I can already hear some tongue-in-cheek replies to that question about to roll off your lips. So before you start on my mental health, today we're here to talk about an altogether different kind of potty.
The kind that makes a two-year old dance with excitement upon using said receptacle (although I tell I small white lie as I actually mean the big hole in the floor not the little pretend one that kids sometimes start out with). The dancing with excitement is because he knows he's about to get a sticker and a chocolate mnm (very apt in our case of course!) for doing a wee in the toilet.
We started out on this journey the day after getting back from our holiday, not really too sure how it would go but feeling (more like hoping) the time would be right. But also knowing that Mr. M's personality is pretty different to his older brother's. Noah = malleable and would do anything to please, Mylo = not so much.
So we started out cold turkey in undies on Day 1 into undies with some very frequent reminders from mum and dad to 'let us know if you need to go for a wee'. This was us trying to follow the principles of the 'how to get your child trained in 3 days' book I had been lent by the head teacher at daycare.
Well we managed a few wees (1 mnm) and even a poo (2 mnms) on the toilet over the course of the next three days amongst a fair few accidents all over the house to go with it. The poor kid was cooped up at home, not allowed to leave the house but he didn't really seem to mind or notice (which I think was an advantage having been away for nearly 2 weeks before that, he was quite happy just hanging out).
After Day 3, we didn't really feel as if we could see much progress and every 'let us know if you need a wee, Mylo' was met by an 'OK' and then five minutes later we'd have a waterfall all over the floor. And if we ever asked him if he needed to go, it would, without fail, be met with a definite 'NO' despite the fact he might be (at the very same time) straining to fill his undies with something of the brown variety.
So we changed tack the following day, instigating a sticker chart for anytime he even tried to go, and set an alarm to go off every half an hour. On only about the third time I went to pull down his undies for a timed wee but was met with an 'but I've got poos, Mum'. Choice. And that was not the only code brown of the day.
We persevered through Saturday and Sunday with the timed toilet trips, sometimes with nothing to show for it but a sticker, but other times hearing the joyful sound of a tinkle in the toilet.
So it was with more than a little apprehension that we sent him back to daycare on Monday, wondering how on earth the first day would pan out, and hoping that it wouldn't be an epic fail, and we'd have to give up on the whole idea.
At this point, I must stop and extol the virtues of having a fantastic daycare, and an awesome bunch of teachers who are super encouraging and supportive and who totally embraced assisting us through the process. Which was a good thing, as Day 1 brought mixed success, there were quite a few wees on the toilet but also 3 wee accidents and a code brown (gah!) too.
But here is where our story takes a turn......
We'll never know what it was, perhaps a sudden firing of a neuron in the brain overnight or something like it, but Mylo woke up on Tuesday morning, asked Dad to take him to the toilet twice before they left for daycare, and proceeded to have 3 totally accident free days from there on in (even managing one poo on the toilet at daycare during that time).
We have been completely amazed (in a nice way) at the sudden transition from complete unawareness and reluctance to even sit on the toilet to this in a week and a half. Pleasantly surprised, as little Mr's personality is such that I really wondered if we would have a long battle on our hands. But on the other hand it appears there is much to be said for consistency, encouragement, praise, focus, and perseverance.
On about Day 3 of the journey, I went back and read the fantastic posts that Angela-Noelle of Striking Keys wrote on the subject mid-last year. I would totally encourage you to do the same if you are heading down this path in the not-so-distant future. They really gave me hope that he would get there, and that the smallest of victories is worth celebrating. You can find them here:
Toilet Training: Mental Exhaustion
Toilet Training: Our Strategies
Toilet Training: Appendix A
Toilet Training: Months Later
But just so you don't think I'm totally skiting about how well Mylo has made the transition and how we have it all in the bag (or all in the toilet as the case may be), I have a final story for you.
I took the boys grocery shopping Friday morning, and I made sure we ALL went to the toilet before leaving the house, and we all went again whilst out at Pak n Save (despite the fact I'm not a big fan of supermarket toilets). And again, no accidents all day. That was until I took them both out to Kilbirnie pool that afternoon. He did wear a swimming nappy in the pool (it's early days and I sure don't want to be the one responsible for closing a busy regional aquatic centre during school holidays due to a...what do they call it...oh yeah....faecal incident. So I was smart on one front, but I should have insisted after we were all changed afterwards that we all do a wee before coming home. I was kind of going on the assumption that being in the water all that time, any need for a wee would have come and merely been captured in said swimming nappy.
But apparently not. So there was a mother of all floods for me to deal with when we got home, a boy who got sheepishly out of the car with a dripping wet bottom half, a soaked toddler seat, the volume of it meant it had even heavily soaked the actual seat of the car underneath. I guess that'll learn me.
So for now, I'll accept this is a journey. We'll win some days and we'll lose some. And through it all, I will...