My 3 year old, or rather, my 3.5 year old, was still in diapers this morning when I got him out of bed. And like most mornings and naps lately, I pulled him out soaking wet, took him to the bath, and washed all this bedding and clothes.
I decided I was done with that!
I have potty-trained three kids now, and my method is kind of like the throw-your-kid-in-the-pool/sink or swim method. At about 3.5, I put the boys in underwear and let them go. Pull-ups are a waste of money and really nothing more than diapers that come off with WAY more difficulty, spilling their contents on the floor. Yes, they peed themselves a few times and screamed about it. But after a day or two, they were 100% potty-trained. No accidents. TRAINED. My daughter was 2 days shy of her third birthday when she announced she wanted to wear her princess panties I had bought and slipped into her drawer. And that was it for her. She was trained!
I must say, however, with this most recent child of mine, I was a little worried. He has to be, hands down, the most stubborn kid I have. It never seemed to phase him that he woke up soaked in his own smelly urine. When I cleaned him up and put on the undies, I must have asked him every five minutes if he had to pee. Every time, “nope!” I put him on the toilet a few times and nothing.
Then I was in the shower and he was playing with my iPad. I called out, “Do you have to pee?”
“I already did!” he said, without a care in the world.
“Right here.” And he spread his legs a little when I opened the shower door and peered into the bedroom. He was STANDING IN IT! Still playing like nothing. GRRR! So I dried off, threw him in, then made him clean up the mess on the carpet, sprayed it down with pet odor eliminator, and put new undies on him.
After an hour or so later, some toilet-sitting time, and 50 more “do you have to pee?” questions, I was in the homeschool room with the other kids and the 3 year old was playing with trucks on the stairs.
“Do you have to pee?” I asked for the 51st time.
“Yes,” he said casually. I was so excited! I jumped up and told him let’s go to the bathroom. He looked at me and replied, “I already did go.” Sure enough, he was now SITTING IN HIS PEE like no big deal.
Again with the tub, him cleaning up his mess (which he LIKED, by the way!), and new undies.
Soon it was time for us to meet up with some other homeschoolers at the McDonald’s. I packed the container of cleaning wipes, two pairs of pants, extra socks, two undies, baggies and Zip-locks and a few wash clothes, and got everyone loaded up.
I asked him 20 times on the way there and another 20 after we got there. I took him in with his sister to sit on the potty. Nothing.
After awhile, he came up to me and said, calmly, of course, “I peed.” I had warned the other mommies this might be the scenario, so I politely excused myself, took my bag of goodies to the scene of the accident, and wiped up. Then I took him to the bathroom and cleaned him up and changed him.
We left soon after. He had not yet done number 2 for the day, and I don’t think I could have handled that in a public place.
When we got home, I changed him into a diaper for nap time and he slept for a few hours, happily peeing away until he woke up SOAKED through again. More cleaning, more undies, more questions and toilet time. Then dinner.
Then it occurred to me that he might be afraid of the Big Bad Toilet, so I retrieved the never-been-used training potty from the garage, scoured it, and set it upstairs.
He was DELIGHTED. He sat there and peed in the potty. He peed several times, actually, because he sat there so long.
And even more proud of him than his mother? His big sister, of course!
She offered him the best thing she could think of. “I have a present for you because you peed in the potty!” she exclaimed. “You get to sit in the front of the bathtub tonight!” And to both of them, that was a very big deal.