Potty training is one of those things that every parent wants to get through but is often something that we all dread and put off. Having now successfully potty trained my eldest who is 2, I have a few thoughts about the whole process and how the stages of potty training are in fact very similar to the 5 stages of grief. Who knew!
Denial is most definitely spot on for the 1st stage of potty training. I had every intention of starting potty training prior to my eldest turning 2. He was showing signs of being ready but I didn't really give it my all because we had so much going on. I often found excuses as to why “this week was not the week” Time passed and less was going on but I still “persuaded” myself that he wasn't “ready” He WAS ready, I was not. I was living in denial. Denial also runs into those first couple of horrendous days of potty training where you have taken the plunge and you know its too late to go back but you think you have made a huge mistake. Stick with it......it passes!
Oh yes! We all know how important it is to stay calm with potty training. Accidents (and lots of them) will happen in those first few days and losing your temper is simply not an option because you are teaching someone really small to learn something that is daunting and scary. But that doesn't mean that every time you find another puddle on the floor or piece of poo under your foot you don't want to scream. Instead your only option is to let that anger rage inside your head until its wine time and take it out on your husband instead. Until the next day where it starts all over again.
If you haven't bargained with your child when potty training then you have power that I want! This Guilty Mummy right here pulled out every form of bribery that there was. When we had reached the 48th hour without a poo I am pretty sure that I promised him that every paw patrol toy he had ever wanted would be magically delivered overnight. In fact it only took one paw patrol toy left inside its packaging to be sat next to him each time he used the potty for a further 24 hours (cruel mummy I know) and a rather horrendous Poo song to break the spell. But it worked and we are all allot happier for it even if our wallets aren't.
Day 4. You have cracked the wee's, you have almost cracked the poo's. You have cleaned the floor more times than you have ever cleaned it before, you have been stuck inside the house all week and your toddler is starting to run wild. By this point you will be chomping at the bit to get out but you must stay in for another 1-2 days. The depression will hit and you will feel like a broken women. At this point I suggest lots of wine and chocolate.
Day 6 arrives and if all has gone well then you will have cracked it and finally you can accept that the process is complete. You will be so proud of yourself you will want to tell the world that you have successfully potty trained a toddler. No one actually cares but you will still tell them anyway. You will then start a new journey of learning where every toilet is in your local area. You will go out armed with antibacterial gel, bottles of water for flushing the potty out and packs of tissues. Life is about to change but all for the better. There are now a few extra pennies spare for things other than nappies.....unless you are like me and become obsessed with buying pants!