Monday April 7th – Day Ten, Adventures in Potty Training

What kind of day would today be? Let me tell you.

It started out with a successful pee on the potty with minimal pooling on the floor. We were feeling optimistic that today would go better, but we were still questioning whether we were on the right track. During lunch, our son was in the high chair when he said “Potty! Potty!” So we scooped him out, brought him to the potty, but nothing came out. So we put him back in and continued with lunch. Without warning, without a signal, he started peeing, and it made a huge mess. He had shown us just a few minutes ago that he was capable of telling us when he could feel the sensation of going and where it needed to go, and he was actually getting pretty good at saying so when he was in the high chair. But then he just let it all go without warning.

I wouldn’t say this was the deal breaker, but this was the moment that my husband and I looked at each other, and without having to say a word right away we knew we were throwing in the towel.

Although I don’t feel the need to justify our decision to anyone, I do want to explain our thought process because it’s important – it’s important in case you’re reading this blog series and are relating to what I am talking about; it’s important because maybe you’re in the same boat and you’re just not sure when enough is enough. Let me tell you when enough became enough for the both of us…

The main reason is simple: our own mental health. As you have been able to see a small glimpse of by reading these blog posts, we put everything we had into potty training our son: we had eyes on all the time; we were watching his body language; we were watching his penis; we were consistent; we explained why we were putting a diaper on and when we would take it off; we cleaned up every mess without a single word of scolding or negative reinforcement; we were patient and understanding; we believed that he could do it; we gave 110% to potty training our son. BUT, you can’t force it, and if you truly feel like you’re at the end of your rope after almost 2 weeks of solid effort, then it’s time for a reset. It’s time to clear the air, because your child is truly not going to get it if you’re a hot mess – and we were slowly becoming hot messes.

Another main reason that we agreed on is that our son just wasn’t connecting the dots. He wasn’t realizing that he needed to work on getting himself to the potty. He had really good days where he would follow our instruction and hold his pee until we got to the potty, but he was lacking initiative; he was lacking shame. The book articulates very well about the topic of shame, and how it’s not that we are outright shaming our child, but that they develop their own sense of shame. That shame is what makes them hide when they poop, or feel bad or gross when they have peed in their pants; a switch flips in their brain when they realize they know where they are supposed to pee or poop but they haven’t done that successfully. It’s pretty fascinating, but alas, our son was not feeling any of it, and he was happy to just pee on the floor.

A reason for this disconnection of the dots could be that he is just too young at this moment. He was only 19 months when we started, but there have been many 16 month olds that have been potty trained. I’m not comparing, I’m just saying that he was not there yet, he was not ready for everything to click. We could have stuck it out another week and maybe things would have clicked, but at what cost? We all needed a reset.

So, unfortunately we come to the conclusion without our desired result of a potty trained boy, but we are incredibly optimistic for when we try again in a couple of months. Thank you for sticking with me, I hope you have found my posts entertaining, educational, and maybe just a little bit relatable. If you’re currently potty training your child and feel like reaching out, I’d be happy to chat with you about your experience!

Best of luck, stay healthy, and stay sane! 😉 Xo

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