Potty training = not for sissies.

The extent of my parenting expertise rests somewhere between what my mom taught me to do or not do and a few episodes of Supernanny from when I was about 19. So it always feels super weird to blog about my parenting journey when most people expect mommy bloggers to be the all-knowing army of empowering information and not just some girl in her thirties winging it alongside her trusty husband, equally befuddled about this kid of ours half the time. But I felt an urgent neeeeeed to write some things down and that hasn’t happened in months so I renewed my blog domain and hey, presto! Here I am.

Aiden is two and a half now, going on seventeen. He rolls his eyes at me, sighs more often than not, tells me to “don’t be uggy to Aiden, naughty mommy” in the deepest, most somber voice.I used to think it was ridiculous, but now I’m a believer: I have what the parenting police call a ‘twonager’. The other night he figured out how to fling a piece of chicken off his fork like a slingshot and, before I’d even drawn breath in protest, was quick to tell me I wasn’t allowed to “mack” him. “Don’t mack Aidey mommy, no mack. Aidey not naughty”. Pretty much like our SA politicians telling everyone they’re not corrupt so therefore it must true and how dare anyone think otherwise, even though they’ve got 74 counts of corruption waiting for them in court.

I think, besides teething, the biggest parenting challenge to date has been potty training. Our school doesn’t really give us a choice on when, it’s mandatory after their second birthday. Except this year we got the ambitious teacher team, the ones who decided that the kids were ready even earlier, some of them starting at the age of 15 months even. I pushed back until after winter at least, which meant that come the start of August, Aiden went to school in a pair of undies that sported his hero, Lightning McQueen, in every possible variation, shape and colour. It was all very exciting and for minutes Aiden strutted around the house saying “I wee-wee big toilet!”, until we sat him on the big toilet and he got such a fright he nearly fell in, burst out crying and promptly refused to get back onto a big toilet. I tried every toddler currency under the son: praise, sweets, stickers, letting him draw on the toilet and tiles with a white board marker, nothing. Nada. BIG NOPE TO THE BIG TOILET. Until two days ago. Which, if you’re not tracking my timeline here, has taken three and a bit bloody months!

In that time, we sold our house, bought another one, renovated and moved into it, and spent many a weekend teaching our child to wee into the pool if he wasn’t prepared to do it anywhere else. This was a grand idea until we sent him off with friends to another child’s party at a stranger’s house last weekend and he decided to pull his undies right off, yank out his willy in front of the crowd of adults and wee into the kiddies octopus-shaped splash pool as they arrived. Awkward. What a hilarious WhatsApp message to receive, though. Apparently, he was shouting “I WEE-WEE ON THE OP-TA-CUS! HAHAHA!”.

Growing up with four brothers, I’m no stranger to boys and their love of the penis. I once found my brothers sword fighting over the toilet bowl, and not with swords. But my child takes it to a whole other level. He feels like because dad gets home and strips off his belt and shoes, Aiden can strip off his shorts and undies. He’ll run around bare-assed for the duration of the day right up until bathtime, with glee at his willy being free. In the middle of playing legos, he’ll look down and see his willy and then proudly stand tall and point down to it with a huge grin on his face,, “YOOK, MOMMY. IT’S MY WILLY!”, and then if I don’t look quick enough, he’ll jiggle it around some more and call me again and then I’ll look down to an almost-three year old’s hardened penis. “OH! MOMMY, YOOK – IT’S MY BIG WILLY!“, and we all have to stop what we’re doing and agree with him that “Yes, Aiden, that is, in fact, YOUR willy”. And you’ve got to get the Interested Tone right, or he’ll just come up to your face and want to show you his willy up-and-close and then you must make eye contact with it to acknowledge it. Just last night we made a resolve that no more dinners will be served without underpants at the very least. I had to. After finding myself saying earlier this week, “Aiden, please take your willy off the dinner table. Aiden, no! No more penises at dinner!”, something had to be done.

But, I digress. Potty training!

In the hopes of trying to get him to use the loo at home as comfortably as he did (eventually) at school, I noticed that the school used really small, kid-sized toilets, so borrowed a few potties from a friend. Aiden was happy to meet the Winnie the Pooh and Eyeore branded potties for all of three minutes until he realised what their purpose was, so promptly threw both potties into the garden and has never sat on them again. Back to nappies it was, at least on weekends and in the week we held our breath between home and bedtime, that he didn’t wet the lounge carpet. When I finally realised the two potties were a bust, I paid a trip to BabyCity, where wallets go to die. There I found a few options but none that looked as realistic as the school toilet such as this bad boy:

I was so excited. Not only did it have a solid seat, handles, a lid, a spot for toilet paper and a flushing imitator, it was able to SING! THE THING SINGS WHEN YOUR KID MAKES A WEE OR POO! A singing toilet that was almost the real thing but didn’t require any plumbing (we even considered putting in a real kid-sized toilet one desperate, wee-smelling night).

But then. I noticed the price.

I am ashamed to say I paid the damn price. But also annoyed to say: It. Didn’t. Work.

All but given up, I declared Aiden done with potty training. I mean, he woudln’t wear nappies to high school, right? What’s the big deal anyway? Until Aidey’s bestie came over for a sleepover and showed Aiden just how fully potty trained she was. Suddenly because Kenzie could use the potty, Aiden could too. Then Kenzie made a poo in the world’s most expensive plastic, singing toilet, so Aiden made a poo. The next day, after Kenzie left, Aiden had reclaimed all potties as his and he refused a nappy until bedtime.

And then, here we are in November, merrily unpacking our brand new house’s contents and Aiden waddled over to the pool, pulled down his pants and had a little piddle. Then a day later he asked his dad to lift him up to the big toilet. And the rest, as they say, is history.

And that’s my story. Potty training = not for sissies.

Thanks to https://www.shutterstock.com for this image



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