There’s this video floating around on the internet about a unicorn pooping ice cream and how to use a “squatty potty.” It’s pretty hilarious. It reminded me about the not so distant past, and that time when I thought, “When do I have to teach you to use the toilet?” which was immediately followed by “Oh shit, I have to teach you to use the toilet!” which was then followed by “How the ef do I teach you to use the toilet?!”
Luckily for me, my little guy told his grandma that he wanted to wear some panties while they were shopping, so she did what any good grandma would do, and bought him some boy underwear! (no not panties, although, in retrospect I would have been pissed but it would have been hilarious to think about) That’s when the ball started rolling and we figured it was time to teach him how to use the porcelain throne.
The thing with boys is that, I don’t pee like a boy, nor have I watched a boy pee, so I had no idea where to start. So, what did I do? I taught him to sit on the toilet. The first few days were hit or miss. Then, after much internet researching, we locked ourself in our home for about 4 days, left the house as little as possible and let him run around without underwear. Did he pee on the floor? heck yes he did! Did he pee on his toys, no but almost. Did he try to pee on me? Duh! Did he eventually understand that he needed to pee in the toilet? YES!
3 more hurdles to cross: Pooping, not peeing in the bed, and standing up to pee.
He made pooping easy. We gave him probiotics, yogurt, and apple juice to make him go, and like every good toddler, he gave us the freeze, the distant look and squat to let us know he had to go. We (by we I mostly mean I), ran over to him told him to hold it and rushed him to the toilet. After a few weeks he got it! Now he yells “DOO DOO! MOMMY DOO DOO!” and scurries off to the bathroom, and if we are in a store and he has to go, the answer is yes, he will scream at the top of his lungs that he has to doo doo. (BTW a little hint, that if your child is like mine, he will get the runs if he drinks too much apple juice. carry on!)
Not peeing in the bed was and is a big fear of mine, my husband can tell you why, it’s so embarrassing! I’m sure you can figure it out. Anyway, there is a plastic sheet on our bed, luckily. It’s been there since before my little guy was born! LOL, don’t ask. So far, we’ve had only a couple of accidents in the middle of the night (myself included, there I said it!), but nothing earth shattering. What did we learn? Don’t give him a ton of water and make him use the potty before bed. So far so good. Hurdle number 2 check.
“Now, how the heck do I teach him to stand up and pee!?” My husband had no ideas, my mom didn’t have boys, and my grandma, who did have boys, passed away when my son was a few months old. My mother in law was also out of town, and most of my friends with kids had girls! Who the heck was I supposed to ask!? Luckily, my smart little boy loves to follow us into the bathroom (please tell me your kids do this too), so he’s seen his daddy do it. One day I thought what the heck let’s give it a try, plopped him on a stool and told him aim for the hole in the toilet and go! And he did! HALLELUJAH!
There are other obstacles with using toilet training that we still haven’t completely mastered, like how to sit on the toilet when we are out, and don’t have a potty seat. I know they make those portable ones, but who really wants to carry those around in their purse? Gross. We also haven’t quite figured out how to get him to pee standing up while we are out and about. I usually pick him up under his arms and dangle him mid air. 99% of the time he makes it into the toilet, sometimes he catches my feet. Gross again.
If you are in the midst of toilet training, there will be crying (mostly by you), there will be pee (all over the floor, I hope you have hardwood or laminate), there will be screaming (by you, telling your little to hold it). Don’t worry, you’re just setting your little human up for the future, no pressure. When you finally get it down, you will be praising the toilet training gods (no not the porcelain god) and wonder why you didn’t teach them sooner. It’s like being liberated!
Enjoy your new found freedom