Here we are three weeks shy of my son’s third birthday (the BIG 3.0!) and he is still in his crib, and only partially potty trained. I use the term “partially” loosely. Really he has peed in his Cars potty a handful of times and wet through countless pants and underwear. Have we failed as parents? Have we missed the unwritten timeframe for these items on a child’s growing up to-do list?
Okay okay, I realize that not every parent is gaping at my child in disbelief for his lack of potty ability. I blame my first child really. As eager new parents we were anxious to make sure our child was not just meeting milestones at the expected ages but BEATING them. When her little brother came along we realized how rushed these life stages felt and saw an opportunity to slow the process of growing up as much as possible, until now. With his third birthday looming ahead of me I decided that I had not just avoided rushing him but perhaps was a bit overprotective of his baby years. And so, the crib was transformed into a toddler bed. I was afraid he would fall out, miss the crib vibe, and (worst of all) NEVER sleep again. I was wrong. He surprised me by wanting to spend every waking moment in his room. He wanted to watch movies on his DVD player in bed. He wanted to play superhero’s in his bed, and he wanted to nap in his bed (He hasn’t napped in months).
With this much needed change in pace I decided to get more serious about potty training. Even with my first child I did not believe in rushing potty training. I am a firm believer this can lead to a long drawn out process of relapses and frustration for all involved. This being said my little man was probably ready a lot sooner than I was ready to admit to myself. Off came the pull-ups during the day and on went the little boy briefs. Not only did we get the joy of seeing a little pant-less (why do more laundry than I have to?) wonder streaking around in his superhero underpants, but he actually did well. Really well. The first day we had one accident. The second he was dry all morning and asked to go pee while we were at the mall and to my surprise even used a public bathroom. This weekend he remained dry all through church.
I could have probably tried both of these things months ago and he would have been successful eventually. The lesson that I have learned from this is that he will not remember staying in pull-ups and his crib 6-12 months longer than some of his friends. I, however ,WILL remember how easy these “late” transitions were, and how much I cherished the moments when he was small not worrying about charts and enjoying the natural occurrence of his milestones.