I have recently potty-trained my three year old son. For anyone without kids or with a gross factor higher than, say, two: please stop reading here.
Julian has been showing zero to no interest in the potty. I bought a seat adaptor for the big toilet. Then I bought a Thomas the Train potty that goes “choo-choo” or plays the Thomas theme song if there has been a, shall we say, successful potty attempt. Not that we would know from actual successful attempts. Julian discovered the button on the bottom after the thing had been in our bathroom for about 30 seconds, and Arthur used the potty as storage for his tooth brush or a cracker or a train. Also, it took up valuable space in our small Brooklyn bathroom. Basically it was a success all around.
One by one all of Julian’s friends ditched the diapers. Then kids younger than him did the same. Peer pressure didn’t work at all. Julian remained unimpressed. He’s never been a follower and has not once done anything because someone else did it, too. Which is awesome if he’s still like that as a teenager. But for now? Oh well.
I read a bunch of stuff on potty training. The consensus is to not rush things, boys are slower than girls, and they will tell you when they’re ready. Well, that didn’t work. Julian never told me much of anything, other than “no thanks.”
Then one day I just decided that was it. Time to put the Thomas the Train underpants to use. And so we did. Julian protested. And then he went into the bathroom, closed the door, did his thing, dumped the “success” in the big toilet, flushed, and came back out. We have since added washing hands and a treat (!) to the routine. And we haven’t looked back. After one week he got to pick out a special new toy. I promised him anything he wanted from our local toy store. He chose a $6 train (sigh of relief).
We’re about 8 days in now. We’ve had a few accidents, but all at home. I don’t even care. He’s doing so well, and I’m proud. And relieved.
What have I learned?
- With some kids, such as mine, don’t bother waiting for a sign. Just go for it.
- There will be pee everywhere. Maybe it’s a boy thing? And we haven’t even conquered peeing while standing yet. I’m sure that will be a whole new adventure.
- Public toilets are gross. And to every mother of a girl who will say, “At least you have a boy, they don’t need to touch anything” – hear me out. They touch EVERYTHING. What’s this? A plunger? Yuck. Also, they aren’t really tall enough to pee standing up without a step stool. Which means sitting down, which means no difference at all to girl bathroom fun times.
- Underpants on boys basically means that their hands will be busy below the waist at all times.
Anyway, if you’re still reading, thanks. It’s been a big week at our house. I look forward to many years of colorful superhero-rocketship-dinosaur-train underpants.