Friday, March 20, 2009

Thoughts on Potty Training

I felt a little twinge of both guilt and jealousy the other day when I learned a friend is beginning to potty train her 18-month-old daughter. I assumed I wouldn't begin with Kiki until Joe has mastered it himself. Granted, this friend's little girl has been taking off her pajamas and diaper at night and wetting the bed, and I am SO GRATEFUL we are not having those kinds of issues (yet). But these types of things always make me wonder if any one of my children would be better off if I could give them more individual attention. Attention they aren't getting because there are 500 of them and only one of me.

Anyway, Joe is making progress. At 10:30 every morning he visits the potty and does his thing. But allow me to illustrate a typical session so you can see why I don't think I will survive this with two more children:

I begin by suggesting to Joe that he go sit on the potty. He eagerly complies and we go into the bathroom, followed by Dan and Kiki who begin grabbing the urine guard off the potty chair. I distract them by asking them to go get some books for Joe to read. While they toddle off, I get Joe situated on the potty. Dan and Kiki return and hand their books to Joe. I then announce that Joe needs privacy and try to shoo the little ones out. Kiki attempts to close the door herself and Dan sits on the floor, blocking her from being able to shut it. Screeching and protesting ensue. I finally get both of them out. A few minutes later Joe calls out "Poop! Poop! Wee-Wee!" so I go back to help him. I then dispose of the contents of the potty, clean the potty, clean Joe, put a new diaper on him, help him wash his hands, dry his hands, and help him put a sticker on his potty chart, all the while fending off Dan and Kiki who are grabbing the potty chair, holding onto the toilet set, playing with the toilet paper, falling into the bathtub, or ripping Joe's sticker chart off the wall.

It. Is. Maddening.

And it is entirely possible that in a few months all three kids will be training at the same time.