Have I mentioned that Henry, who turned two-years-old less than a month ago, is now potty trained?
Granted, he can't go to sleep without a diaper and if he is dressed in anything that resembles a onesie, he might have trouble. But if he is wearing clothes that he can easily pull off, he is a potty using SUPERSTAR.
Considering it took me over four years to obtain potty training success with the triplets, I am amazed at how fast my two-year-old has grasped the concept of voiding in a pot. Although I still believe that children will potty train when they are ready and not a moment before - as I'm watching Henry learn - I can't help but wonder if there was anything that I could have done differently with the triplets.
With the triplets, I think I missed out on their readiness cues, and hence, a window of opportunity. When the triplets were Henry's age, they were almost always dressed. I had so many reservations about having naked children running around. So, I would wrestle to put them in a diaper and a onesie, or thick cotton potty training underwear.
Or a costly swim diaper when they were in our own private backyard.
In hindsight, I think part of the reason toddlers are so keen on being naked is Mother Nature's way of helping nurture the potty training process. With Henry, I am much more willing to let him strip down to his birthday suit. Although I initially resisted having a naked toddler running around the house all day, I soon realized that when he was stark naked, he was consciously aware of his bodily functions.
Sure, I had to clean up the rug a few times, but very quickly, I noticed that Henry would run over and plant himself on his small potty seat. Now, whenever we are home, he is naked (by his choice) and he is consistently going both poop and pee in the potty, throughout the day.
All told, I would say that this entire process took less than a weekend to sink in. There was lots of praise. But there were no timers, no potty training books or videos, no reminders, no tears (mine or his), no flooding his little system with hydrating agents, no candy, no stickers, no rewards.
The most beautiful part of this whole experience, for me, is that whenever Henry does go in his little potty seat, his triplet siblings go crazy with excitement. Then, once Henry jumps up to see if he has left a deposit, one of his siblings will bring his potty seat in to the bathroom where they will dump the contents in to the toilet, rinse out the potty seat with water, and flush it all away while saying "BYE BYE PEE PEE!" or "BYE BYE POO POO!"
I'm hardly doing anything.
But this is my reward for struggling through potty training three children at the same time. It is my reward for chocolate syrup laced with laxatives. Enemas. And poetry.
Now that I have four children who know how to successfully use the toilet, my advice to those who are embarking on this milestone is simple: allow your child to run around naked.
And if all else fails, find a family with four-year-old triplets that your potty-trainee can understudy. (We are now accepting applications.)