I thought I was prepared. I had had the Gina Ford potty training bible by my bed and religiously read and re-read. I even got Barley to look at the pages in the hope some of her words of wisdom would infiltrate Barleys subconscious.
I planned it down to the day. I wrote off two weeks in the calendar, and ensured I had cupboards full of food, store cupboard back ups and lots of laundry detergent. I had prepared Barley with lots of dialogue, specialised book, dollies for role play, I had checked off his ‘is he ready yet’ points and armed with superhero fireman Sam pants I thought we were ready.
Cut to 4 days later, severe tantrums, nightmares, patchy sleep and loss of appetite. Barley’s spaghetti bolognaise pride of place on the kitchen wall. I handed the potty training mantel over. I was beat. My son was traumatised. Gina Ford was defriended.
On reflection I figure the art of me being, what I consider a good parent. Is that I listen to the alarm bells and revaluate a plan, according to what is happening right now. Just because the book says he should be at this stage now, really doesn’t meant that much to me anymore.
So my plan is to ask him if he wants to go on the potty. Not Gestapo style bolt him to the potty every 15 minutes. I will venture out the house and carry on a normal routine but he will wear pull ups. I will keep his clothes to a minimum and keep in mind that it is more sensible to think he will wee more in his pull ups than in his potty for a while. I think at some point it will click for him and somewhere down the line he will even want to wee in private! Without all his animals and his mummies watching every twitch. So this relaxed approach starts tomorrow and my mantra is don’t sweat the small stuff.
Barley is a bright and capable toddler and at each passing week, his quest for independence grows – it’s a rites of passage for any child and soon we will be onto the next milestone.