Fast forward a few years and my second child, my son, is nearing his 2nd birthday. We unearthed the requisit potty chair and crossed our fingers. At first he LOVED the potty. He’d easily potty while on the toilet while his sister cheered for him. We thought, hmm… could we get lucky this time with an easy boy!?!
Moving to a new home prevented us from potty training right then and there. But, just as he turned two years old we decided to make the big switch. Starting on a Friday I put my son in underwear and gave him the potty-training talk. I dutifully brought him to the toilet every 30 minutes… and he went every time. It was easy for him to potty on the toilet, the problem was he only went a little bit. And, he was still managing to have accidents even just 15 minutes after he’d peed on the potty. As for going #2, no luck there – it was always in the underwear. Grrr.
My son also started resisting these frequent potty trips right from Day 1 of potty training. Occasionally, he’d say he didn’t want to go, but I’d insist. He was in underwear, after all. By Day 2 and 3, he was all out against potty training. He did NOT want to enter the bathroom, even to the point of tears. On Day 3, when he had an accident just 15 minutes after going on the potty for the second time, we decided to call it quits. 1 unwilling toddler + 1 unready bladder = time to back off. We felt a little like failures. But, moreso, realized that we had given it a try and he was so clearly not ready. No need for guilt there.
About 4 months later, my son seems to have forgotten potty training attempt #1. I began to take him to the potty, at first 1-2 times a day and then 3-4 times a day since he wasn’t resisting. Why this pleasant agreeableness? I tricked him, of course. I decided to sing a very short song each time I picked him up to bring him to the potty. Since it was spring, I chose:
Little Johnny Jump-up said, “Now it must be spring!
I just saw a ladybug and heard a robin sing.”
This upbeat little number distracted him, set a positive emotional tone, and signaled to him what we were going to do without actually giving him a choice to reject. No mention of pottying in this song – just a mood, a tone, something to say as I was carrying him to the bathroom. We practiced this routine for 2-3 weeks and then…
Potty Training attempt #2. Last Friday we pulled out the underwear again. I brought him to the toilet avery 30 mintues amist continual song. And he went. And he didn’t complain. And he didn’t have many accidents! So, that’s how we spent the holiday weekend – potty training. Now his scheduled potty trip is every 45 minutes. Within the next week or so, we hope to get it to every hour and then onwards and upwards from there.
Potty training my son was different than potty training my daughter. He was not physically ready until about 6 months later than she. And, he was more defiant and resistant despite the fact that he had an older sister as a cheerleader and example. On the other hand, he is having less accidents than she did at this point in the potty training sequence. This may be simple because he is 6 months older than she was. At any rate, we were very glad that we cloth diapered him, so waiting an extra 6 months to start potty training didn’t cost us a penny!