Tuesday, June 19, 2012

All Aboard the Potty Train

Potty training sucks. Even when it's going well, it still sucks.

It's mentally exhausting trying to stay one step ahead of a toddler's many mind games, and it's doubly exhausting to also have to try and stay ahead of their bowel movements. Truthfully, I would have been happy to have left Thumper in diapers well past her third birthday, but the impending arrival of her baby brother meant that I had to undertake the project earlier. Because if there's one thing I don't want to do more than potty train my child, it's potty train my child after having just given birth to another. So, albeit begrudgingly, I picked up my kid and hopped on the bandwagon.

Admittedly, things went smoothly. We didn't have any huge hiccups and Thumper caught on quickly with little resistance. I know I should be hugely grateful for that, and I am, because I know this road isn't so easy for all kids and parents. But I still have to say that everything I stated in my original hate-on for potty training still holds true. I do not like having to literally run to the washroom multiple times a day. I do not like that while I run, my daughter takes a leisurely stroll towards the bathroom. I do not like cleaning up the inevitable accidents. I do not like thinking of ways to entice my kid to want to go potty when our sticker reward system has lost its allure. I do not like battling my daughter to make her go pee before we get in the car. I do not like mentally making a getaway path towards the bathroom in every building I set foot into. I do not like dropping my intended purchases in the middle of the store in order to sprint over to Chapters with my daughter in my arms because Dollarama doesn't allow customers to use their motherf#cking washrooms. I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM! I DO NOT LIKE THEM SAM-I-AM! Things got a little off track there, didn't they? The point, as I'm sure you can tell, is that I do not like potty training. Not one little bit. And despite the ease with which we started, we have now entered our first bout of regression. 

More often than not, Thumper waits until she has topeerightthisverysecond to go to the bathroom. I do have to give her credit though, she'll go a little in her underwear, realize what's happening and then actually manage to hold it until she gets to the toilet. But when you've got a wet spot in your underwear every single time you show up to the potty, you've got a problem. And the problem isn't that she doesn't know what it feels like to have to go; she knows, oh she knows. She just doesn't care enough to pay attention to it until it's happening. Do I blame her? No; no one likes to stop what they're doing to go pee. But it does mean that until she learns that she has to care, I have to do it for her. So naturally, I went back to telling her when she has to sit on the toilet - because let's face it, no child answers yes when asked "if" they have to go - but that has caused a huge struggle for control that often results in Thumper screaming and hiding under her bed or running as far from me as possible as soon as the potty is mentioned. And if we are lucky enough to by-pass the pre-trip theatrics, we usually end the trip with some of Mommy's because Thumper will insist on doing everything herself and doing it as slowly as possible. Which means that at some point, that little thread from which my patience is always delicately dangling will snap and I'll turn into such a raving lunatic that I make the women from The Real Housewives franchise look tame. The ironic part about this constant struggle is that I would love nothing more than to not be in charge of her bathroom habits. And I think that's the real root of my beef with potty training. 

I just flat-out don't want to be part of it. I would love love love if Thumper was capable of deciding when to go, or deciding to go in time I should say, and then take care of the clean-up herself. But with children so young, it's just not possible and it's not going to be possible for a few more years and I find it tedious. Is it necessary? Yes. Part of my job as a parent? Absolutely. But...still tedious? 



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