I’ve always heard boys were more difficult to potty train.
So, given that it took more than a year and a half to successfully potty train our daughter, I was prepared to settle in for the long haul. Some quick calculations told me that, if we got started immediately, he’d be potty trained by the age of 5.
Maybe I shouldn’t have worried.
Because, at 22 months, Chip is officially obsessed with the potty.
And it came about all on his own. Kind of.
Let me set the scene first.
A few months ago, we hauled out the ol’ potty chair we used with Bobo and brought it downstairs. Just in case. But, other than trying to pour Cocoa Puffs in it (he thought it was a big bowl at first), Chip’s never been interested in it… so we’ve never really pressed the issue. (If you remember from Volume 1, I’m exceptionally lazy when it comes to potty training.)
The other day, I was trying to get lunch fixed, when I heard a mysterious clattering coming from the bathroom. I ventured into the bathroom and saw Chip, trying to take the bowl part out of the seat and lug it back into the kitchen. Apparently, he thought it would be great fun to play with. Either that, or he just felt like having a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.
I shrieked, “Ew, yuck! We don’t play with that! It’s a potty! That’s where poop goes! Poop, you hear me! Put it down! Now! Yuck!” Or something like that.
I might have overreacted just a bit.
But apparently my protests sunk in. Because, as I watched my son, I could see the wheels start to turn as if he were thinking, “So that’s what that thing is used for!”
He looked up at me and asked very simply, “Momma, I go potty?”
We flew into action. I may be lazy when it comes to potty training, but I know a golden opportunity when I see it. Jay helped me wrestle off his shoes, pants and diaper.
And it was then that we saw we were too late. The goose had already laid the egg. And, boy, was it golden.
Jay set Chip down on the potty while I ran to get the wipes and another diaper. When I came back he whispered, “Do you think we should put the poo in there so he knows where it should go?”
It seemed like a good idea at the time. So I carefully deposited the little egg into the bowl.
And then we stood Chip up so he could see it. We did the happy dance, clapped, shouted hoorays, and basically made a big hoopla like the kid had just invented Post-Its. And then we continued the parade into the kitchen, where Chip was rewarded with two little M&M’s.
As I watched my son eat the emmies, I thought smugly to myself, “This is gonna be a snap.”
My smugness continued the next day, when he announced out of the blue, “I go potty now.” Delighted, we scrambled into the bathroom, prepared to answer nature’s call.
The only problem? He refused to let me take off his pants. He whined. Then screamed. Then flat out gripped his pants so that I couldn’t take them off.
Finally, I caved. I unceremoniously plopped him down on the little throne, pants on. Where he smiled happily while proceeding to squeeze off a big grumpy.
And that smugness I mentioned earlier? Was wiped clean off my face.
As I sat on the floor, watching him while he finished his business, I swear I saw a little twinkle in his eye. He said not a word. But I’m pretty sure I know what was going through his little head:
“I can’t believe she just tried to take off my pants. Whatever!
Last time I didn’t, and the poo ended up magically in the big white bowl. Potty training rocks!
And the best part? And after I’m done, I know I can wrangle a couple of pieces of candy out of the deal. Booyah!
Maybe if I look cute and give her my puppy dog eyes, I can get a handful of emmies. Sucker!
Man, this is taking awhile. I wonder if she could bring me the sports section while I’m sitting here?”
He didn’t say it. But I know he was thinking it.
Clearly, I’m going to have to come up with a different strategy. Because, so far, Potty Training Volume 2 has seriously backfired. Pun intended.