Monday, September 28, 2015

So You're Going To Potty Train Your Child In 3 Days...

That quote is from Adam Sandler in the movie Billy Madison and I want you to file it away in your mom brain and reference to it often, because potty training is one of the most difficult skills you're going to have to teach your child.

Now that that intro is over, let me slip into a writing style that's a little more comfortable. I call it Dry Humor Sans Bullshit.

Much better.

So, you just got done reading that post on How To Potty Train Your Child In 3 Days. You've memorized the techniques and you're armed with a healthy dose of determination.

You've got this.

Until you don't...

Until things don't come as easily as that post made it seem and you ask yourself why. Is there something wrong with you? Is there something wrong with your child (who by the way is probably nervous and scared but over-the-moon happy and excited that they're about to be a big boy or girl).

"But Sally's son is already potty trained." You know what? Fuck Sally (just kidding, I'm sure Sally is a really nice person). But you are not Sally and each kid is unique.

But, you've still got this. Potty training will come, you're not gonna send your spawn off to College in diapers.

When I started potty training, I didn't even ask myself the golden question everyone should ask themselves, "is my child ready to be potty trained?" I got intimidated by the posts I was seeing, like you, and was only focused on what my kid should be doing at x years/months old. 

So if the stickers and charts and brand new potty that hands out ice cream cones every time you flush isn't going well, it doesn't mean it's not working. Like any new skill, your kiddo is going to be effing terrible at first and make an absolute mess of things, literally. Just keep going and before you know it you're gonna be texting adorable poop pics to your friends and family.

Why is potty training so hard? 

Think about it. Smushed poo has been their security blanket their whole life. Their smelly, gross, warm, mushy security blanket but that's besides the point.

Pooping just feels unnatural. Imagine if you had never experienced a poop before. 

There is stuff literally coming out of your body and falling out. And even for the most seasoned of poopers, the splash of freezing water directly on your stink knot is frightening.

If you've never done so, look at your next poop. How do you explain that food baby to a child?

How to stop plummeting into a deep chasm of misery

Remember that quote I mentioned at the beginning of this quote? If you've never seen the movie, this was a moment where the character, Billy, comes to the rescue of his friend who has just pissed himself.

Now wasn't that heartwarming?

Yeah, but what's your point?

My point is that when accidents happen it can be really hard to modify your reaction (because reactions are kind of this automatic thing embedded into us as humans, weird, I know). So if you can put something simple like that quote or this scene in your head, it might make things a little easier.

Come to your child's rescue. This potty training stuff is pretty hard and oftentimes when we get short with our kids we forget that what what we're asking them to do is pretty huge. This lesson comes in handy for me all across the board as I ask myself how I would handle someone telling me what to do:

Calm down? You calm down!
Don't do that. Um, excuse me? I'll do as I please, thanks.
Push this out of your orifice. Omg, what!?

The most valuable advice I read when perusing article after article was to not yell, discipline, or show dissatisfaction in your tot when they have an accident. This advice will be very hard to follow and I failed at it more than a few times.

Let's try something. The next time your child has an accident, I want you to freeze your reaction face and find a mirror. Look at yourself and think about the impact of that expression.

Shame, shame, shame!

I'm just kidding. I'm your number one cheerleader on this! Back to the point of not plummeting into that misery chasm.

"Don't worry, be happy." Yup, another quote. Stop worrying and be so goddamned happy you can't stand yourself. Make a huge deal every time your son or daughter tries to go potty, throw a freaking party when they do go potty. After the potty it's the bathroom party, wha-wha?

Happy Pooping!

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