17 May 2007

Potty Power- A lesson in inevitability.

It has been difficult to blog at all of late, but there are a few developments that are worth reporting.

Jack informed us about 6 months ago that he would use the potty when he turned 4.

In his mind, of course, that was aeons away and he put it out of his mind.

Jack has watched Misti and I honour our word when it was really hard to do so. Jack understands commitment.

As the year turned, it dawned on him that May was a set distance away in time. He began to “not want” to turn 4.

He didn’t want a party, he didn’t want to see his friends, he didn’t want to do anything. If, by the force of will, he could avoid turning 4, then he was going to try.

He liked diapers. They were convenient, if not a little smelly, and they guaranteed some up-close-and-personal contact with his parents. Diapers were the way it had always been. If it ain’t busted why fix it?

I think I mentioned in a previous blog that I had tried the “potty practice” idea beginning in February or March. Jack had agreed to this on a Sunday afternoon.

Well… Monday morning saw a shouting match. He had agreed to do it, but by goodness he wasn’t going to do it easily. We had a hell of a blue, (raging argument) he and I, one of the very few that we have had in his short life. The upshot of my argument with him was the he had to learn and it is my job to teach him. His argument was that he was not 4 and he didn’t need to learn it. He likes diapers and never wants to turn 4. I took my hands off and said “OK, change it yourself then!!” The penny dropped. I was changing his diaper and if I decided to stop, for any reason, he was screwed.

Day two was easier, and by day 4 he was asking me for potty practice. He began to look forward to it.

As May first arrived he began to understand the concept of “inevitability”. He was going to turn 4, whether he liked it or not. He could wish it away all he liked, but he was going to be 4. We had planned a trip to the zoo with Connor and Grandma (who visited for a week) for the day of his birthday. We began long periods in underpants so that he could get accustomed to the idea of holding on. He did pretty well. We were holding some software for his fourth birthday. We told him that if he peed in the pot, he could get that early. So he did.

On the day of his birthday, he did 6 hours in underpants at the zoo, and we put him in a paper diaper for the trip home, explaining that this was the last diaper he would ever have.

He, of course, pooped and peed in it on the way home.

He had not, to this point, pooped in the pot.

We had said previously that a poop in the pot would get some brand new software. The evening of May 7 (the day after his birthday) the inevitable moment had come. He had to poop and there was no holding on any more.

Misti tells me that the look on his face was priceless. He had apparently figured that there was a trick to pooping in the pot that he didn’t know. Once he had done it, there was no problem, it was suddenly no big deal. We went to the store and got Reader Rabbit, (a CD that he had owned, but had been broken because he left it out)

The following day he began potty in earnest, (every 5 minutes) hoping for even more software. Once I explained it didn’t work that way, he went back to more reasonable potty habits.

We have had a couple of oopses, but all up, Jack has been true to his word and is now a potty pro. I taught him the decidedly masculine art of peeing on a tree, which helps when we are out and about. The only remaining hurdle is using a strange toilet. That will come with time I expect.

So that was Jack’s first real encounter with inevitability and the relentless passage of time.

I guess its fitting that the first real post should be about Jack. There will be more about the rest of us as time permits.

Take Care