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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Boot Camp

At the start of each month at my son’s preschool, the staff sends home a short newsletter regarding events in his classroom. Usual highlights include upcoming events and reminders to label your children’s clothing. The honest truth is that I usually scan the updates on my way to the trash.

For the June newsletter, things were a bit different. There, on the front page of the communication from the school, was a summary of the potty-training status; a quick overview of the “super-stars” and those that are “almost there.” My son was in the latter group.

I must admit that I have been somewhat of a lackey when it comes to toilet training. Giancarlo’s “almost there” ranking is more my doing than his. However, is it worth pushing the training camp on a kid who is not really ready? Everyone I know has a bit of advice for me.

The staff at the preschool we attend usually likes to take advantage of the drop-off or pick-up time to discuss potty training with me. I receive insight on how toddlers should “listen to their bodies” and what clothes Giancarlo should be wearing. It is one of the highpoints of my day. There is really nothing like having to repeat the word urination with a straight face while trying to prevent two toddlers from running out the door.

As many of you know, Thuy is my oracle. Some people use Google to find answers; I just pick up the phone and call my friend. She points me in the right direction. For toilet training, Thuy of course had a strategy...something about filling your kid up with an obscene amount of liquid for 24 hours and having them sit on the toilet for most of the day. She swears it will work. Now if only she could find an open spot in her calendar to come over and make it happen.

My cousin is a die-hard believer in what I like to call “adventure potty training.” This is a complicated hybrid of techniques that involves many different elements. I am not quite sure if I am ready to step into her world yet. She prides herself on teaching her boys to "sink the battleship" using Cheerios in the toilet bowl. Another popular method is to have the boys stand above the bowl and make the "blue" toilet water turn green.

My grandmother has probably been the most fanatic. It undoubtedly has something to do with the fact that she thinks of her age as a badge of honor. When Giancarlo turned one, she gave us a check. We were supposed to buy a wooden toilet training seat, like the kind that she used when her kids were young. Shockingly, her local Wal-Mart did not carry this item, even after her repeated conversations with the store manager. My son is now three and a half and my grandmother still asks me about the seat. Have I found it yet? What is my plan?

Today, I took a bit of time to finally follow up. Here are a few options I’ll probably send her way…



I think I like option # 3 the best.

-Francesca
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60 comments:

Kailey said...

Those are very creative! I think I'd have to vote for #1, though. Hmmm...so much to look forward to when I have a kid!

Mariko said...

BLAH. Potty training is the worst. Everyone has given me ideas, and mostly, things have not worked for me. Usually she kicks and screams when I make her go potty, but she often will take herself if she A) isn't too interested in what's going on and B) if there's a toilet she knows of right there.
Otherwise, we have incidents.
I also must say pullups are probably the worst invention ever.

And about those potty seats-- I just get grossed out by cleaning such a thing. I'm way into the baby toilet seat (plastic, not wood, though).

Ronnica said...

Why is it the school talking to you about it and not the other way around? I thought it was the parents' responsiblity first--not the school's--for the training/education of their children! Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox, now...

Potty training is pretty much the number one reason I want to adopt slightly older children!

Jen said...

Here is my advice on the whole thing. If he is not ready and not showing signs that he is ready don't push it. There is no rush to potty train. He just needs to be trained before kindergarten, right?
I waited with Hayden. He was almost 4 when we trained him and you know what ppl gave me crap and advice all the time. It was best for him and when we were ready it was no big deal and in one weekend, he was trained. It was actually easy and stress free.
We used the book 1-2-3 Potty Training.

Oh and DON'T use pullups. They are not good. Too much like diapers. Just go cold turkey, diapers to underwear.

There my 2 cents. Take it for was its worth. My vote is for #2.

Kristina P. said...

Maybe you can put a picture of Mario Lopez in the bowl.

The Blonde Duck said...

Brings a new meaning to the word throne....

NovelTeaMommy said...

I'm kinda partial to #1. Max likes to play with toilet paper as much as anything else, so it would be a good item to keep him on the "throne". Of course, we have at least another year to decide that one : D

Cammie said...

HA. I like #3 also!

Eric said...

Okay the picture of the kid with the newspaper is priceless! LOL!

Great blog!

Rebecca Jo said...

I personally like #1 the best.. but I love #3 with the "Jack Potty".. funny!

Tranquility said...

Wow - I'm impressed that you actually found 'wooden' pottys (even if they aren't exactly what your grandma had in mind)! ;)

I've heard of the system of filling your kid up with an enormous amount of liquid - tried this one, in fact, with no luck because, well, I don't know how you are supposed to convince a toddler to drink if he or she isn't 'thirsty'. I've also heard of naked weekends - kids running wild in the backyard. ;) I'm not sure how this is supposed to work to be honest(and quite frankly the idea freaks me out just a little), but I've heard some mom's swear by it.

Randi Troxell said...

wow... you think about having kids... then i remember everything that goes along with it! im not sure if i could even manage to potty train someone, hoo-hee... lotta take in!!

Kathy B! said...

Seriously! Those chairs!!

I advocate for the go naked approach... works really well for girls. They don't like to wee all over themselves and pick it up really quickly. IF THEY"RE READY... you're good to go in a weekend. With boys though... they'd probably just pee all over everything and think it was some sort of treat... You're on your own, Francesca : )

Scary Mommy said...

I will so feel like we hit the jackpot when Ben poops on the potty. Three is perfect! (And potty training totally sucks.)

Barbaloot said...

One of the beauties of being single...no potty training at thsi point in my life:)

Grand Pooba said...

Ha! Yep, #3 is my pick too. However I'm a little worried about what comes out if you hit the jackpot.

Jenn said...

Umm...I LOVE Jack Potty. Even though I already have a potty ready and waiting to use for my son, I'm so tempted to buy Jack. :)

Fiauna said...

Jack Potty ... that's great. Don't worry too much; kids will eventually train when they're ready. I've trained three--all at different ages. I'm working on the fourth, and I know she'll get it--some day.

Debbie said...

That third one is great.
So, just so I am on the same page, they actually list the kids and where they are in the whole training process?

Meg said...

I like #1 best. It has a magazine holder for his Ranger Rick's and a built in toilet paper holder. That says "class."

Jenn said...

As someone currently going through potty training my oldest daughter for the THIRD TIME, I can totally relate to this post!

thatgirlblogs said...

Me too! Number three.

Seriously, BTDT four times. Best way? sit them backward on a standard toilet seat. They don't fall in and they don't need any fancy gizmos.

carin davis said...

Potty training...hands down...is my LEAST favorite parental responsibility! LEAST.favorite.hands.down!

rychelle said...

i was sure the "adventure" method was going to include overnight stays in the wild jungle, with no pants on......

Amy said...

Oh my how funny. I like option three. I am going to start potting training in Aug. My little one says, "Hi Potty when she sees it." Maybe she is ready???

Jillene said...

POTTY TRAINING IS OF THE DEVIL!! It is the most horrific thing EVER (well--so far). Good luck!!

Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby said...

Hey, Hon! My 2 eldest boys trained at 3 1/2. We introduced potty terms and brought them in with us to "see how it's done" much earlier, but never pushed the issue. Then, one day (on their own terms), it clicked. They literally trained themselves in 2 days with minimal accidents. Never fear, he'll do it when he's good and ready :)

stephanie (bad mom) said...

May I just say, this post made me pleased that I have not only graduated from potty training adventures but from the potty training instructional seminars from Moms Who Know Best.

God bless, good luck [I LOVE the #1 choice, btw]

Jennifer said...

I don't want to think about potty training. Mostly because I'm on potty overload. Projectile diarrhea ten times a day will do that to you.

FrankandMary said...

Did you find a front page "almost there" for the consumption of every parent who reads that about your son a little TMI? Francesca's son ISN'T QUITE POTTY TRAINED YET! Thank God our little Horace has been potty trained FOR AGES.
I don't think that should be on the front of the little newsletter.
How about putting on the front of the newsletter which bulimic staff member ate all the tops off the kids cupcakes or which one steals snacks from the 4 year olds knapsacks? (yes, I worked at one when I was very young for a short while, & those things happened). ~Mary

Jenni Jiggety said...

I think *I* want #3!

Potty training stinks. Pun intended. GOOD LUCK and don't let those preschool people boss ya!

He And Me + 3 said...

i pushed my first one and then let the last two get it when they were ready. It was so less stressful and they were potty trained in a day. It was so easy...they did all the work. They just knew. Therefore I am no help in this department. Sorry.
I like the last potty too. Super cute.
Mimi

Courtney and the Boys said...

Hmm...I'm working on #2...my second child, that is. What I learned from my #1, though, was to wait until he was ready. I waited until he showed interest and was keeping his diaper dry for lengths of time. Much less stress involved when he was the one who made the decision to be trained. He was 3, by the way...

And I love the Jack Potty. Hilarious.

Quiskaeya said...

I'm right there with ya, sitsah sistah! i'm in the throws of potty training and everyone's got a phelethora of advice. Whatcha gonna do, right.

Fresh Mommy said...

Hahaha, I think I like #3 the best as well! Don't fret, it'll happen. I just put my girl in underwear and let her pee on herself... it only took a few times before she was trained!! LOL Thank God it wasn't that many.

:)
~Tabitha

Fresh Mommy said...

Hahaha, I think I like #3 the best as well! Don't fret, it'll happen. I just put my girl in underwear and let her pee on herself... it only took a few times before she was trained!! LOL Thank God it wasn't that many.

:)
~Tabitha

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

I prefer "His majesty's royal throne." My husband needs one of those. ;-)

Sara said...

My 33 month old son has been potty training for over 6 months, so I can relate. :) ("Mom! I need to go potty! Wait. I went in my pull-up. That's ok, right, Mom?")

Willow Tree said...

Would you think less of me if I said I would pay good money to have someone else do the potty training around here? I loathe it. Just hate it to pieces. So even though babygirl is my 3rd time around this horse, I'm going back to read all your comments because I Must be missing something. Maybe it's the slot chair??

Blessings,
C~

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Jack potty! I am rolling ... as much as a pregnant woman can really roll! I love the "sink the battleship" idea.

Rachel said...

So, when your done over there do you care getting on a plane and coming over here? Bitty needs some potty training and I am just not in the mood!! Thanks! ;)

Lis said...

Oh number THREE is AWESOME! I think id go with ONE, well NONE really! I hate changing DIAPERS and I think scrubbing POO from a potty would be worse than THAT! You are hilarious! Good luck with that! Im just about getting there. I think i might try the FILLING with LIQUIDS trick. I think I could do that....... maybe.

T~T said...

okay . . . here's my two cents on this topic . . . I am so laid back about this . . . really, it never bothered me . . . so no pressure is key. I didn't do any tricks either . . . or treats . . . or potty seats . . . just a regular toilet and time - OH, and I let my kids run around ala naked - that seems to really work and I agree with your friend- loads of water!

Jo said...

#3 is my favorite. I'm starting early to get my son interested in sitting on HIS potty... right now, he just wishes to wear it as a hat. Siiigh.

Counselormama said...

We have just very recently become a diaper free house around here, it just happened one day, after countless bribes and plopping him on the toilet to no avail. Finally one day he came running out from the bathroom and said, "I did it! I did it! I pooped in the potty! Come see!" And that is exactly how it happened. When HE was ready!

WhisperingWriter said...

I love that throne one! Ha!

I'm working on potty training my daughter at the moment. It is NOT going well. I do the naked thing but I'm thinking I may not do that anymore since she totally peed in my shoe..

peewee said...

ummm.YAH. WHy can't they make those big sized? why? It's like we get PUNISHED for 'urinating' so well. DO you know how much more fun it would be to go to the bathroom to have the Jack-potty all ready??

i feel so deprived.

Becky said...

Wow, love the third potty! I am 'kind of' training Ellie. When I remember right now.

When Pigs Fly said...

My friend had luck one day when her young one went outside and followed the dog's example. After witnessing the dog pee in the bushes, her son dropped trow and proceeded to follow suit. She somehow transferred that to the toilet as urinating on any available hedge rows would not be appropriate later in life.

By the by, left a follow up comment on my site to clarify. Palin frightens the bejesus out of me too. That might have gotten lost during commentary on the media frenzy.

Lolli said...

I am happy to report that I have successfully potty trained 5 children. I consider it my second greatest accomplishment in life, just slightly behind giving birth to those same 5 children. So you'd think I'd have lots of advice, right? Wrong. They were all different. For K, it was a Barbie sitting on top of the piano that finally motivated her. N was self motivated, and all I had to do was suggest it to her. She was potty trained within days. T, R, and A were a little more work, but it eventually happened.

KC Mom said...

I think any kid would love to leave a jack pot!!
What's with the wooden seat? Doesn't she know they are so much harder to keep clean? Everywhere I've ever lived that had a wooden toilet seat...we've ripped it out. Yuck!!

Felicia - I complete Me said...

I think I'll go with number 3 as well. I can't believe potty training is such a big deal. I mean I can but goodness, so much pressure. I'm going to start potty training my 10 month old now if that is the case. Well not really, but I do want him to get use to being on the toilet.

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Yeah but Francesca, it's not wooden! Ha ha. (#3 that is). You know, each child is different, and I get tired of some thinking that they "have" to be trained by a certian age. I learned that you don't force it, it only frustrates them. They'll know when they are ready. Just my thoughts. ;) Have a great weekend!

Deb said...

I think your Giancarlo and my Princess are about the same age. I really let her take the lead on the potty training, and she only has problems at night now. We have been so pleased, except that she's now officially closer to 4 than 3, so maybe we've dropped the ball on that...

Gibby said...

Wait, the school publishes potty-training status? Hilarious! You have to save that! You can use it as blackmail when he is a teen, LOL!

Joanna Jenkins said...

A newsletter letter with potty training updates! Holy crap. That's a lot of pressure.

Oysterblogger said...

personally I like #1 but I think my son who I am procrastinating potty training with would go for #3

for the record potty training is the worst experience of my life I hated the first two hopefully I can change my attitude the third time...but adopting older kids could be good too

Megan said...

All good options but I agree #3 is best...JACKPOT!! haha! ;0)

SO said...

But the third one, although the best, is not wooden. Go for the second.

Good luck on the training. It will happen.

Heather said...

You're lucky. In Ohio a child can't attend pre-school until they're potty trained. My daughter missed registration by about 3 weeks. We were able to get her in, but I haven't told them she requires someone else to do the wiping. Guess I should work on that the next 2 months and hope she only has to pee at school!