The Potty Training Book I Need

20 May

So I went to the bookstore tonight and learned a couple of things.

First of all, people do not seem to enjoy your being in close proximity to them in a bookstore when your baby is screaming bloody murder and your toddler is having a “Mommy pay attention to me fit” while wearing only a polo shirt, sandals and his Diego underpants (more on his wardrobe later).  First of all it’s a video, music, and bookstore so it’s not exactly silent. It’s not like we were behaving this way in a library (or a mosque or something). And it’s not like their “no shoes, no shirt, no service” sign said ANYTHING about pants. In my opinion case closed.

The other thing that I learned (besides the fact that I’ve been so exposed to their antics and generally loud volume that I am either just not fazed by it or perhaps I am partially deaf) is that there are very few (if any) practical books for parenting toddlers. A confession: I love parenting books, as well as advice books in general. Typically books like that make me feel more capable and confident. In retrospect however, I bet that my fellow
shoppers were either shocked or relived to see me browsing the parenting section. Perhaps they enjoyed the irony (although based on their faces I’m going to guess not).

When I was pregnant with my first son I had read seriously every book on pregnancy before the end of my first trimester. And before the end of my pregnancy I had also polished off all of the books on parenting newborns through the first year.  These books had useful pertinent information and advice. For example when you are pregnant you shouldn’t eat cold deli meat (sad) or scoop the cat box (score!). And in newborns you should always take a rectal temperature when they are sick (eww) and you should start sleep training
before six months. I loved all of the practical advice (and secretly pitied “less prepared” moms who lacked my
literary advantage).

Now I have a toddler and the advice I need appears nowhere in book. My most recent examples:

So we are currently attempting to potty train our just over two and a half year old.  I say ‘attempting’
because it is not working out so well. Yesterday Logan went potty on his special potty chair at 3:20, right before we left the house.  He peed a lot so I helped him put on his big boy undies (or as he calls them “annies”) and figured we were good to go. We usually set him on the potty about every hour plus when he asks to go, and he
usually can do okay at staying pretty dry. So we arrive at our play date at 3:45 and he is still dry.  Woo hoo! We
are doing good! Then in the next 2 hours and 15 minutes, he proceeds to have 6 accidents despite sitting on the potty 4 times (and going pee on the potty 3 of those times). I ask you where was all this pee coming from?! My favorite part was how he had an accident about 5 minutes before we left our play date, so I cleaned him up and he finished peeing on the potty. As we left he managed to pee directly on our host’s front steps. He finishes and says “uh-oh. I think I need go potty.” I’ve got news for you buddy, you already did! The best part of the story (in my opinion) is that there were only a couple of drops of pee in his “annies,” but he managed to leave a puddle on the steps.  I guess it has to be an anatomy thing, but I don’t have boy parts (thank God because I don’t think my husband would like me anymore and even if he did I can imagine we would have had a much harder time conceiving the children) so I really don’t know how you can pee out your shorts while keeping your undies virtually clean. Yes, my child was actually fully clothed in this anecdote.

Which leads us to today.
My sister and I took my boys and her 2 year old daughter (who is also potty training) to the YMCA.  First I
worked up a sweat before we even left for the gym by safely installing all three car seats in the back of my tiny Hyundai Accent. I managed to get them all properly secured (even though I had to forcefully shut- okay slam- the back doors. We got to the Y without incident and we took our toddlers into go potty in the daycare’s bathroom. They both peed without a hitch (well except for my niece who peed all over her skirt by mistake). We sign the kids in and leave, hoping for the best.  We return from the treadmills 45 minutes later to take our kids swimming and find them both dry. Success! We swim and play, and then we go to get dressed.  I try to put Logan on the potty, but he screams and insists “I don’t need sit on potty right now.” Of course, I know he
is lying, but what am I supposed to do. We are in a public place and those changing rooms are echoey. So he is standing in the middle of the room buck naked while I get dressed. And he starts to pee, a lot, into the floor
drain.  My sister and I laugh, and I explain to my toddler that we should probably not pee on the floor. He shows he is listening by peeing in the drain a little more. We get dressed and head out towards the car. He says “uh-oh,” and I look down to see his pants are SOAKED with pee. I assure him I will change him into clean clothes as soon as he does his walk of shame to the car.  We arrive at the car and while I am rooting around in the trunk for the extra pants that I’m SURE I packed he pees again in his pants again, enough to create a large puddle
on the sidewalk. It is at that moment I sigh and realize that I left the extra pants sitting on the couch. As I clean him up and change him into his clean undies (sans pants) I vow to go to the bookstore on my way home tonight. I should also mention that the great pee-splosion was at 7 at night and he hadn’t had a sip of fluids since noon. Where is all this pee coming from?!

So this precipitated my ill-fated trip to the bookstore (with some of us still not wearing pants) where I determined that there are no parenting books that can advise you on what to do when your toddler takes to peeing large volumes on concrete, but there are at least 2 different baby name books that list the name ‘Velveeta’ (no joke). Go figure.

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Potty Training


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