Thursday, 14 August 2014

Potty training: Adventures in wee puddles

The changing table sits in the corner of the living room - an overflowing, all-purpose trap for all things diaper and cleaning related.  Wipes, towels, clothing changes and random bits of baby equipment fill its shelves.  It was a life saver in the early days, but is beginning to out live its nesessitiy. And it's charm.  

Ethan has been able to request nappy changes when needed for a few months and has even taken to climbing to the top the changing table on his own.   We can all tell it's time for the next stage.  

We bought the potty, made a big thing about how cool it was, but he could smell us out.  You could almost see his little cogs turning, thinking, 'So now you want me to do something new, do you? Well, we'll see.'  Ethan has never been one to do things in demand.  It's all on his schedule.  There was a long period where we knew he could walk, he knew he could walk, but he just didn't want to, almost as response to our wide-eyed, you-can-do-it encouragement.   But in the end, he did it when he was ready.  Not a moment sooner.

And the same seems to be unfolding with potty training.  Every attempt to talk about the potty has been met with a sort of 'Yeah, whatever!' as he trundles off towards something else.  But I know the key to all attention - M&Ms! So we made a big deal of it - going to buy the big boy pants, placing the M&Ms in sight but out of reach like a colourful, enticing temptation.   We put a his favourite shows on the iPad, whipped that nappy off and waited.  

We waited for 2 hours.  He drank juice.  He drank milk.  He sat on the potty intermittently, but preferred to roll his full bladder around on the sofa and other soft furnishings.  Turns out, that boy can hold it.  Finally, the smallest trickle of wee made it into the potty, and at a time when he just happened to be perching on it.  Hurray!  Lots of M&Ms and snuggles!  I put his new tiger-print big boy undies on him and said that if he had to do another wee, we could use the potty instead of a nappy.  He nodded, but looked a little stunned.

I went to the kitchen for a moment, feeling like super mom, but I had no idea a little guy could have such a massive bladder.  As I returned to the living room, he was awkwardly trying to sit back on the potty, as he peed with full hurricane force through his new tiger pants.  Still I was proud of him aiming for the potty, so even more M&Ms which he stuffed in as fast he could.  

Still fairly pleased, I set about mopping up the wee puddles.  Wondering what kind of cleaner one uses for these things and if they make a special one for potty training, like the cleaners for dog messes.  But the seal had been broken, and I was only in the eye of the wee hurricane. He sat himself on the floor - in another pair of new dry pants - and an even larger puddle starts to spread from under him.  I must say, I really underestimated the amount of wee those nappies must hold.  I used up almost a whole roll of kitchen towels!

But we are off to a start.  We revisit the potty most days and expect he will just decide when he's ready to make the change.  Even the M&Ms don't fool him, he's on to us and our tactics.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying the last bit of babyhood before we pack that changing table away and reclaim the living room.  Truth is, I don't know whether to smile or cry.