Wednesday, 20 August 2008


We have ventured into unchartered and uncertain territory these past few days...toilet training. My philosophy was always to wait until Colin showed a little more interest or knowledge on the subject, but I'm signing him up for nursery school two days a week in September, and they don't do diapers. So I thought I would take a very easy-going approach and see how things went.

They didn't.

Not really.

First I tried just having him run around in a t-shirt, hoping that after the first few accidents he would be disgusted with pee running down his leg. No such luck. He didn't really seem to care. He just sort of sat still, peed on the carpet and then kept going.

So I went out and invested way too much money in training pants, rubber covers, underwear and pull-up diapers. I would have kept on with the naked thing, but we have carpet - white carpet - all through the main floor of the house.

I had heard pull-ups were a bad idea - too much like diapers. I decided only to use them at nap and bed time, calling them "Diego underwear" (so as not to confuse the "your a big boy and don't need diapers" mentality I worked so hard on!). The rest of the time he's in underwear with the plastic cover over top (to protect my carpets!) The only step forward we've made is that after he pees he tells me he needs new underwear.

I also tried tracking when he ate and when he peed. No formula at all.

So finally I just decided that yesterday after dinner we would hunker down with a few books and he would just sit on his little toilet until he (hopefully) went. He sat there for one hour and ten minutes! We read 15 books. And yes, about half way through, he actually went pee! But I think the novelty of it was lost, as he now associates the toilet with reading.

Nothing but pee-filled underwear this morning discouraged me a little. After lunch I went to put Caleb down for a nap and Colin told me he was going to sit on the toilet and read while I did that. Shrugging my shoulders, I scooped up Caleb and left Colin to his...throne.

(By the way, sleep training a baby and toilet training a toddler at the same time...not a good game plan!)

I was up with Caleb for nearly 30 minutes trying to get him to sleep. Each time I stepped out of the nursery I peeked downstairs to see Colin happily going through the pile of 15 books we had read the night before. And then, amid Caleb's shrieking, I heard these glorious words:

"Mommy! There is dirt in my toilet!"

Yes, that's right. All he needed was a few good books and a little privacy. I flew down the stairs and showered him in accolades as we cleaned up and pulled up his underwear. "I'm so proud of you!" was the phrase I think I used most. (I had to laugh later on when Colin was playing with his trains and continuously praised: "Thomas, I'm so proud of you!"

Well, it's a start. It doesn't seem like it's going to be an easy road, like some mothers claim, but it's a start.

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