they'll immediately rush behind the toilet so that they can see anything and everything. What this experience in potty training has taught me, is that whomever coined the term "restroom" must not have had young children.

Like the ghost poops ... the last shred of modesty I possessed has gone down the tubes. "Bye'bye" modesty ... "bye'bye."

*In case you were wondering - the cotton undies only come on when we are playing outside. Yes, I may take down our baby gates 36-months prematurely, but not even I am fool enough to let our kids roam around the house wearing nothing but cotton underwear. OK. Maybe once.


  1. Even now when my kids are older, it is almost impossible to go to the bathroom alone! LOL

    Both my girls were potty trained for the day time at 25 months old, but Ben @ 34 months is still having occasional accidents and no where near ready for no night time nappies!

    I wonder how many years will have to pass before we can look back to these times with fond memories?

  2. That is a riot. I think they are all going to be plumbers like Grandpa. They are facinated with plumbing.These Pictures gave me a big laugh. I am in the Little Switzerland, at a knit in, and having a great laugh with this blog.
    Relax--they will train themselves when they are ready---You Did!

  3. Ah the potty training days. I just can't wait till Roo is ready. (that was typed in a very sarcastic manner) :)
    Good luck!

  4. I haven't gone to the bathroom in peace in about six years. It is amazing how time flies, when you have to pee in a split second before the kids learn how to get the door open. Those pictures are too cute though. The fingers under the door one particularly. :)

  5. OMG, LOVING the hands under the door like a horror movie!!!

  6. Hee, hee, hee. I say put em' all back in diapers and let them teach themselves. I have only known one kindergartener that can't use the potty.

    And the hand under the door, priceless!