Owen and I have been doing the potty dance. We’re getting acquainted with the ins and outs (mostly outs) of what goes into our bodies. I may have mentioned this, but a couple of weeks ago, a request to pee in the potty in the morning would send him into the bathroom where he would throw the potty across the room. This from a boy who peed in the same potty every evening without incident.
I was mystified as to why my little boy was so anti-potty. A friend lent me “Potty Training for Dummies” – yes, it exists! – and while I have yet to try the “potty weekend mambo,” I have stolen a couple of tricks from the book that somehow got Owen enthusiastic again about the potty adventure (Thanks, Jen!). One of the tricks was to forget about getting him to use the potty – get him to show a doll what to do. Undress the doll, sit the doll down, flush the mythical contents, and wash the doll’s hands. This worked like a charm. Immediately after the doll did his business, Owen wanted to imitate the steps. The other trick, which I had never considered, is the idea of empowerment – apparently it’s really important to teach a child to pull down his or her own pants so when the potty trained day comes, the child is self-sufficient. We practiced pulling pants up and down for a couple of days and this also helped Owen get enthusiastic about a skill he can do himself. He’s taken to putting on his own boots and slip-on shoes, too. I like this independent streak!
The potential downside to this potty enthusiasm is that now he knows how PROUD we are of him for everything his body produces in the potty. But he hasn’t yet realized that we don’t tell EVERYONE about our potty products. Last night, we were at a party and on the way there, Owen asked, “We go to a potty party?” We’ve been dancing our way to the potty lately, singing “potty party, potty party” (if my students only knew the levels to which I sink [rise?] on the weekends)… I said that it was NOT going to be a potty party, but that if he wanted to use the potty, to just tell me, and I’d help him to go.
So, sure enough, in the middle of the party, one of the party-goers saw my son head for the bathroom. I went in with him, and he started to pull down his pants.
“We make it a potty party, Mummy?” Indeed.
And then, when we exited the bathroom, 10 or so people (adults, all childless as far as I could tell) were informed that “I made a pee-pee in the big potty and I flushed it and I washed my hands. You so proud of me?”
The thing is, I’m totally proud of him. And I kind of feel like strangers should be, too… I guess he shouldn’t be telling strangers about his urine but – seriously – where’s the harm?
So, we continue to dance the potty dance together, partying on the potty trying to get the signals lined up. I’ll keep you posted (because you all care, right?)