I am sure that given time I will revise this opinion, but so far potty training has been THE most difficult parenting task I had with Robbie.
First of all it was very hard to convince him to sit on the potty or do without his nappy. Second it is near impossible to get him to understand that No.2 belongs in the potty and not in the nappy, or underpants or on the couch and flo0r for that matter.
I tried various strategies, from bribery and cajolery to brute force persuasion – the latter resulted in the both of us spending a whole afternoon “stuck” in the bathroom, because we were only allowed to get out once the potty is used successfully.
Initially I tried to put him in underpants : He thought the underpants were a good substitute for a nappy and used them as such.
I tried bare bum – and I am still doing it, which resulted in the accidents I mentioned earlier on the floor and the sofa.
In the evening I used to put his sleep nappy after a bath and just before I tucked him in, but he quickly learned to time his poo for this, and sometimes filled the nappy from the horizontal position, which is a great feat in my opinion for someone who claims that doing it on the potty is “hard”.
Meanwhile the tricks of rewards have done very little to convince him: So far my child has done without chocolate, and his beloved radio, and he still hasn’t graced the potty with a substantial product – He did not have any bowel movement for the last 48 hours and I finally resorted to a mild laxative. Hopefully I will not regret this.
What is finally working for No1 is a potty toy. A small musical wind-up box that plays a German song : Hänschen Klein. It has accompanying colorful cards, which contain a few dozen of other songs, most of which are familiar to him from the German tapes and CDs he loves. At least this worked magic for the appeal of sitting on the potty to make a wee. At the creche he also has no problems or accidents and they have their own methods of convincing the children to do what they are supposed to. Also the peer pressure (or should I say pee-er pressure) of other potty-goers probably helps. But we are still waiting for the other monumental achievement, of actually making a poo on the potty.
So exasperated I was from all of this that I actually promised my boy to tell the stories of potty-training failures one day to his girlfriend, to which he replied smugly : “Gina is my go-fend”, so it seems like I missed that one.
Another little thing he told me today while arranging his table and chair to resemble a huge speaker (have no idea how he saw they did) – he said: This is “fuss-tate-ing” – I am sure he picked it up from my up-beat vocabulary during this experience.
PS : I was interrupted while writing this by another accident of major proportions on the floor. All I can say is thank god I have no carpets in my flat. And the battle continues, this is now week three.