I said I would wait until he was three. I said I would wait until after we returned from traveling next month at least. My strategy was to not have a strategy. I thought that if I just casually mentioned the potty from time to time (like four times a day), and if I didn't pressure him to use it (except to bribe him with matchbox cars), then he would just one day wake up and ask to use it and I would not have put any effort into potty training at all. I figured that if I started talking about it now, he could just take the next few months to think it over and formulate his own plan. Look, I really want him potty trained, I just didn't want to potty train him.
The thing I didn't count on from this whole non-plan was that it would work so quickly. One day I was monologuing about underwear to him and happened to mention that there was statistical evidence that a person could run nearly three times faster wearing underwear over diapers. I also quoted the sage, Henry, from the time honored classic "The Potty Book for Boys". He states, "I'm a big boy now, I can run and jump and play. I don't want a wet diaper to get in my way." The illustration on this page clearly shows Henry running much faster than he was three pages back wearing his diaper. That was the clincher. Jude put on a pair of underwear and ran up and down the hall (really fast) for a half hour while I folded laundry and congratulated my unsuspecting self.
Since then, which was about a week ago, we have been engaged in what I can only describe as an in depth, nearly scientific, exploration of bodily fluid. Now, my parents will tell you that when I was a child I would cry if I got my hands dirty until they cleaned them. I may or may not still do that. See, diapers I have never loved. But at least they are absorbent and have a waterproof outer, and armed with a pile of wipes I can count on one hand how many times in the past two and a half years that I have actually made contact with any...er...fluid. I'm really careful.
He's been great for the most part. My non committal approach seemed at first to have been golden. He wet his underwear just once in the beginning and just a little. He figured out quickly that he had the power to hold it and would do so until I made him sit on the potty. Day two he was telling me when he needed to go. I was about to start writing my book, "Lazy PottyTraining, They'll Go When They Want To" when the poo hit the fan.
I'm not going to go into tremendous detail here, I don't think my fragile tactile sensibilities can handle the painful memories. The last two days have humbled my potty training victory considerably. All of a sudden he has become afraid to poo. I mean, red faced, shaking, screaming, tears, bucking bronco petrified. He actually held it for two and a half days. And this kid is way beyond "regular". Needless to say he was pretty uncomfortable. When it became apparent that it was coming out whether he liked it or not, we had to cancel our plans for the day. All day. We stayed in and he screamed and pooped. All day. And we went through six pairs of underwear. And I emptied the potty 5 times. And there was an incident that ended with both of us in the bathtub. On a scale of 1 to delightful, potty training has been truly disgusting.
Now, I think we've turned the corner. I'm praying he doesn't regress when we travel. Regress. That's a term used a lot in potty training, apparently it happens enough. His diapers have been dry after naps and in the morning but I'm not ready to go there yet. I packed away the cloth diapers, there is no going back. My favorite part is that he is unbelievably cute in his tiny underwear.
Ok, the underwear picture is at the bottom, I'm still trying to figure out how to edit my blog with the iPad. Here are some Wren pictures in a crazy mismatched outfit. I'm not sure what happened that morning...