Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Milestones: Potty Training

I had really been dreading potty training the twins.

You see, unlike other children, my children find absolutely no delight in being allowed to use a toilet, do not mind a dirty diaper OR soaking wet underpants, and quite frankly, have plenty of better things to do than to take time out do their business.

True to form, Matthew has already learned how to put a diaper on himself. He and Aidan do NOT like wetting themselves or the floor and have lately taken great pains to wait until their diapers are on.

They CAN do this, it was just a matter of convincing them that they would LIKE to. I swear, the little guys boycotted M&Ms when they realized these were only given out as potty treats. Nothing doing.

But our kindergarten wanted to give it a try. And so we took the diapers away last weekend, practiced a bit at home, and then sent them on Monday in underwear.

And it's been fine. They come home at noon carrying a plastic bag full of one or two changes of clothes. Each. I am doing laundry every night in order to keep them in undies and shorts. (As we become more environmentally friendly through our decreased diaper usage, we unfortunately up the water and detergent usage.) We do it all over again the next day. Cheer the successes. Wipe up the misses. And messes too.

And it's okay. By the end of the week Aidan had made it almost every time and Matthew had decided to ignore the whole thing. And it continues.

The difference this time around is that I don't see it in terms of success or failure. Every wet diaper isn't proof that I have failed as a mother, that my child isn't managing something that everyone else's child seems to master on their own within 24 hours. (I swear I know children who decide for themselves not to use a diaper anymore and then never have an accident thereafter. My friend Karen has a two year old boy BEGGING to use the toilet. Absolutely KILLING ME!)

It's not about me at all this time. It's about a process the boys are going through and it's not a validation for or against my parenting skills.

There's a little piss on the floor, someone's underpants are stained. Honestly, what's the big deal? (If only we could convince the dog to come out from under the table whenever he sees a wet spot!)

So we have a few weeks of running away from our urine stream, of learning to pee in the woods and peeing on our ankles, of carrying our own personal potties to the pool since we only like our's funny this time around.

I honestly can't remember what all the fuss was about the first two times. But then again, it's only been a week. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime I've got laundry to do.


  1. Oh my, ChloƩ seems to be on this path as well. She can hold it as long as she has to to get a diaper, and is practicing putting them on herself. But she's only two ... hopefully she'll decide soon that the potty is, in fact, the way to go. But we'll just have to wait and see.

  2. I've decided late potty training is a sign of high intelligence and creativity. (Although, as you said, two is not LATE by any means.) At least the sign of a STRONG temperament with a mind and will of its own - I'm still dealing with it with Ryan and it looks like Matthew will follow in her footsteps. Blog to follow!