The Greek God(zilla) and I both took a week off work over Easter to start potty training with Zachy.
Well, that is not the only reason we took the week off but figured as we would both be at home for a week, then it was as good a time as any to make a start on moving him out of nappies.
Zachy had shown some interest in using the potty in the run up to his training. Mostly when he was stripped down before and after his bath. And, once or twice during.
He had also started to tell me when he had “done a big poo, Mummy”… whether it be in his nappy, or in the bath.
So, all the signs were hinting that he might be ready.
But then what? I was not sure what I actually had to do next.
“Just whip the nappy off and let him roam free” was the general advice from friends and my new parenting bible, Twitter.
“But he’ll poo all over the carpet!”
“Put some sheets down”
So, I went to Boots and stocked up on two plastic pottys (upstairs & downstairs), one travel potty and 25 liners (out & about), carpet cleaner (for failed attempts) and a family pack of treat sized chocolate buttons (for successful attempts).
I bought a few packs of supermarket brand ‘big boy’ pants, which come up ENORMOUS by the way, but are also cheap enough to chuck straight in the bin should they come into contact with an accident of the number 2 variety.
I did not intend to spend my week off work rinsing poop out of someone else’s knickers.
Day 1 was a complete disaster. He’d wet through 6 clothes changes before lunch. Towards the end of the day, we just let him go commando and managed to catch a few stray tinkles before they landed on the carpet.
I think I broke the world record for repeating the following phrases, the most times, over a block 12-hour period:
“Do you need a wee, Zachy?”, “Do you want to do a poo?”, “Come on darling, do a poo for Mummy” ,”It’s ok, everybody pees their pants sometimes”, “You’re doing so well, just sit there for a little bit longer and you can have another chocolate button”, “Are you sure you don’t need another wee?”
We put him to bed that night in a pull-up nappy and I collapsed in a heap on the sofa, thinking that he was NEVER going to get it.
Day 2 was much more promising. A tiny little accident first thing, but after that he was asking for the potty every time he needed a wee.
Although, he was more fascinated by the sound of his wee landing in the potty so did not actually sit down on it for long enough to finish each deposit. Meaning he had an urge to go again a few minutes later. And, again another few minutes after that.
Still no sign on a poo either and any attempt to even try for one was being strongly resisted. But by the end of day 2, he was no longer peeing in his pants, on the floor, or on me. I’d call that quite a good result.
On day 3, we had one poo in the potty but he did not like doing it at all. I think it was only because I was home and could chase him around the house, outstretched arms swaying a potty under his bare bottom, that we even managed to get one in there at all!
Even though it was a successful aim and he received claps, cheers and chocolate buttons in return, I could tell he found the whole experience quite stressful.
On day 4, we drove to visit the Greek God(zilla)’s sister, BB, in Cambridge. I timed the car journey around nap time and popped a pull-up nappy on but as it was dry when he arrived, I encouraged him to go for a wee on his potty and quickly changed him back into his big boy pants.
Later that afternoon, I could tell he needed to go number 2 because he became quite fidgety and said that his tummy felt hot, but I could not persuade him to sit on the potty, or on the big toilet.
He held it in for a bit, but eventually he pooped his pants and got himself all worked up into a bit of a tizz about it.
I think it is safe to say that poos were becoming a bit of a problem.
On days 5 and 6, he did not poo ALL DAY. But did work out that he could pee just as easily standing up AND then watch it come out at the same time.
On day 7, we caught another big poo in the potty and celebrated with a whole pack of chocolate buttons. I figured I might need to up the incentive…
But, the resistance is still there to number two. He is still holding them in rather than letting them out. He will now not even go in his pants or in his pull-ups, and he was on 2 twos a day before.
I don’t know what I can do to make him feel more comfortable about it.
“These things usually resolve themselves” said his nursery when we discussed his progress.
He’d had a couple of accidents at nursery where he had held back going to the loo for so long, that when he really really needed to go, he did not make it there in time.
“He is excellent at wee-ing” they added.
So, I have a toddler who is excellent at wee-ing but has a bit of a poopaphobia.
I do not think he inherited either trait from his father.