Using The Throne
One of the largest issues for the parent of a little guy is toilet training. Getting that accomplished quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss (and mess) is truly a noble goal.
According to folklore, there is a brief period of time during which the child realizes what’s happening and is open to the idea of toilet training. If you push too hard before this period and you set up a stressful battle that can last months and months. If you miss this golden opportunity, you spend months getting the child to break the (now-formed) habit of not using the potty.
Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? Well, believe it. C was sick during this period and we (unwisely) chose to ignore the adage in favor of babying him a little. I’m convinced that this caused the potty training to get stretched out much longer than it should have.
N is now about 18 months old and last week he announced that he wanted to go potty. This was thrilling news. We ran him to the potty and, sure enough, he went. Since then, he’s been doing a great job of telling us he has to go before he actually goes.
This morning, however, things took a turn to the darkside.
As some of you know, I’ve been sick. So sick that I’m now missing my second straight day of work, and I’m even missing a trip to an amusement park with my sister’s family. That’s pretty sick.
This morning, as I was getting N dressed for the day, he made his “potty!” claim. Of course, I ran him to the potty. We have a little seat that sits inside the big seat so that he can actually use the regular toilet.
I put his seat on the toilet, put him on the seat, and then slumped down to the floor to have a coughing fit. When I finished, I noticed him pointing at a book and saying “Firefly! FireFly!”
Not seeing what was coming next, I sat down cross-legged on the floor in front of him and read “The Lonely Firefly”. He loved it. As I read, he pointed out things in the illustrations and called out their names (”cat!”, “dog!”, “truck!”). Once or twice, he even had me go back and re-read a page.
We finished the book, and I started to pick him up.
“No! Poop! Poop!”
Perplexed, I peeked behind him. There had been no action of any sort the whole time. However, he was now looking at me very intently, saying “Poop!”
I settled back on the floor to wait. He pointed out another book, and, like the chump that I am, I read that one too. A more observant parent would have noticed the stack of books sitting next to the toilet. I claim sickness as my excuse.
3 books later I finally figured it out. The little king was sitting on his porcelain throne, forcing me to read books to him. Whenever I tried to take him off, he used his magic word (”poop!”) to put me back in my place.
Once I figured it out, I moved him from the toilet and into his diaper. I got that diaper on in record time, too – just in case all his claims of “poop!” really had something behind them.
So to speak.