Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Potty-Training: Part Deux

"No! Poo poo in my diapa. You change my diapa, mom!" When you put it that way, kid -- I don't blame you. You've got yourself a pretty good little system going there. You let it out whenever and wherever it suits you. You don't need to stop playing with 'ol Thomas the Tank Engine in order to take a dump, a slight pause for concentration and you're back in business. I, on the other hand, am so ready to retire the Diaper Genie.

Why, oh why, did I think potty-training would be easier the second time around?! I thought that this go-round, as a more experienced mom, I'd really have my shit together, so to speak... Not so. New kid, new set of psychology in play. While stickers, big girl underpants and calls to Grandma to brag about her successes, were highly motivating factors for my daughter, my son is not swayed in the least by any of these measures. He could care less if Buzz Lightyear adorns his little tushie, he's a loud, proud, diaper-wearing dude.

He also does not care if he's sitting in wet underpants. He does not find that to be the least bit uncomfortable. On the one occasion we experimented with the big boy underpants, he informed me that he'd gone pee pee in his diapers (several minutes after the fact...). When I reminded him that he wasn't wearing diapers, he was wearing big boy underpants, he just shrugged. While I've heard that many kids don't want to pee pee on Elmo, or Buzz or any other favored cartoon character, my little guy has no such qualms. If Buzz won't take his crap, Woody can be his new favorite Toy Story guy...

All of these signs strongly tell me he's not ready yet. However, the fact that he fairly regularly informs me when movement is either in play or imminent, allows that little voice in the back of my mind to say "If he knows what's happening, it's time." I don't want a prolonged battle but I also don't want to be passive about it all and just let it slide out of convenience. With my daughter, I put a lot of effort into the process. We stayed home and really worked on it. We had charts and stickers and a lot of discussion about the topic.

It feels like just yesterday I was going through this with her. This is the downside to having your kids close together. You don't get a chance to recover from the emotional trauma of potty-training. Not to mention the chance to re-stock all of your cleaning supplies. When my son was about 18 months old, he showed a bit interest in the potty and wanted to go. While I went along with it, a big part of me was inwardly groaning, not ready to go through the process quite yet. He lost interest after a couple of weeks and has yet to regain it. Now, I worry that my lack of interest back then is to blame for his lack of interest now. Am I just being a lazy mom? Is that why I'm not making a full-hearted effort on this front? Or, am I just following his cues?

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