While Andy and my mom have started to get into potty training Michael, I’ve remained pretty laid back. It’s not that I don’t think potty training is important; it’s just that I see something in Michael that I know he gets from me. The child is contrary, and as a contrary person, I know what kinds of “motivation” do not work. (Read as anything external.)
My approach to potty training is to model the behavior and talk about it when it comes up naturally. Considering Michael’s tendency to follow me into the bathroom, I’ve done plenty of modeling, even when I don’t want to. Michael has shown no interest in potty training and continues to hide in the game closet in our basement anytime he needs to do his business.
Imagine my surprise last night when he pulled his potty book off the shelf and started to press the flushing button. He brought it over to Andy and me and asked us to read it to him. After a few read-throughs, we asked Michael if he wanted to try out his potty.
“Yes!” he answered as he ran for the bathroom. Sure enough, he pulled down his pants and had me take off his diaper. He grinned at me and sat his little naked tushy on his potty. I grinned back because, well, how could I not?
Over the next 15 minutes I realized just how complex going to the potty really is. I watched him wiggle and squirm on the potty to get comfortable. Once comfortable, he decided he needed to investigate what was going on down there. I think he was calculating the possibilities of what different aiming could do, but I can’t be sure.
Next, he decided I needed to join him. I’m all for modeling, so why not. That’s when toilet paper entered the scene. I’ve never really contemplated TP very much, but Michael sure did. He rubbed it just about everywhere except the one place he should have. When he was done with it, he balled it up and handed it to me. Ah…thanks?
Things started getting a little silly from there. When his foot ended up in the potty I decided to wrap it up. There was no actual going potty in the potty, but I felt that it was a very positive experience over all. It was certainly better than his first exposure to the potty as seen here.