Friday, 27 February 2009

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday, I posted how my younger son is growing up. Leaving the nursery with Boy #2 later that day, one of his teachers asked me the question I was dreading: "So, what are you planning on doing with the potty training situation?"

Now, I know a veiled command when I hear one. And I appreciate that he's the last one in his class not to be potty trained. Even those mothers who, a month ago, were despairing of their little poppets ever getting it, are now smugly bouncing in with them sans nappies.

I muttered some answer about having been waiting for half term to do it, and then not having been able to due to tummy bugs (all true), and then foolishly said "... but we're planning to start tomorrow."

Oh, PM. You fool. Well, you must be. What on earth posessed you to start potty training without having done a stock-take of the wardrobe to ensure that all 5 pairs of Boy #2's trousers were clean and in readiness for use?

Mind you, as it turned out, it would have made no difference.

5 pairs of trousers - today - would not have been ENOUGH!

I have to admit, I have not been the picture of calm today about this. You may have noted the capital letters. They go no way at all - AT ALL - to conveying just how frustrating it is to ask your 3 year old to come and sit on the potty in the bathroom and instead have him wander into the sitting room and wee on the floor 1 minute and 30 seconds later. Three times in succession. Or how absolutely scream-making it is to applaud your son producing a poo on the potty and then 10 minutes after that, have him follow up with one three times the size in his pants.

By the time Husband appeared mid-afternoon I was ready to explode, and the poor man was subjected to a 10 minute rant from me on the subject of Boy #2, willfullness, frustration, laundry, wee, poo, and end of tethers (reaching of) from me.

I did get my revenge in a small way. Once we ran out of clothes, Boy #2 was reduced to wearing a set of Osh Kosh dungarees that some kind soul gave as a gift and which he hates, on the grounds that - even aged 3 - he thinks he looks like a clown. (To be fair, with his round tummy and bustling walk, he does rather).

His comeuppance didn't last long though; to show his contempt for the pierrot look I had inflicted on him, he promptly wee'ed in the dungarees too...

I'm assuming that you won't be surprised to hear that for the first time since my stomach bug at the beginning of the week, I've broken out the Green & Blacks?


  1. He's just not ready to be potty trained, Potty Mum. Don't let yourself be bullied into it before it is time. He'll playfully start doing it on his own when he is ready and not before that. This is just causing a lot of unnecessary heartbreak.

  2. I sympathise with your frustration. My boy was the same - I used to lie on the floor weeping, not knowing what to do. But eventually I relaxed. And when I did that, he relaxed too...and it just happened. But you know all this. I hope your washing machine's up to it, though!
    Mya x

  3. Ahh yes, you can't beat a post about wee and poo.
    My daughter pretty much potty trained herself at 2 (I'm not wearing THAT she'd say throwing her nappy away). And that was it.
    A couple of weeks ago (she's 3 and a half now) she started weeing on the rug in her bedroom.
    what the hell did she learn that? I'm blamed hubby, because when it's not my fault it logically has to be his.

  4. I'm not sure if this will make you feel better or worse. It makes me feel terrible, & I hardly dare admit it, but my daughter, aged 4 & 10 mths STILL wears a nappy at night. Nothing has worked. The paediatrician says don't worry about it til she's 7! My son was dry at night at 3. It's not the same I know, but I am so frustrated & feel it's my fault somehow

  5. Potty you poor thing.
    I can remember those very experiences myself.
    It will be over in a flash and they'll then wear the same pants and trousers for weeks at a time!

  6. I'm not sure if he;s not ready for potty training but he certainly enjoys winding you up. You need a tactic that will show him you're remaining calm. Hmmmm. It might be worth doing some web research on different ways. There's a doctor over here who runs courses telling you how you can potty train in a day, but of course you have to hand over big bucks or it's a secret.
    I used to make mine wander round with no undies on for a while, telling them that they'd gone through all the clean ones - how cruel is that?

  7. Awww, much sympathy! We have it all to come. FP simply refuses to sit on the potty and gets quite upset when I suggest it.
    Paradise Lost: my friend's child was in nappies at night until she was almost 6 and then she just naturally stopped needing them, no problem. Just be patient :o)

  8. I know it's a theme in all these comments but my advice would be similar: Put the nappy back on, smile, stay calm and say "it's okay, you can go in the potty when you're good and ready". Then put it in the bathroom and don't mention it again. He'll decide he's ready in his own time (but I hope for your sake it's soon!!!) My sympathies. x

  9. His teacher is not very professional it sounds like. First of all she should know that children get it at different times. They should be helping by watching how he is about potties and toilets there. And if she has sensed he is ready, she should say so in a matter-of-fact way (i.e. putting forward the evidence she has seen and then asking if you would like them to start helping by offering him to go on the potty, etc.). Honestly, I am shocked at her attitude. Don't let her bully you!

    Do you have a toilet seat and step as well? I'd suggest keeping the potty/ies in sight (we have one in R's room and one in the living room) and also making sure there is access to the loo. Then just tell him he can use them when he wants to. Then, when you're all at home for a few hours, at the weekend, perhaps, let him run around semi-naked. Mop up the accidents; praise any filling of potties/toilets and don't worry about washing. (Course, if you have carpets, that might not be quite so easy!)

    But, mostly don't let the teacher bully you. They should be helpful about these things and not pushy. R's nursery school have been great and said right from the start to just let them know when we felt ready to try and they would support us. That's what Boy #2's nursery should be doing!

    (Sorry, am feeling very cross on your behalf.)

  10. I think you should tell the teacher that if she's so keen on him being potty trained, she can start the ball rolling because he doesn't want to do it. He's clearly setting it up as a power struggle between the two of you as a couple of other people have said, so just let him do it in his own time. I'm pretty sure that he will not be walking down the aisle to meet his bride in a pair of Depends.
    I have never potty trained a boy. WHen I potty trained Four (she was 2 and a half) we got a portable potty and I just put her on it every 15 minutes no matter what, and she still wore 'pull ups'. If she weed/poo'ed in the potty, great, if she didn't, fine. Whatever. In the end, she started hating having wet nappies and she REALLY wanted the big girl knickers.
    But if he doesn't want to do it, then tell the teacher to naff off. You pay HER wages, not the other way around.

  11. This might appeal to boy #2's sense of fun - try putting a ping-pong ball in the toilet and ask him if he can sink it by standing there and wee-ing on it. It may be that he just doesn't like the potty, not all boys do. At the very least, if he obliges with the ping-pong ball trick, he should empty his bladder trying thus sparing you the myriad little wees everywhere else. Also no pants or trousers at home this weekend unless it's absolutely freezing of course.

    I do think he's winding you up more than anything else though, so feel free to tell the nursery staff they are welcome to try potty training and see how much progress they make!

  12. I couldn't agree more with the commenters who are cross with the nursery teacher. You are the mum. You are in control of this issue. It's your decision. And it is NOT a competition so who CARES what other kids are doing?

    I can't remember when you last tried, but it seems like no time at all ago. I'm sure you (and he) need a longer pause.

    I have potty trained 2 boys and 1 girl, and each time it has been agonising and long-drawn-out and horrible. My ONLY words of wisdom are, do what you can to reduce the stress as far as possible, because it WILL come right in time, and meanwhile you don't want it to ruin everything else in your life.

    He really isn't going to get it just at the moment, if today is anything to go by. This doesn't reflect on him, or on you. It's just the way it is.

  13. Oh PM, you poor thing. Please please stop putting yourself through this and just STOP! Like many of the others, I think the teacher is totally out of order; you know your son, and you will know if it's the right time to try again. Big hugs (((((((())))))))) and some e-chocolate coming your way....

  14. Oh dear! Sounds like you need to kep your chocolate suply well stocked! My daughter was not interested in potty training at that age, she was much later. I think they do it in their own time, and they all get there in the end. So don't stress too much!

  15. Huge sympathies, PM, what horrors...

    I think you should just say to the nursery that he is clearly not ready and you are not prepared to wash five pairs of trousers a day. You could suggest that if they really want to potty train him, THEY can do the washing.

    We went through more than six months of numerous pairs of trousers coming home in a bag from nursery with Littleboy 1, then one day he just decided to do it and since then we have never had an accident. (I did find a star chart was what finally made it work - you could try that I guess?)

  16. Green and Blacks? Posh chocolate - must be bad. My sympathy is with you.

    You've probably had all the advice you can stomach, but have you tried going straight to toilet (my daughter didn't do potty), fancy pants as first pair in the morning to be replaced with plain once wet, or making him rinse his pants once wet so that he is inconvenienced by failing to go to the potty?

  17. bah! he's in charge! not the nursery! who wants to wee on the command of an institution? the nursery are working for your son. he's not working for them. he will do it when he's ready. or when he realises that with a nappy showing out his jeans he can't get a girlfriend.

  18. I'm sorry Potty, I have no words of wisdom due to lack of experience in this area. But I do intend to pop back here in a few years.

  19. Ugh! I am dreading the time that I may come to this. My 2-year old is completely not interested, is very stubborn and I wonder if he might be similar to Boy 2. Hang in there and maybe you'll have to admit what Finely Tuned Woman said -- he's not yet ready or willing to do it.

  20. Or maybe you do just need to I had to about the food issue and when I did...then he finally started eating better....maybe if he sees you don't care so much he'll care more...does that make sense? Probably not. *sigh*

  21. Thanks all so much for your comments. At some point very soon I hope to be able to stop writing about this and boring you with all the messy details!

  22. Poor you! Do Green & Black's deliver? Well worth it for your sanity.

  23. Ahhhh he'll get there. I think Mya and lovely Finely Tuned Woman are right. HE may not be ready or he might just need to relax a little or for you to relax. THey're still so little at 3 aren't they.

    And I had Green & Blacks ice cream tonight. Yum.

  24. Ohhh Green and Blacks Yum Yum (my Easter egg of choice is Green and Blacks. Don't worry about potty training; ask the "helpful" nursery teacher for some advice! D#1 did it in about 2 weeks; S#2 the same "a-ha" I exclaimed (a tad smugly) "I've cracked it" Hmmm, no such luck; S#2 decided to keep having little accidents for AGES after - first point of call anywhere we went was the loo. Then I was told that boys take longer to train; haven't a CLUE if this is true but chose to believe it as it made me feel better. I don't know if it made a difference but I did mine in the warmer weather so they could run around outside and accidents weren't so frustrating. I also made a HUGE fuss about picking out appropriate "boy" underpants 9 y'know Power Rangers or something else equally violent)

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  26. I take it anonymous is talking about his or herself when refer to useless visitors to ones website?


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