We hit a milestone. It’s not a potty training milestone. Potty training came pretty easily and naturally for us (and when I say “us,” I really mean my son. I’ve been pretty good at it for a while). If you haven’t tried it, be prepared to go two steps forward, one step back, and then maybe another step forward. It’s not a finite event. It’s a process.
All things considered, we did have a pretty successfully experience. My son started on the potty in earnest in April 2009, when he was a few months past the ripe age of two. In true Evan fashion, he chose to do things backwards. Meaning, #2 was the first thing he learned to do on the potty regularly. I can’t really blame him. If I had a choice, I’d probably pick #2 as well. Who wants that in their pants?
Then we moved straight to underpants. Yes, I went through many, many, many changes of clothing. I dealt with “accidents” on the carpet and wood floor and in his car seat. And at Disney World. That’s right. In all of my pre-vacation planning and wisdom, I brought not a single change of clothes with me for my 3 year old son while tooling around the park. In fact, we were getting ready to meet “The Incredibles” when I heard those infamous words: “Mommy, I have to go potty.” That’s fine. But what I heard next wasn’t: “It’s an emergency.”
We rushed and rushed and made it into the stall just in time. For an accident to occur. So everything is soaked and some poor understanding mother offers up a rather large diaper. I tell my son he’s going to have to wear it. I think he was relieved. But his pants were not going to be heading back out into the park. So I did what any mother would do. I called my husband on the cell phone, walked my 3 year old son out of the bathroom in a shirt and diaper, and proceeded to find some emergency pants somewhere in the park.
A short while later, I returned with a $35 Mickey Mouse jogging suit. Believe me when I tell you it was the only available clothing for a 3 year old boy. I probably could have found him a princess dress pretty easily but that would have emotionally scarred him a lot worse than this post will someday. I think I may keep that jogging suit even though he outgrew it about a week after we got home.
Now, going potty is routine. It’s amazing the things I start to marvel at. I still love to hear the sound of him going into the bathroom all by himself, not telling anyone, and then hearing the toilet flush. I love that he insists that I “get out of here” and “close the door all the way” when it’s time to get down to business. I love that he will go into a stall all by himself.
We’re getting there. Almost.
Nighttime still requires a pull-up. I’m not worried about it. Some kids don’t even start potty training until his age. He drinks a bit at night. I know. We are supposed to limit their drinks after a certain time. I just don’t have it in me to tell him he can’t have water and he’ll just have to go thirsty. I drink water every night before bed and I usually wake up okay.
But yesterday morning, we hit a milestone. Evan woke up and said, “Mommy, I think my pull-up is dry.” He checked it like he always does and we both conferred and decided it was, indeed, dry. Oh, how our faces lit up! He was so excited! The next morning, he thought and was hoping he was dry. Not quite. I reassured him it was okay and that he was getting there.
It’s amazing how this milestone even came about. Here is my potty training secret.
I talked to him.
That’s right. It’s amazing what we assume that our children know. I think we assume that they know and accept and try to adhere to the social norms. I’m not sure my son really understood that the goal is to NOT pee in your pull-up. When we talked about it and I told him he might soon wear underpants to bed, he got it.
Most people I know seem to be wistful about these things. These are signs that our kids are maturing and growing up. Signs that independence is slowly taking hold. It’s not something that bothers me. It’s something that makes me so proud and excited. I love watching him grow up.
As long as he doesn’t stop hugging his mommy.