Friday, August 14, 2015

My Potty Training Assistant

It seems I have entered that stage of parenthood at which I have an Assistant Potty Trainer! I've heard of this glorious kind of helper, although I anticipated the helper being much older. Just last week, I was reading a woman's blog and she wrote about paying her teenage daughter $20, arming her with a bag of M&Ms, and thereby hiring her to potty train the toddler: what a dream!

Too exhausted to potty train Joseph at the end of pregnancy, I now wanted to wait six months till we're in a better routine at home, even though that meant Joseph would be three years old before we even start. Being an "EC" Mama at heart, the idea of a child as "old" as three potty training used to get me all upset but now I couldn't care less.

So, here I am, three weeks postpartum and up to my eye balls in effort to take back the running of my home. Life is still mostly chaos, sleep is measured in 2-hour chunks at best, and the big kids are still watching way too much television when Thomas (2-1/2) begins asking me to try using the potty. I actually told him 'no,' I can't let him, I can't teach him, I'm not capable, but no.

Four-year-old Margaret piped up that she would like to help him, and I replied 'no' to her as well. She's too young, she doesn't know what she's doing, just no. I was in the midst of making dinner during all these requests and so finally acceded to Margaret's pleading just to make her and Joseph go away: Parenting at its finest.

It turns out that Margaret is a fantastic Potty Training Assistant! Joseph listens to her calmly and does just what Big Sister says. Margaret has the fine motor skills and sweet patience to undress Joseph, remove his diaper, help him on the potty, and cheer him on. And he is having success! After Joseph finishes his accomplishment, Margaret puts a fresh diaper and shorts on him, washes Joseph's hands, then they both report for a chocolate: one to Joseph for his success and one to Margaret for her training efforts.
The fastest way to make "the baby" grow up into a
big, giant "kid" is to have a newborn for comparison!

Now, I doubt a four-year-old could really put in the full-time effort to get Joseph potty trained, but if she can even get him familiar and comfortable with the process while relieving me of some effort, I will be tickled pink!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! This happened to us too. I had very little to do with potty training Estella. Had to giggle that you already are calling Joseph Thomas ;) It's the mom disease! Go Margaret!