Toilet Training 2.0

Keep Calm and Potty On from Striking Keys - Small(Image borrowed from my dear friend Angela from Striking Keys, who has some great advice on toilet training dos and don’ts)

We’ve been so relaxed about toilet training Pickle; I shudder when I think of how much pressure I put Tiny (and ourselves) under a few years ago. When all the other babies I knew were suddenly coming out of nappies, I thought it must be time for Tiny to do the same. Now, I cringe at how I pushed and pushed for him to use the potty, and at the battle of wills we had each day because he just wasn’t ready. Once we were out of that foggy phase, I swore I would let number two do it in his own time.

Just over a week ago, Pickle decided he wanted to wear undies. I’d been testing the waters for a few months, asking every so often, “Do you want to try using the potty and wearing undies?”, but he hadn’t been keen. I was prepared for accidents galore (cue stack of old cloth nappies at the ready – perfect for moping up spills, FYI), and watched him surreptitiously like a hawk. He didn’t pee for two hours, and I was getting ready to get mopping, when he said, “I feel wees coming.”

Pants down, potty ready, library book to hand if required (these things can take time)…and he went. I cheered. We high-fived and danced around the lounge. He wanted to keep it to show his daddy, but I took a photo instead. I was so proud of him, and he was immensely proud of himself.

He hasn’t looked back. I’m astonished at how quickly he has grasped peeing in the toilet, but I’m sure it’s because he was ready. He’s now reliably asking for a nappy for number twos (at home, anyway…I’m hoping this morning at kindy sees him remember to do the same!), which I’m more than okay with, and he’s waking with a dry nappy too. If he hasn’t been for a while, we do ask if he needs to go, but otherwise, we’re letting him say when he needs to. And it’s working, and I’m so relieved (ha – unintentional pun).

It’s all happening, and the lack of tension about it (so far – I know all about regression!) has made it a much more pleasant experience than I could ever have imagined!

For anyone planning on toilet training any time soon, I can highly recommend waiting until your child is ready. Don’t be embarrassed into it like I was first time around; it really is true that each child is different and will learn to use the toilet in their own sweet (so sweet) time. The time comparison between forcing Tiny into reliably using the toilet (months. At least four of them.) and letting Pickle come to it when he was ready (less than one week) is proof enough for me that this was definitely the way to go.


Boys at Play

My boys are both blessed with vivid imaginations, and love nothing better than a bit of role play. Sometimes this involves their Lego or Duplo creations; at other times, the cushions off the couches. They play so nicely together (most of the time), and it warms my heart to hear them make believe so beautifully (most of the time).

I love that they are both so free with it…..yet I struggle with the type of games they play.

Everything is about fighting, guns, baddies, guns, jail, guns, shooting things……guns, did I mention guns???

I know that this is normal play for boys (and some girls), and I know that I should be relieved they are playing together and developing good imaginative skills, but I often find myself pleading, “Can you please stop pretending that’s a gun? Can you please play a gentler game? Why do you always have to shoot things???”

Boys at PlayI guess I just wish that their games weren’t always so loud, so violent (in subject, not physically – they are actually very considerate of each other), in such contrast to their gentle, sweet natures. They are loving and kind, compassionate and cuddly boys, yet you wouldn’t know it, watching and listening to them.

Maybe it’s a fundamental difference in wiring between girls and boys, because Tall isn’t bothered by it at all, and is happy to play along, while I’m cringing in the other room.

Mothers Day 2015Oh, I’ve tried to join in, I’ve tried to laugh at being put in jail (my cushions are always, always on the floor), I’ve tried to be a good bad guy….but I really wish that sometimes, just sometimes, they would be firefighters extinguishing a house, or spacemen blasting off into the universe, or chefs cooking up a storm at the play kitchen.

But then that would be my imaginary play, not theirs, so maybe I just need to suck it up and hope that this is a passing phase…or accept that this is the way life with boys will be.

Hold me.