Sunday, October 30, 2011

Poop dream

Dawit is potty trained. Well, he's day-time potty trained. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is potty trained because I'm no longer changing poopy diapers.

How did we do it, you ask?

Here's how it went: We asked. He said no. We chased. He ran away. We smelled the evidence. He lied and said "No poop." We sat him on the potty. He produced nothing. We put his diaper back on. He pooped. We took his diaper off and vowed to watch for signs. We forgot and he pooped on the sidewalk. We sat him on the potty before bath. Nothing. He pooped in the tub. We tested him to see how long he'd sit in a poopy diaper. Then we called Guinness. Then we had a Guinness. Then we gave up.

THAT was a mere couple of weeks ago. Today, we are all four of us celebrating the gloriousness that is a potty. We're visiting it many times a day. We're high fiving over it. And congratulating each other. And waving good-bye to the poop as we flush.

Because we found the secret to potty training a boy: Don't give a crap.

Seriously. Put your mind in a place where you don't care if it ever happens. And I don't mean secretly care but pretend that you don't. Toddlers can detect that desire like you can detect a poopy diaper from 50 yards. If he suspects you care, it'll never happen.

You've got to completely give up the poop dream: Quit asking. Quit bribing. Quit buying M&Ms that only you are eating. Start researching size 7 diapers. Reinforce your changing table so it can handle 55 pounds. Draft that letter to his future kindergarten teacher warning that your son will be the first to enter school in diapers. Put away the cute Thomas and Friends undies. Put it all out of your mind.

Only when you extinguish all expectations will it happen.

It's really quite liberating because all you have to do is ... quit wanting it.

Please undertand that all of the above is just a bunch of bull. I no more have the secret than the 40 other people who've written books on the subject. This is simply what worked for us. But mainly because we're lazy. And because, in most circumstances, we don't mind our toddler sitting for three hours in his own feces if he doesn't mind -- as long as he doesn't want to snuggle.

I will say that recently we added a rule that everyone in the family -- toddler included -- sits before bed and upon waking each day. We didn't ask, and we didn't use words like pee or poop. We just called it sitting, and there were no expectations.

That's all it took. Something clicked. Now he asks 5 or 6 times a day. Even though he's about a year behind Caroline, he's way easier because there are no head games. He doesn't yell out from bed that he has to poop just to delay bedtime. If he has to go, he goes.

One less thing. Yay.


Shadley said...

Oh my word. This post is heroic and hilarious and the best thing I've read in my life. I love you Lori Inman.

Bridget said...

Seriously. This is an AWESOME post, Lori. I love it!!! true!

Kimpossible said...

I love this post too. One of your best ever, in fact. How poop inspires us all.

Me. Us. She. said...

Did you post this for me?? If so, I thank you and am coming out of commenting retirement to comment. :) Guess A does really sense how much I care. Going to buy some size 6 diapers and keep on trucking.

Norma said...

Send this to a parenting magazine. It's priceless.

Aunt Al said...

I agree with Mom -- great post! Dig the headline too, a nod to one of my favorite documentaries. Way to go, Dawie. And isn't this a sort of Buddhist approach? Releasing expectation?