Next month, my son starts one of the scariest journeys that his father and I have yet to trod with him, potty training.
You would be so proud of us reader, we got over our fear of removing the pacifier from his bedtime ritual a month ago and are steadily working on breaking him from the sippy cup habit. Our dentist would be so excited. So that takes care of one end of him, but the other end of him… that’s a complete mystery.
Our pediatrician told us that two and half was a great age to start boys training and to be honest, I can’t believe that age is here already. I’ve never minded changing diapers. I never thought of it as this huge burden. I’ve even thought of diapers as pretty helpful in the winter. Once he’s in his snowsuit, there’s no need to rush back up stairs and strip it off if he has to pee.
But now, here we are. He’s two and a half and there the potty sits.
I’ve been pouring over articles online and in every parenting book. Three day methods, five day methods, kids in diapers until they’re in college methods and have no clue which one to try. Cold turkey into underwear? Training pants? Naked as a jay bird? No clue.
What is the biggest fear I have surrounding the entire thing? The same fear that I have every day raising this kid, that I will screw him up. Sound familiar parents? I worry every day that when he’s my age, he’ll be forever laying on a therapy bench talking about the time that his mother forced him to sit on the potty when he wasn’t good and ready.
I mean, let’s face it, the thing is scary, It looks like a big mouth that you have to hover all of your vulnerable parts over until something comes out of you. And if you make the giant mouth happy, you get an M&M!
I still remember having vivid dreams as a child of our family toilet chasing me around the house, screaming at me to sit on it. Good God, is that a messed up image or what?
But it’s one that I still carry with me. I remember wiping, flushing and then bolting, pants still around my ankles, thinking something was going to come out of that water and chomp me in the butt. So… a lot of hang ups with the toilet.
Will it be the same for my son? Will he wake up screaming about the potty? Will he never want to sit on it? Will it be my fault because I didn’t do the three day method or training pants or tie a chamber pot to his waist? All questions that will be swirling around this house next month.