Day one of potty training is in the record books, but I still can’t tell you if it was a success. We lived through it. Waste went in the toilet. Our furniture was spared. Maybe that’s a success?
I guess my biggest disappointment is that E did not seem that EXCITED about it. He did not complain much, and never begrudged potty time. But I was hoping he would be more proud of the accomplishment? But at the end of the day, when I asked him if he needed to go to the potty before bed, he replied “no, I need diaper.”
That felt like failure.
The success: over the course of the day, a lot of waste was deposited in the toilet and perhaps less and less each time in the underpants/on the floor. The not-so-much success: I think there was only one time where he actually looked at me and said “I need to go potty!” I didn’t expect to be potty pros after one day, but we are not experiencing the level of success or enthusiasm that my sister and nephew did.
It’s not a race, but I just want to know it’s going to work eventually.
So, the poop.
It is well known in potty circles that kids generally have a harder time with pooping in the potty than urinating. For us grown-ups, this does not immediately make sense: the need-to-go feeling seems like it would be much more obvious for a bowel movement, right? And to an adult, the concept of pooping in one’s pants is just so awful. However, today the mystery started to unravel for me (only started. the potty workings of a toddler are still a Great Mystery). If you’re used to using diapers, peeing in underpants is entirely different. Even cloth diapers absorb the wetness, but in underwear, the urine rolls down your leg, etc. But, I’m not sure that pooping in underpants would be that much more unpleasant than pooping in a cloth diaper? Pooping on the potty also scares some kids.
So I was mentally prepared for E to just go for it in his underwear.
However, when it came time, that was not his choice. We were taking a pre-nap potty visit and then playing with some toys in the vicinity of the bathroom. E started dancing around and moaning and made his first request of the day for a diaper. That is when I knew, the boy needed to poop. He kept groaning and grabbing his backside and saying “I need diaper.”
According to the book, I think I was supposed to remind him to tell me if he wanted to go and then stand by and let him start to have an accident before putting him on the potty. I did not really want to take it that far. I convinced him to get on the potty before any accident happened and VOILA, we had our first successful poop in the potty. E has been waiting for this moment for a while, this was his potty goal. So I thought it was going to be a big happy time. But when the moment came and he looked in the potty at his deposit, I think he was more disgusted than proud. (And oddly, cleaning it out grossed me out more than hosing off a cloth diaper — which makes no sense to me.) But I showered him with praise and tried to convince him it was awesome and we attempted to facetime Daddy and James, neither of whom was available. It was a success deposit-wise, but it did not feel like one.
Then we started what has become a daily nap battle. The battling part took an hour. E has not yet figured out that he could delay that even more with repeated potty requests. He slept for a little more than two hours and WOKE UP DRY. Was waking up dry a victory? Maybe. But I had also not given him anything to drink for a while, plus the hour-long nap battle. I don’t know. It required less laundry; I guess that counts.
Daddy came home and E drank two glasses of juice and managed to hold it throughout dinner. He started dancing around afterward but did not tell us he needed to go … then it became obvious he needed to go. He went. We made a big show of it. He seemed nonplussed.
Bedtime was a struggle, but we can’t blame potty training for that. During the weaning process, E developed a real attachment to bedtime leche (from a cow). I would like him to give it up, as it’s a problem both for his teeth and for potty training — but there is only so much we can do. He had just a little tonight. I am debating waking him up to use the potty before we go to bed.
For now, I just feel defeated. Perhaps like any compassionate solider does after a day in battle, even if you are (or might be?) winning the war.
I think it’s time for some ice cream.