Potty training is kicking my ass. I have now decided that hearing yet another friend say that their child is potty trained/ making huge strides in potty training/ is out of diapers/ wearing “big boy” pants or any other reference to potty training is much much worse than having another girlfriend tell me she’s pregnant. The pregnant thing I can almost handle. The potty training… it is slowly killing me.
There are signs that a child exhibits that indicate to a parent that they are ready to go on the big potty. My son exhibits nearly every one of these signs. He knows about the potty, all parts involved in going on the potty, he stays dry for long periods and wakes up from nap and sometimes bed dry. He hides when he does his business and is rather uncomfortable when he has a poopy diaper. However, if you ask him if he’s poo-poo he replies, “nope.” However, my child is 2 and this is the standard answer for everything. “Oleg, you want juice?” “Nope.” Get up to get said juice. “JUICE!” Child squeals with glee. See what I mean.
The trusty husband is convinced that the Russians broke our child. This is no disservice to the Russians, the caregivers at the orphanage or the system at all. I have always been and always will be a huge supporter of the people who took care of my son for the first two months of his life. But you imagine trying to potty train 15 kids at the same time. Rather than the classic wait until they are ready, Russian orphanages potty train children all at the same time. They herd children into the washroom and sit them down until they do their business.
When we talked with the doctor at the orphanage she told us the boy’s reaction to sitting on the pot was quiet. Pot. At the time I thought is was a misinterpretation. It wasn’t until I got the photos back from the disposable camera we left that I realized that pot was not a misinterpretation, but the actual device used to potty train my child. It explains so much.
While the boy shows readiness to use the potty, he also shows some more disturbing behaviors that, I am sure, are directly related to how he was “potty trained.” The boy hates to be left alone while sitting on the potty. He refuses to go in the potty. In 8 months we have gotten him to pee 3 times on the potty. Then there is the fear of the public toilet. I am not talking about, “uppa Mama” fear. This is uncontrollable screaming and shaking fear even at the mere mention of going into a public toilet. Monday morning I went shopping with Kathou and Chickadee and we both needed to change diapers. Kathou went first, but as soon as the boy got close to the washroom door (he didn’t even see a toilet) he went ballistic. I changed him in the back of Kathou’s car.
I understand his dislike for the potty. I really do. I would be traumatized by his potty experience also. For that reason I am cutting him huge amounts of slack. HUGE! I’ve tried putting the potty seat away and giving it a go another day, but he loots my closet and finds the seat, pulls it out and plays with it. He asks repeatedly to watch the Elmo Potty Time movie. He pretends the arm of his chair is a potty. He puts the Little People on the “potty” in his car garage. He knows that he needs to flush, wash and dry his hands. The kid has every aspect of this potty thing down except the going. It. is. driving. me. insane. I will continue to give him time. What else can I do? Hell, I even bring up that when he can go on the big boy potty he gets to go to school. He gets excited, we have about 18 hours of potty ok-ness, where he sits on the potty without trying to rip my head off, doesn’t go and then wets himself as soon as he crosses the threshold of the bathroom. Then at the mere mention of going potty he will flip out. It is a vicious cycle.