I think my 2-year-old drank water from the toilet today. Yes, this is the moment that will earn me that Mom of the Year Award. My daughter came running into the room half-screaming in horror, half-laughing, “Momma! Jackson is drinking from the toilet!” I jumped up, sprinting through the house calling out for Jack. He waddled into the kitchen with a large plastic cup in his hands and water dripping from his shirt and shorts. As he smiled up at me, I promise you he looked very proud of himself.
Gross! What is the fascination with toilets? My boys are absolutely intrigued with toilets. Unless, of course, I want them to actually potty in the toilet. Evidently, I’m horrible at potty-training. Perhaps I haven’t thoroughly explained the use of the toilet. Maybe I’ve made it look a little too fun. Now, they don’t want to put yucky stuff in the toilet (they’d rather dribble that on the living room carpet). They want to get drinks from the toilet or drop Grandmama’s novels into it or squirt toothpaste all over the seat. They want to dip Daddy’s toothbrush into the potty and see if big sister’s doll can swim.
Caleb finally got the hang of using the potty — just in time to turn 5. Yes, 5. We actually had to make a rule that you can’t turn 5 unless you’re potty-trained. So, with that motivation, he went the obligatory full week of no accidents just in time to mail out the invitations to his party. Yes, I know he could have done it much sooner. Probably a full year sooner. But it’s not like I could force him to go on the toilet. I learned with my first child that if I battled about using the potty, I couldn’t win; and I don’t pick battles I can’t win. Like it or not, when it comes to using or not using the potty, the kid’s in control.
Since the whole “you can’t have a birthday until you potty” thing worked with Caleb, we have implemented the same incentive with Silas. He wants to turn 4 in August. So today he wore ScoobyDoo underwear most of the day. He actually went in the toilet (after I wiped all the toothpaste off the seat) instead of on the living room carpet. Mid-afternoon, he came racing into the living room to give me a high-five and exclaim, “I peed standing up!” That’s a huge deal for boys. Hey, if that’s what motivates him, I’m not complaining. I’ll just high-five him and praise him for being a big boy now.
I’ve got my fingers crossed that the ScoobyDoo underwear and standing up to pee are the deal-maker for Silas and potty-training. That and the promise of getting chewing gum. (In our family, you only get chewing gum if you’re potty-trained.) And with Jackson’s new fascination with the toilet, maybe he’ll discover that it’s much better to make water into the toilet than drink water from the toilet.
But I’m not holding my breath on that one. It would just be too shocking for me to potty-train a child before he turns 3. I’m sure I have many more months of toothbrushes, cups, books, and dolls in the toilet before Jack figures out the real use. Actually using the bathroom isn’t as much fun as playing in it.