Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tandem Potty Training?

I've been terrified of the prospect of potty training since before I ever had children, so I'll admit to a great deal of hesitance at taking it on. Combine that with a very stubborn toddler, a completely carpeted playroom, lack of easy access to a bathroom, and the near-constant companionship of two younger siblings, both of whom need lots of attention and one of whom thinks the potty seat is fun to play with, and I've got a great deal more reasons not to pursue it with any real determination.

However, time is ticking onward, and I'm not only feeling like Abby is getting a bit old to not be potty-trained, I'm getting more and more weary of having to keep up diaper duty times three. Also, my back is getting pretty weary of having to lift a 40+ lb toddler up on to the changing table multiple times a day to do so.

As a result, I've been trying to make a push for it here and there, and meeting with increasing resistance every time. We're now to the point where Abby has completely lost interest in sitting on the potty chair at all, even when the promise of a sticker is dangled in front of her.

Someone has been watching our ongoing struggle, however, and has begun to take notice. As Abby's focus has waned, Michael's curiosity has been piqued, and he's begun to spend more time actually sitting on the potty seat (grinning ear-to-ear) and less time trying to place it over his head or stand inside of it. He comes with his own set of challenges, however- namely that he won't sit still for more than about 15 seconds- so I've been reluctant to place him on the seat bare-bummed, only to have him run off and potentially mess on the rug, instead.

He does seem to be figuring out how the whole thing works, though, so it is my hope that by the time we're ready to do more diaper-less sitting, he can get down to business right away and not have to sit on the seat for long stretches at a time. The first step seems to be allowing him access to the potty chair and watching him go through the motions. Today, when I did so, I'm fairly certain that he was sitting on it when he chose his moment to poop in a diaper.

He's got a pretty regular schedule, so I'll be interested to see if he repeats the behavior tomorrow morning. He's still at the low end of the suggested age range to begin, and I hear all the time about how boys tend to take longer, so I'm setting no expectations. However, if this is truly the beginning of something significant, I'll be interested to see if Abby will finally find the motivation to train, herself.

Part of me is counting on her tendency to follow her brother's lead, since I am all too eager to get this milestone behind me, but the other part of me is pretty freaked out by the possibility. I haven't even figured out how to tackle this with one child- will I really end up training two at once?

Nothing is certain- that's for sure- but I have a feeling that it's Michael's readiness I need to gauge, now. Once he sets his mind to learning, hopefully everything else will fall into place.