This is Day 22 of my 30-day writing challenge. Loving the shape that this challenge has taken on so far. It is allowing me to learn so much more, giving me fresh insight into who I am as an individual as well as offering a platform to connect with my readers and moms across the globe.
Today’s post is inspired by an incident that happened this morning, but first things first. My son is fully potty trained at 3.5 years (thank God, diapers are oh-so costly!). It’s taken a year plus to get here. I opted to start off with day potty training since I figured two-part potty training would be kinder on us as opposed to introducing both routines simultaneously. That, plus I was was still in the doldrums of depression. So even day potty training was difficult.
At the onset, the slip ups were so frequent, especially considering Jayden had converted his potty into a Ferrari. So, I’d try as much as possible to sync his feeding time, nap time and potty time so that he’d learn to use it. Many days, I’d show him the potty, he’d say he didn’t feel like peeing, only to walk a few steps and create a puddle, or a jet to the wall depending on which came first. I’d lose it. It was worse when these accidents happened with poop as described in this post. Postpartum Depression (PPD) made potty training hard because I’d take it out on him if he didn’t remember to use his potty.
Occasionally, when fatigued, I’d simply put him on diapers and give myself an ‘off’. Once he got the hang of it, he stopped wearing diapers during the day. He even graduated himself to using the toilet *proud mommy moment*. All that remained was night potty training, which I wasn’t too enthusiastic to start because I knew it meant interrupted sleeping patterns. Then I weighed that, versus the cost of diapers, and resorted to night potty training ASAP.
At the start, I figured I’d have to wake him up twice at night. Jayden would usually sleep at 10PM, or 9PM on good/tiring days. I’d program myself to sleep at midnight so that I’d wake him up to do his first wee. Then again at 4AM for the same. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes I heard the alarm buzz for Jayden’s wee, and half asleep, I’d just switch it off, only to wake up to his wet bedsheets. This would irk me, because it meant cleaning up before he left for school. At the time, I had also banned any drinks after 5PM (save for water when he brushed his teeth).
As he gradually got the hang of it, I cut down the number of times I woke him up by half, and so I set the alarm for 2AM everyday, without fail. It became automatic, so much so that if I forgot and woke up 20 minutes later, he’d be soaking wet. And that’d mean changing him into a dry set of clothes and cleaning up, at 3 freaking AM. So I rarely forgot the 2AM call.
A little while later, I realized that he’d gotten used to it, and I could skip the 2AM call altogether. The ban on drinks was pushed to 7PM. He’d do dry nights for 3 weeks straight, and have an occasional accident. I learnt not to be brash with him for this, he was putting in effort, evidently.
So today, waking up to his wet bed sheets and a cranky toddler (he detests waking up soaked in his pee!), first thing he does is cry, and ask why he peed on himself, and why yesternight I didn’t remind him to brush his teeth. Wheew, This is not my idea of starting my mornings, but I am taking it in stride, and praying for grace.
See, his night routine looks something like this: Have dinner> Shower> Play a little >Brush teeth > Night time pee > Bedtime reading > Prayer > Cuddles > Snoring. Started this sometime this year, and it stuck. And yesterday mom was too tired, she didn’t remember Jayden hadn’t brushed his teeth. He dozed off in mom’s arms, and so wise moms know when baby is asleep, you don’t wake them up unless it is an emergency.
When Jayden woke up all cranky this morning, it suddenly dawned on me how powerful routines are in parenting. Little wonder he felt something was off. I apologized and let him know; today I would remind him to brush his teeth!
How did potty training work for you? Did you do day and night potty training simultaneously or opted to deal with each stage desperately? How about routines? Are there any routines that have worked for you in your parenting? Let’s share in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you!
Featured Image Photo Credits: Potty Training Tips