This is the story of why we are not potty training our nearly three year old.
Lila is potty training herself; you've heard of baby led weaning? Well this is the toilet version. I'm not sure if this is an actual thing or if I am just breaking out of the muma-society mould here, I'm sure you'll let me know...
She stood in a puddle of wee, in the middle of the park, sobbing; wet knickers, wet leggings and wet shoes...
It had been one week since we declared 'potty training' had began. this is back in 2013, and I am talking about our eldest daughter Darcie. She was exactly 2.5 years old, and numerous 'experts' (butty-in elders and judgmental Gina-Ford types ) had been surprised that Darcie wasn't potty trained-
"What with the baby on the way..."
I was panicking that the world would stop spinning as I knew it with 'the coming of baby No.2', and decided that we should of course get cracking with this potty training lark.
We lasted one week before I couldn't bare to see her wet herself and struggle anymore.
I had listened to other parents tell me of their potty training antics - us mumas have great chat, right?! MONTHS some of them had spent watching their toddlers wet and poo themselves. In public, in the car, at home: you name it.
I just couldn't do it. It just strikes me as a bit demeaning really. I would HATE to wee myself in Morrisons, so why would I think it ok to have my child do this? Why would I make my daughter wear knickers day after day standing by while she poos herself, looking helpless, telling her "she's almost there". Nah, that's not my style. So we made the decision to avoid putting pants on our kids, until they ask.
I know using that word demeaning in association with potty training is probably going to get some backs up. I know that it's all about personal choice and we all want what's best for our children. Of course we do- that's a muma's mantra. I also realise that using the loo and making that leap of faith from nappies needs to be taught, and learnt. But do we really need to force a round peg into a square hole here?
So we waited. We waited months, and months, our new baby arrived, and we celebrated Darcie's third birthday. STILL IN NAPPIES.
And then it happened; one spring afternoon, down the stairs she came with her Peppa Pig knick-knocks on.
Darcie never put a nappy back on again. From that moment she used the toilet, not the potty. She was old enough to tell me when she wanted to go, she was old enough to sit on the toilet without having to lug a potty EVERYWHERE with us.
Darcie is now five years old, and we have never had to remind her to use the loo before we go out. Nor do we check if she needs it when we are out and about. I leave it up to her.
Her accident record is zero.
I'm not saying that's purely down to the approach we used, that, we'll never know. But I am sure that never making a big deal out of all of this toilet related stuff has helped her.
So now it's Lila's turn. When she wants to wear knickers she does. When she wants to wear a pull up, guess what: she does! Sometimes she likes to use the loo, and other times she doesn't. But you know what, more and more she is opting to use to use it. I have checked that nursery aren't pushing her with toilet training and they have been very supportive of our choice to let Lila decide when she is ready to ditch the nappies- and start saving us a fortune.
I suppose the point of telling you all of this toilet related goodness is because I wish I had read that you don't have to potty train like its a military operation, and you don't need to label it:
"WE ARE POTTY TRAINING" *like a declaration of battle*
Just introducing the potty n knickers combo and offering those things, rather than pushing them is enough.
They will get there eventually. It's not a race.
I felt a huge pressure to succeed at potty training. And for what?! To gloat like a Gloatey McKnob that my daughter is wearing knickers before she's learnt to pick her nose?
Our nearly three year old has enough on her plate - she is learning to speak, to form opinions, deal with frustrations, realising that book cases make great ladders, and all the while, brewing her next uber tantrum.
She doesn't need this kind of shit in her life right now: literally.
I'll keep you posted on how the toddler-led toilet training is going- I know you'll all be on the edge of your seats awaiting this update...
Until then, I'd love to know if anyone else has had a similar experience to me and has used, or is using this method?