Ethan was relatively easy to potty train when his time came, he did it all by the book – little did I know then but the speediness of his achievements was luring my future self in a false sense of security and setting me up for failure. Looking back his response matches his personality perfectly. With him (when he was showing signs of being ready of course) I used Gina Fords “potty train in one week” – I stuck to every point, fed him salty snacks and juice so he would keep going and then sat him on the potty about every 15mins (which he happily did) until we caught one and then continued until he got the idea. Day 1 we had one accident…the rest in the potty…DAY.1..we had the odd accident and poo down the slide at soft play (that was awkward) but it wasn’t particularly stressful and I was ecstatic at how quickly he got it.
I never really saw potty training as a particularly stressful affair until the tornado that is Megan came along and now I would confidently say “its the bane of a mothers life” (or fathers). Yes having them out of nappies is AMAZING and seeing their joy at doing a wee is priceless but the actual trawl of training them (Megan) to use the toilet is literally hell on earth. I started out as I had with Ethan…she had kept removing her nappy and was very much aware of when things were coming out and so of course these are tell tale signs one is ready. Gina also says “When you are both ready”…I wasn’t 1st, 2nd or 3rd time…partly because of grief and partly because I never anticipated how stubborn, defiant and generally frustrating Megs’s attitude would be. Im talking kicking the potty whenever it was mentioned, right across the room, kicking me when I tried to sit her on the toilet.. hiding away to wee a second after the kicking episode(s) and laying on the floor in tantrum mode! So yes we tried and failed for 7 whole months, because she turned into a devil child at the mention of “Potty’s, Pants and toilets”!
In the end enough was enough…she is almost 3 (as so many have so kindly pointed out) and so I decided to pick a date and as Nike says “Just Do It”! And I did..and she did..Yes at times it was stressful, yes at times she was defiant BUT I am going to risk it and say out loud “Megs is Potty Trained” !!! HORRAAAHHH!! We are having the odd accident but overall there’s more in the potty/toilet than on my floor or in her “nicky-noos” as she likes to call them and so I am counting it as a breakthrough and success. Ethan was an excellent help during last week, showing her how its done, playing with her and praising her achievements. It would have been impossible without him on board.
1. Persevere but do it in your own time – You know your child best and whilst many offer “guidance” and hints, fighting with them for several days to do something so natural as go to the loo shouldn’t be. If that’s the case call it a day and wait – as my friend tells me “They’re not going to be in nappies at 15” so what’s a few more weeks to wait and try again.
2. Peppa Pig has more Influence than mother – After a failed 1st day I found on day 2 that if she had Peppa on Mummy’s phone she would SIT.ON.THE.POTTY. After 15mins she did a wee and BOOM she wanted to do more…and so as I saw her fidget and dance the phrase “why don’t you sit on the potty and watch peppa” lured her to wee in the potty. By day 3 she had it on her own accord!
3. Don’t make a big deal once they’re getting it – Since she was being rather consistent with it by about day 3 or so I stopped acting like it was the most amazing thing ever…because she’s so independent she was more than happy to go off by herself (which she does now) do her biz and then would come and almost gloat about the fact. She doesn’t really need praise because she has so much self confidence and so the fact I now (mostly) leave her to it respects her independence and she wants to show off her skills. Gentle reminders are fine but as soon as it gets too pushy she backs off and refuses!