Why potty training was taking over my life
Potty training is such a simple concept. You feel the urge and you run to the potty. At least, that is what I thought and what most people who don't have kids think. My parents ask me why is it taking so long. Arabs tend to potty train at age 1. My Joe is 3 and we are still working on it. We have been working on it for so long. Friends tell me that boys take longer. They have less control. I remember we had a neighbor in Lebanon potty trained all 4 kids at the age of 6 Months. When I asked how did she even do it, the answer always made it seem so simple. She noticed their pattern and put them on the potty every day when they naturally went. Eventually, they refused to do it in the diaper and would wait until they are on the potty.
When Joe was about 1-years old I tried training their way. I notice every day between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM he went. I took the opportunity to try and train him. Every morning I put him on the potty nothing would happen. After a week of trying and keeping track of how his pattern changed. I noticed there was no pattern anymore. When I put him on the potty, he avoided going. I kept trying for about a month. At this point, the whole theory was dismissed. There was no pattern to follow anymore. I realized it was too early and he does not get the concept. It was foreign, scary and intimidating to him. It made him uncomfortable. I asked a lot of Arab mom's how they trained so early. A lot of them admitted that they spanked the kids few times. I did not see the need to scare my kid into potty training so I put it on hold.
Then I got pregnant with Bill, everyone was trying to be helpful and adviced me to potty train Joe before the baby comes. They said it will be too hard changing diapers for both. This time Joe was 18 months. I gave it another shot. I went online and we watched youtube videos of other kids being potty trained. I made sure Joe was watching with me. I asked him if he wanted to get rid all of his diapers like the little girl did in the video. He said yes!. I got really excited. I was so sure this is it. I taught him the difference between wet and dry underwear as suggested by one of the videos. We went to the store he picked his own underwear. Something he really likes. The next day we took off the diaper and started the training. I put him on the potty every 30 minutes for 5 minutes. It failed miserably. He waited until he got up to go. I tried to make him feel bad that he peed on Marshall. He loved paw patrol and picked underwear with Paw Patrol characters drawn on them. I kept telling him how sad Marshall is for being wet. I tried for a week and it was not working. I was cranky, tired and did not have it in me to keep going upstairs to get new underwear everytime we needed to change. I had to do laundry every night because I needed clean underwear the next day for training. At this point, I stopped and thought I would rather deal with the constant diaper changing. I was pregnant and heavy. It might have been laziness on my part but I know he didn't understand what to do. He was confused and I was exhausted. We put it on hold again.
Bill was born and Joe was 2 years old. After I felt settled and comfortable, I tried again. Joe was almost 2 and a half at this point. I went and bought him stickers and a bunch of toys from the dollar store. I talked about the toys to get him excited. When I got home, I drew a chart for him. I explained to him that every time he goes on the potty, he gets a sticker. When he gets 3 stickers, he gets to choose a toy from the bag. He had a couple of accidents but started doing great. After a week I stopped the stickers and gift chart. Joe was going out with underwear and was diaper free for about a month. My brother comes to visit us and all of a sudden Joe starts hiding in the corner and peeing himself. He stopped telling me and refused to sit on the potty. I got distracted with life and before I knew it he was in diapers again.I talked to a nurse and she pointed out that boys are usually ready around 3-3.5 years old. She also said that having a new baby in the house delays them even more. Some mothers told me that once baby number 2 came their first child started having lots of accidents and some of them went back to diapers for a while. I decided to wait and give Joe time. I attempted to train him on 3 different occasions and all failed miserably.
Beginning in February 2018 Joe woke up one day and refused to wear his diaper. He insisted on wearing only underwear and would get upset when I put him in a diaper before bed. He would wake up crying in the middle of the night that he needs to potty. I thought this is it! he is ready. I was putting him on the potty every 45 minutes and he was doing great. He was dry the whole time but it wasn't him. I had a timer and if I missed it he had an accident. He still didn't 100% know before he needed to go. So I stopped putting on the potty and waited until he asked to go. I wanted him to the feeling and learn to ask. He started having fewer accidents. He was starting to know when he needs to go. He was dry for about a month before he stopped telling me and started having accidents again. He doesn't want to wear his diaper but doesn't want to use the potty.
This time the failure of potty training is on me. This time I got lazy to push him to try. I told him if he wants to wear underwear with no diaper he has to earn it. He has to keep his diaper dry for a full day before I switch him to underwear. Before I knew it, he was wearing diapers full time again. This time I know he understands the concept. If I take away something he loves and I tell him that he can have it back when he uses the potty. He uses the potty. I don't know why he refuses to use it all the time. I am still giving him some time. My friend's daughter woke up one day and decided to stay dry and never had an accident since. I am hoping this is what will happen here.
Every kid is different. They grasp different concepts on their own time. In this subject, I prefer to give the time he needs. I want him to want to do it rather than do it out of fear. I learned not to be hard on myself because my 3-year-old is not potty trained yet. I know he will be trained when he is 100% ready.
When we went out during the times Joe was being trained. I used Pottette. It was really handy to have every time we were out. Especially, when Joe refused to use the public toilets. You don't have to buy the special bags for it. Any grocery plastic bag will do.