Potty Training: Readiness

There are times that remind me that all the parenting philosophy in the world is useless in the face of the wrong child.

I never liked the idea of “wait til they’re ready” for potty training. I’d read the horror stories- 5 year olds who still weren’t ready and adamantly refused to use the potty. I’d read the arguments against it. I personally just dislike diapers, and having a heavy wetter doesn’t help. Leaks are a pretty regular occurence no matter what diaper we use or how often we change them.

I mentioned before that we’d tried Elimination Communication. It went smashingly, then abruptly stopped. I still wonder what would’ve happened if we’d known about it from the start. Honestly, I think that it would’ve been yet another area of parenting for me to obsess about and stress myself out over and kill myself trying to keep perfect and beat myself up for every set-back. I have no idea if giving it a try was the right thing or not.

I read through ‘Oh Crap, Potty Training’ and really agreed with her philosophy. At first.  I fully believed, still fully believe, that my toddler will be fully potty trained the second they get “pee goes in the potty” idea. They know how to hold it. They do their best not to poo out of the house, and haven’t in months. They return from trips dry. Sometimes they even stay dry all night.  But that crucial piece of information just… isn’t there.

After an especially bad attempt at potty training, I finally gave into the “wait until they’re ready” idea. We went completely naked as per OCPT’s strict advice, and kiddo just held it. For over an hour they started squirming, fussing, eventually crying before finally leaking onto the floor and crying all the harder.  It was hell. It was pointless. There is no way to get this child to pee on the potty without strapping them to it, which I have absolutely no desire to do, or waiting until their vocabulary expands.

So… waiting for readiness. Biting my tongue that just wants to scream “But you have full control of your bladder and bowels! How are you NOT ready?!”, biding my time, silently praying that I’m not screwing up and that I won’t end up with a child still in diapers at the start of kindergarten.

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