We are toilet training. This is epic. I’m so inpatient; I thought learning to wee out a doodle would be easy. Isn’t it like a hose, you can aim? As I don’t have one myself, I just assumed that wee and doodle and aiming would all come together in three days.
Why three days? A friend of a friend told me that her son was toilet trained in three days. Was he 23? Three days. Snort.
My son is almost three. And I know he is super close to learning how to use a toilet, or at least know when he needs to go.
So how do you train a kid to use a potty? I have no answers for you here, but this is what I’ve learnt so far:
1. If you smell a pop off, a poo is on the horizon. Dacks off and get potty ready.
2. Nude aint rude, it’s so very good. Let the kid run and watch their wee go everywhere.
3. Hold onto those old cloth nappies. Accidents and I mean LOTS of accidents, happen. I hope you have floorboards and a good mop, oh and a dog that doesn’t eat poo.
4. Rewards are winners. We used stickers for wees, miniThomas trains for poo. I let my son put the stickers on the potty so it looks like a trophy.
5. Undies with your kid’s favourite TV or cinematic characters rule the roost. There is no way my son is going to want to piss on Lightning McQueen’s face.
6. Be super positive. Dance hard when a wee makes it in the potty. Let your kid press the button on the toilet. Tell your kid that the poo and wee is going to the ocean to swim with all the rad fishies and crocodiles and really cool happy sharks (don’t tell them that if they are shit-scared of fishies and crocs and sharks though).
7. Poo is exciting not scary. My son loves looking at his afterwards. Yep, it’s gross, but I would rather my kid be excited about taking a crap than holding it in, terrified it’s going to eat him alive.
8. Let your kid watch you go to the toilet. It’s creepy, but it’s been creepy these last few years hasn’t it– remember that kid was in your tummy. You haven’t had a private moment for almost three years, what’s a crap in front of your kid once a day in the scheme of things. Make sure you smile when you do it.
9. If you find a poo on the floor… whoops, clean it up, highlight the potty is nearby if your kid needs it, but let them know that once daddy did something similar and he hasn’t done it again because he’s a big boy. Poo on the floor happens to the best of us, let’s not dwell.
10. And finally, when you are out in the world with your kid wearing undies, take them to the nearest toilet/gutter/tree/bush/garden the SECOND they say… “mummy, I need to wee”. You don’t have any longer than a second, that wee is coming out now. Run. Carry a towel with you.
So accidents have happened this summer, my son has taken a crap in the display cubby at Bunnings, weed on the card stand in the post office, pooed in his Lightning McQueen undies so massively that I just chucked them in the park bin, and told every person he meets that wee comes out of his doodle.
It’s ok. We are not quite there yet, but it’s on the horizon. We are so close, I can LITERALLY smell it.
This article first appeared in the Autumn issue of BubbaWest Magazine.