Oh. My. Gosh. I am beginning to think that, instead of calculating college tuition costs for Rhett, I need to calculate the cost of a lifetime supply of diapers and pull-ups because this potty training thing is really not catching on. We are currently 2 weeks into July, and 4 ½ months into a deployment that seems to grow longer every day, and we are no closer to being diaper free than we were 6 months ago. Further, in fact, if you want to be honest about the whole thing.
Rhett began showing signs of being ready to potty train while we were visiting family in OK this past Christmas, but by the time we returned home to NC less than a week later, the moment seemed to have passed. Up until the day he stripped off his diaper while he was napping and proceeded to pee in his crib, sufficiently soaking his blankets, pillow, lovey, and at least a part of every one of the 15 various stuffed animals that were in his crib that day, that is. So, we tried again. And he lost interest again. I did not major in Early Childhood Education, nor do I claim to be an expert on all things little kid, but even I am pretty sure you cannot force a child to successfully use the bathroom in the toilet.
Not wanting to turn it into a control issue, I backed off when he resisted, and encouraged him when he showed signs of being ready. Then, Bill deployed, and any progress (no matter how small) was lost, plus some. I have been trying to get him to use the potty for a while now, and he greets my request with a very polite, but firm, “No, thank you, Mommy. I no want to. I no like it.” At least he uses his manners. When he does agree to sit on the potty, I try to make sure all of the important parts are pointing in the down position so no one gets pee up their nose, but then he screams, “No, Mommy! No touch it!” Well, I'm glad he caught my lectures about that being a private area, but I think he might be taking it a bit to the extreme. Now he just goes into the bathroom and says, “I potty. Now you go away.” Ok, I understand the need for bathroom privacy more than most people, even though I have not enjoyed such a luxury in over 6 years now, but seriously?!?
So, I have this brilliant idea to buy him a little potty of his very own. He has the Elmo potty seat, but he refuses to use it, so, when he does sit on the toilet, I end up having to fish him out of the toilet water and thoroughly wash his whole lower half every time. This usually happens several times and goes on for several minutes before my patience is gone and, sensing his life could be in imminent danger, he politely asks for a diaper. But, today was going to be different, I vowed to myself. I bought the cool little Froggie potty, and we ran the rest of our errands. His diaper was dry when we left at noon, and it was still dry when we got home at 4:30. He was very excited to use his potty seat, and I figured he would need to potty soon, so I started getting cocky and thinking he would actually be using it for it’s intended purpose by nightfall. I’m so gullible.
So far, he has filled it with his favorite toys and squatted over them as if he were going to potty. Naturally, I don’t encourage urinating on your favorite toys, so I try to take them out of the potty. And so the struggle begins. Then he hops off and runs through the house like a caged animal that has finally escaped. He’s totally naked from the waist down while he is doing all of this, which makes it just comical enough for me to not want to scream at him, but not comical enough for me to not be annoyed. Since we brought the potty out over an hour ago, it has been hooked to his tow truck and drug through the house, he has taken the removable bowl out and worn the froggy part as a hat, and of course, he keeps filling it with his favorite toys and squatting over them. I really don’t even know what to do. He runs over, sits on it, lets out a long series of toots, giggles, and runs off again, little boy parts flapping in the wind. Each time he just looks up at me and gives me that super mischievous grin, then all that’s left is a blur of naked tush, and he’s off again. At one point, he just said, “Can I just have my diaper?” So I put it back on him. Then, a few minutes later, he stripped down again and the whole cycle repeated itself.
I am thinking maybe this is a job for Daddy…