As milestones go, there are more glamorous. And more publicly laudable.
We’ve been trying to potty-train Ian since late-summer, and his response has been less than enthusastic. It’s not that he minds, it’s just that he has no interest. He was reluctant to crawl for the same reason – why work harder when rolling around gets the job done? If it ain’t broke…
Strangely enough, Ian had no trouble using the potty. He was successful on the first try, and couldn’t’ve cared less. Since then, it’s just been a matter of remembering to take him to the potty; otherwise, he’d rather that we deal with it. He’s had nights and naps of dry diapers, and has no problem with being held by Daddy to use the big-boy potties in restaurants. Yet he won’t go unless we take him.
As an addendum, let me say that Ian has no trouble using the potty – when it really doesn’t matter. Truly, who minds changing a wet diaper? In all honesty, I’d rather change a wet diaper than clean Ian’s potty. No, there’s only one reason people loathe changing diapers; a reason which grows exponentially once a child stops breastfeeding. And in that instance, Ian has been more than a little stubborn.
He certainly knows when he needs to use the bathroom. It used to be that, if Ian disappeared and grew quiet, we knew he was doing something naughty. Lately it’s become an indication that he’s off by himself, having a moment. We’ve found him behind chairs, in corners, in the basement, and always too late. The other night, he disappeared into the warren of a McDonald’s Playplace; it was an ill wind which preceded my son down the slide.
We told Ian that, from then on, if he went BM and didn’t tell us, he’d have to sit on the naughty step – and I wouldn’t change him first. Consequently, he didn’t go to the bathroom all the next day.
Knowing that our son was primed, as it were, last night Kelly and I decided to get things rolling. I sat Ian on the toilet, myself on the edge of the bathtub, and our portable DVD-player in front of Ian. If The Incredibles wasn’t going to get him to relax, nothing would.
So we sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat.
Twenty minutes and four numb legs later, Ian started to climb down from the toilet. I asked, ‘Did you go potty?’ He replied, ‘No, I can’t!’ I said, ‘Okay’, in that lingering parental tone of voice which implies a consequence. I turned off the DVD, and started to close the screen. ‘Wait,’ he exclaimed, his hand on my arm, ‘I want to try!’ He climbed back up, and sat.
And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And started to climb down. I shut the screen, and Ian frowned. ‘No, no,’ he cried, ‘I pooped!’ And he had. The crowd went wild. I cheered, Kelly cheered, Ian clapped. Hugs for everyone! I’m sure there will be other proud parenting moments, but last night was pretty special. I don’t know why.
I think an aircraft carrier is a perfectly appropriate reward for a man who has achieved complete mastery over the toilet.