I was never able to follow Gina Ford’s advice on getting babies to sleep through, something to do with letting them cry or crying it out, I can’t quite remember now, but anyway it didn’t work for me. That’s because I just could not bear to leave Zee to cry for extended periods of time, although I can see how short term pain, if it works = extremely useful and sanity-saving long term gain.
BUT when it comes to potty training, I am all over the *idea* of completing the task in one week, as Gina’s aforementioned book promises. A few people have recommended it to me and I have found it really useful and sensible in preparing for this stage. Day three was, up until earlier this evening, like Groundhog Day, with more willingness to sit on the potty until he needed to use it, tears, accidents etc. This was not, by the way, how it should go according to Gina, but every child is different and I didn’t expect to follow it that closely. Luckily today was sunny, so we played in the garden and he charged about with no nappy on whilst I found myself periodically going on and on and ON at him about potties and stickers and wee-wees and being a grown up boy and so on and so forth blahhhhh blah blah. Meanwhile, chats like these occurred, which weren’t helpful but were fun:
‘Would you like two more stickers for your chart?’
‘Oh yes PLEASE mummy!’
‘Okay well if you do a wee in your potty you can have TWO stickers.’
‘I’ve been thinking about it Mummy.’
‘What have you been thinking?’
‘It goes rounds and round and round!’
‘What does? What were you thinking about your potty?’
‘I don’t know mummy, don’t worry, it’s down there on the telephone.’
Later on he had a nap, woke up, we played, he had dinner and then the stress and tears began again as he clearly needed a wee but would not sit on the potty. Suddenly he said ‘Mummy I want to sit on the toilet!’ and I paid no attention because I’m sorry, what now? If he’s scared of the potty, then surely the toilet would be an altogether more frightening prospect for him?
But he asked again so we went upstairs, me carrying him and the potty because obviously we’d get up there and he’d scream and resist and demand the potty but wouldn’t really want it and I’d be wee’d on, again. I duly affixed the special seat for him and . . . and he let me sit him on it, smiling away, chattering, telling me he was going to ‘point his winky down’ and ‘Look Mummy, a little bit of wee!’ I was so surprised and full of glee and praise that this was actually happening and also thinking WHY WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GINA AND PIRATE PETE AND THOSE TWO PLASTIC POTTIES WHYYYYYYY didn’t I listen to the several people who told me to skip the potty stage and just put him straight on the loo?! It makes a lot more sense now it’s happened, as he is familiar with the little loo at nursery, but still. It’s called Potty Training, the name threw me off.
Also, I’ve never before had to second guess for three days when a little and highly emotional person may or may not want to empty their bladder, but my goodness I’ll know for if there’s a next time. He was delighted to use toilet paper and do flushing and hand washing and drying – so delighted we repeated the process three more times, with tiny trickles occurring, before going downstairs to ring daddy* and get stickers for his chart. And then he had a really big wee all over the kitchen floor, but of course this didn’t matter at all, because PROGRESS! Will it continue tomorrow? Let’s see . .
*Daddy who has been out all day at a friend’s BBQ, which we were all meant to enjoy. But me being like a bear with a sore head (thanks wisdom tooth) and the potty training not *quite* going according to (Gina’s) plan, meant that I made the Very Good Decision to stay here with Zee. I wasn’t going to give up, not after only two days. Tempted though I was to reach for the pull-ups when he was so distressed, I very, very much want this to be a success in as little time as possible. Short term pain, exactly.