“Ellison, please don’t put your penis on the dining table.”
Since potty-training, Ellison’s “nakedy time” has increased. Can you blame him? We find ourselves saying hilarious things.
“Ellison? Did you put your penis in your undies?” is a regular inquiry.
Sometimes he answers, “Yes”, when the snake is clearly peeking out of the garden.
So potty training went well.
For 39 months, we sweated it. In alpha-parent Manhattan, potty training takes on the same competitive comparison as toddlers mastering speech and yoga classes: every other kid seems to be faster than your own.
And that might actually be a problem.
Non-New Yorkers assured me Ellison was on track. “Calm down. No one goes to college in diapers.”
But college and kindergarten are different things.
When Ellison was 18 months old, during a particularly pissed-off diaper change, he nodded his assent when I asked, “Do you want to say bye-be diapers?”
For three days he peed all over the apartment, only twice on the baby potty.
While standing (naked) in front of my partner at the window on a stool, Ellison fired a log straight onto my partner and down Ellison’s legs.
When I complained to a colleague, she said to me, “Pardon my unsolicited parenting advice, but let me share with you the best wisdom I received for my son: DO NOT POTTY TRAIN A BOY UNTIL HE IS 3. I implore you: just wait.”
The next morning, he was back in diapers for another 18+ months.
But it all changed after a babysitting session with some friends who charmingly said, “Ellison? Tell me about these diapers. They ain’t cute. I think you’re ready for the potty.”
He told us, later that day, “If I sit on the potty and nothing comes out, that’s OK.”
Once Ellison was relieved of that anxiety, we were done with diapers.
For the next two weeks we incentivized with M&M’s. One for a pee, three for a poop. He was thrilled to have the M&M’s. To watch him jump up and down for that single M&M warmed my heart. He would stare at it up close, ponder the color, the shape, and pop it into his mouth, dancing away.
As he walked away in chocolatey bliss, I tossed a half dozen into my mouth.
We couldn’t deny Colton an M&M, too, in the process, or we’d have to face thirty minutes of #tearlesscrying. At one point, I heard Ellison peeing with my partner and when the toilet flushed, the first kid to come ripping around the corner into the kitchen screaming “Cha-cha! Cha-cha!” was Colton.
Other than one pooping accident (what would have been his first poo sans diapers), he’s been diaper-free and dry for a month. (Even nights are 80% dry. We sneak a “ghost-pee” before we hit the hay, but that should end, soon.)
It took one day. Worth the wait.
Unfortunately, we are still dealing with potty accidents of another species. Maddie, our wonderful dog struck with an FCE, still poops uncontrollably and needs bladder “expression”. She should be in diapers.
I caught a turd in my bare hands, again, this morning. Yep. AGAIN. I’m so accustomed, I didn’t even gag.
At least one pooping machine is under control in the household.
* On the topic of pooping, did you know we Westerners are totally pooping wrong? Suddenly those European floor holes don’t seem so uncivilized. We have taught Ellison to poop in the Western manner. Just another way he’ll need therapy, down the line.