At the beginning of October, after many months of procrastination, my husband and I decided to suck it up and potty train the eldest. Nursery had been telling us to do it for around six months but a house move, a new baby and general can’t-be-arsedness/fear had put us off. James was two years and eight months old. Too late? Maybe but definitely not too soon. Obviously, we ballsed it up along the way, so here’s a few things we learnt.
Yes, it’s good to reward and the carrot is ALWAYS better than the stick in these circumstances. No one wants to create anxiety but where the frick do you draw the line? Now he expects a prize each time he sits on the loo. “Mummy, I need a prize now.”Err, Mummy needs a million quid, a date with Umar Siddiqui from Gogglebox or Andy off Cbeebies, a size 8 figure and 8 hours sleep a night but that ain’t life, sweet cheeks. Sorry! We are done with rewards here!
Don’t buy boxers.
OK, so you may not want to see your husband in budgie smugglers (well, you might if he looks like David Beckham) but two year olds definitely need ballies. Gross as it sounds, they contain things. No one wants little marbles of poo rolling out of trousers (it happens). NB, You may need to encourage your son to call them undies and not knickers, as James insists on calling them. Fetishes start early.
Don’t forget spare shoes.
Wee dribbles down legs and pools in shoes. Accidents at football without spare shoes result in squelching around the sports hall, leaving a trail of moisture. Soggy shoes aren’t pleasant for anyone. A fantastic tip for dealing with this; don’t place wee-soaked navy shoes in your best WHITE Egyptian cotton pillowcase and then throw them in the washing machine. Your pillowcase will turn into a patchy navy mess. (Husband, I am looking in YOUR direction!)
Don’t be surprised if it all goes tits up.
Something will happen and you will have a setback. For example, some oblivious arsehole stranger will turn on the hand dryer in the leisure centre toilets and your child will freak out, refuse the toilet and, instead, piss themselves in public after two weeks, accident free. Sadly, people won’t know that your toddler is terrified of hand dryers, hair dryers and the hoover. You just have to hope that they use paper towels or are dirty buggers and don’t wash their hands at all because, to be honest, that’s more realistic than the idea that your freak child will get over their weird little hang ups any time soon.
Protest Pissing is a thing.
Somehow, kids realise pretty quickly how to cause you maximum inconvenience. It’s a pain constantly changing wet pants and carrying around 57 pairs of undies, sock, shoes and a towel to wipe up mess. So clearly, it’s an awesome idea to piss themselves when they don’t like something. Whether it’s asking them to put the toilet seat down before they sit on the toilet, telling them off for biting or asking them to just eat their goddamn dinner, the best way to give you the two-fingered salute, before they actually learn how to do it, is just to let it flow, let it flow!!! “Tell me what to do, Mummy? I don’t think so! I’ll wee and you will HAVE to change me. Mwahahahahaha!”
Don’t worry that you have left it too late. It’s better than too early. Don’t feel pressured by others. Don’t let people make you feel like you are a bad parent for waiting. Don’t feel like you can’t leave the house ever again. Accidents happen outside the home. It’s fine. You will go through millions of undies and wash more pants than ever before. (Top tip, buy cheap Primark or supermarket ones and bin pooy ones. Ain’t nobody got time for washing shit from tiny pants. BIN. BIN. BIN!) Don’t worry because, one day, it will click. One day, it will be more likely that you piss yourself when you cough than your child having an accident, because two kids have meant your bladder has given up the ghost and no amount of Pelvic Floor Exercises can ever repair it. Tenalady, anyone?