Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Toilet Wars

Sometimes when I think back on toilet training, I think of those times as the toilet wars. Casey just wasn't ready to toilet train at two. No matter how much pressure his then-preschool put on me. When he turned three, his doctor told me to let it go; he'd train when he was ready. And right around that time, as long as we took him to the bathroom every two hours, he did fine.

Marcie is another story.

In between Casey and Marcie some friends of ours welcomed their son into the family. They are great parents, and when my friend mentioned that they were having potty time in the morning, at nap time and before bath-- when their son was all of 18 months old-- I was shocked. And told her so. But she explained that they weren't really try to toilet train their son at all. Their doula had taught them that establishing toileting as part of a routine would make the transition to actual toilet training much easier down the line. The rationale is that we try to toilet train our kids right at a point in their lives when they want to assert independence. If we have a toilet routine set up in advance, we can avoid the toilet wars.

I remembered this when we brought Marcie home, and I resolved to incorporate toilet time into the routine once she was walking. Alas, this was not to be.

Perhaps it is because I am a work-outside-the-home mom, and I didn't think the routine would be dutifully followed. Perhaps it is because I am not so good at routines. Whatever the case may be, there was no toilet routine with Marcie.

But right around 20 or 22 months, Marcie began asking to use the potty. Sometimes she'd just sit on it when Casey was in the bathroom. Other times she tried using it as an excuse not to sleep. And much of the time, she had toilet success, and we'd clap and dance.

We knew she was using the toilet at school from some notes we'd received from her teachers. And she's been going through way fewer diapers in very recent weeks. But today her teacher told us to please bring in her underwear. I didn't even know we were supposed to have any for her yet. "She means pullups, right?" I quizzed Jason.

"No. She said underpants," he explained.

"But she meant pullups, right?" I pushed the issue. I mean the kid just turned two. We haven't even been trying toilet train her.

"I think the teacher knows the difference," Jason retorted.

"Oh. Okay. Maybe she can get some for Christmas," I commented as I began mentally planning a Christmas gift.

"She asked us to bring them in next week."

Wow. My baby in underpants. I just wasn't expecting it.

If I already feel like she's growing up too fast, imagine how I'll feel when she hits kindergarten! Or puberty!


:::delinda::: said...

WOW, that is awesome. I can't believe Marcie is movin' on up already. Very cool. Time to hit up Target!

Andrea (MA) said...

Trust me, I know how you feel. I was shocked as hell when Vanessa's day care started putting her on the potty at 8 months. They were doing the same thing as your friends, just putting her on for "practice." So we decided to bust out our little potty at home that sings. My God, does she love it. It's more a toy then a chore for her. Of course she doesn't know how to tell us yet when she has to go and we still have accidents from time to time but who cares. Like I said, it's just for practice. I'm glad to hear Marcie is enthusiatic about her potty. Doesn't it just make life that much easier!

Danielle said...

Incidentally, I tagged you for a meme. And toilet training already. Awesome! Nick still hasn't shown interest. By this time with his sister we were already practicing potty time. Oh well. They say boys take longer. We'll see.

Nita said...

As a former preschool teacher let me asure you that girls usually do potty train earlier than boys. Also children who have older siblings seem to potty train earlier also.