Potty Training: a process

For many months, while changing Luke’s diaper, we’ve talked about it.

Here’s how the discussion would progress:  I’d say, “Luke, do you know what’s going to happen one day?”

He’d say, “Yeah.”  Then smile and look away.  He likes being the coy one.

“What’s going to happen?” I’d ask.

“I’m going to use the tiny potty to go poo poo AND pee pee.”  Then he’d smile.

Then, of course, I’d smile and say, “Luke, when do you think that might be?”

And he’d get a contemplative look on his face an say, “Maybe when I’m older.”  Then he’d giggle and I’d tickle his big toddler tummy and I’d say, “Who’s tummy is this!” and make him laugh: “Luke’s tummy!”  By then I’d usually be sending him back to play.  (Of course I’m leaving out the usual discussions of output, like “Wow that’s a big one” or a “tiny one” or “Messy one” etc.  No one wants those details…)

It’s good to make things fun, even if they aren’t your favorite thing, Holly often says.

IMG_0445 This past week, for the first time, while at Kim Larson’s house, Luke used the toilet twice, with help and didn’t have a messy diaper while he was there after the first day.  Wow.  She is GOOD at potty training toddlers.  As her son says, “She’s got a LOT of practice.”

For the next four days, we’ve been discussing how he could do things differently. Instead of going somewhere for some private time to go in his diaper, he could come to me and say.  “Daddy, I need to go poo poo.”  Then, instead of changing his diaper, I could help him go to the bathroom.” 

See, I think it was the social interaction of spending time with me changing his diaper that he didn’t want to miss out on.  I was making the diaper changing too fun.

Well, last night we had a little breakthrough (of course we’ve been watching the readiness signals since he was able to move around and walk)).  I was typing up a response to my online discussion group for the ASTE conference and he walked in and unceremoniously said, “Daddy.  I need to go poopoo.”

Wow!  “Did you go poopoo yet?”  I asked.

He said, “No.”  Then he started to walk towards the bathroom! 

Cool. I followed him in there and we got the ‘little’ toilet ready, and got everything oriented correctly, with high five’s all around.  Then as he settled in for the wait, I said, “Do you want me to stay here or do you want privacy?”

IMG_0450 He said, “Privacy.” And nodded his head. 

“Okay, I’ll get you a couple toys and be right back.  Don’t forget, you can sing a song if you want to.”

So, out I went.  In a few minutes, I as I worked on my discussion group, I checked back and there was some #1.  But he said he still needed to go.  I explained that often people go #1 first, then #2. 

Then when it was all over, there were high fives around again,  Mark Daniel came in to brag on him and give him a high five.

Then we finished off with our usual closing ceremony.  I dumped the evidence in the toilet (from the bowl instead of the diaper.  Yipee!!), and as Luke flushed the toilet, he waved and called out, “Bye bye, poo poo!!  Bye bye, pee pee!”

As Charlie Jones would say, “Life is good.”