License to Pee: A Potty-Training Breakthrough

06/30/2011 9:00 AM

07/05/2011 12:28 PM

I write two blog entries a week and sometimes that gets to be a lot. Not that I don’t like writing. I love writing. It’s just the sitting down to, well, write that gets to me. So I put it off, sometimes until 9 p.m. the night before.

Which can really pay off. A lot happened at the end of the day yesterday, which saved you from a post about VBS puppeteering.

Have you wondered recently where we at Casa de Rhodes are in our “Big Boy Countdown” chart? (If you’ve forgotten my shameless potty training tactic, click here.) We’re down to 11 days. Eleven days until the diapers go to the big Diaper Genie in the sky where they will enjoy seventy virgin bottoms and endless rivers of Aquaphor.

We decided cold turkey was the way to go with Drew who so often needs a little shove to overcome his closest fears. We mark each day with a sparkly star sticker and then we count down the remaining days and say aloud mantra-like that NO MORE DIAPERS ON BIG BOY DAY!

A charming woman last week asked if I had offered Drew “incentives” to potty train, as if I was some kind of idiot a-hole. You know, like M&Ms? she said.

We work on obedience training at our house, she continued, as if she really wanted to go there, and talked all about how her potty-trained kids seemed to have gotten that way out of sheer adoration for their parents. (And a few M&Ms.) Because this woman was pregnant, I decided to give her a hormone hall pass, but I felt like slurping out her essence like the Parallax in Green Lantern.

The list of things I have tried includes but is not limited to: candy, ice cream, sticker charts, pouring warm water on his pee pee, sitting him on his potty in front of the television, acting “cool” about it like my pediatrician suggests, and making him watch his friends pee pee and poo poo like it’s a Cirque du Soleil sideshow.

Here is a picture of the books and potty equipment we’ve purchased to help with all of this:

Yes, that IS a real porcelain potty. It’s miniature but it has real plumbing. Was this tiny potty one of the reasons we bought our house last spring? Yes, yes it was. Has the intrigue affected Drew in the slightest? No, no it has not. Does Drew know every word of every potty book we’ve ever purchased? Yes he does. Has this made one iota of difference? If by “different” you mean “the same” then, yes, yes it has.

Turns out we should have gotten one of these a long time ago:

I paid two handymen for eight hours work on Friday to assemble this piece of potty training equipment. Of course, I didn’t know it was potty training equipment. I just thought it was an expensive swing set.

But there was a moment today where I think Moses or Elijah came down and whispered a suggestion to me at just the right moment: “Drew,” I said, “Would you like to wear big boy pants and go play outside? You can pee in the bushes if you need to.”

I realize there is a continuum of potty training. Level 10 is total completion—dry at night. Level 1 is willingness to even sit on the potty for a minute or two, without going. Drew, however, has been operating at level 0, not even willing to put a scrawny leg through the elastic hole of big boy underwear. His few accidents created some kind of emotional barrier.

But pee in the bushes he did. He was starting to hold himself and my trained, desperate eye saw it in a flash. My objective: remain cool, like hey, we’re all free-love around here, pee in the bushes if you have to. Maybe strum a guitar.

Gordon was up on a ladder reattaching the gutter that a storm had knocked askew, which I realize makes him sound very handy indeed. And please, feel free to think him handy. He would love that. He was half-hearing our pee dialog, like how you half-hear 60 Minutes when you’re trolling Facebook.

Gordon asks, is he peeing?

But by the time the question is out, Drew is finished. A complete bladder emptitude, all over the hawthorns.

Ice cream? Drew is asking for ice cream. We have been saving it for when Drew goes in the potty.

My conundrum is that he technically didn’t go IN the potty, he simply peed somewhere OTHER than his diaper, which, at this point, is fine by me. But I held to principle: Drink some more water and then we’ll go inside, I say. I wanted to push my luck.

And it was worth it. Here’s where we ended up after dinner last night:

Granted, he asked to wear a Pull Up when we left the house, but somewhere out in the pipe system of Fort Worth Water Works, mixing with the other molecules from a hundred thousand other plumbing systems, are minute traces of Drew urine that have joined the ranks of the flushed.

Which, I guess, means he’s officially part of society. Do I need to register him with the county?

I at least want some sort of laminated wallet card that says A WOMAN ADORED BY HER OBEDIENT CHILD.

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