This week saw major changes in the Hartridge household. Eden decided he no longer wanted to wear nappies and wanted pants. He told us to ‘put the nappies away- I am not a baby’. Whoah. OK. Great (I think?). What’s the worse that can happen?
We had two, failed, potty training attempts before. I.E I got bored by day two of being indoors and gave up and stuck a nappy back on so I could go to the shops. I actually wondered if he would always wear nappies, as I wasn’t sure I was cut out for what all the books say you should do. i.e Stay in, take it slowly, not get annoyed, leave the potty where you can easily trip over it.
But this week was different. This week was on his terms. His choice. And who am I to say no? Even if we did have plans and work and nursery and not the right frame of mind (mummy). For me the timing was not right- aren’t you supposed to book a couple of days off work or something? But for Eden it was obviously ‘his time’. And like so many other things being a parent, I just had to roll with the punches. Roll with the piss.
So Monday we did it. We wore pants. And we peed in them because we forgot we decided we had wanted to wear pants. “Oh yeh” he said and I swear I actually saw a little light come on inside his head. I saw the moment the penny bloody dropped. And this time it felt different. I had a good feeling.
For the rest of the afternoon he replied to my ‘Do you need a wee?’ question with- ‘Not yet Mummy, don’t worry I won’t do it in my pants.’ And he didn’t. He shouted ‘I NEED A WEE’ or dramatically ‘MY WEE IS HERE’ every time he needed one and he requested the toilet over the potty. So we went, over and over again. And he hovered over that loo with the grace of an elephant. I had nothing prepared. No reward chart. No system. No plan. Not even enough pants really. No disinfectant. But we were doing it. And we phoned Daddy at work every time we did it. Daddy whispered his congratulations and Eden and I jumped on the bed, followed by a bewildered Xander. Xander who I caught taking his nappy off and trying to join in.
After a whole afternoon, morning at nursery and another afternoon at home with only one accident at nursery. I was feeling confident we could go out. Sort of. We had to do it sometime though. But day 3? Is it supposed to be going this smoothly? I was so edgy. I left the house with a towel and a bag full off enough clean clothes for a about a year travelling the world. I did in fact look quite the backpacker as I had forgotten about myself in all this and had joggers, old trainers on and a birds nest bun. I was a little stressed you could say. Flustered. The no nappy situation added a whole new element to leaving the house with two kids. A whole new side to parenting I hadn’t experienced yet. We were only going shopping and meeting a friend for lunch. But we were packed for our expedition. I kept telling myself, what’s the worse that can happen? A wee in the car seat? A wee in the pram? A poo in Primark? Fuck it. Worse things have happened.
I asked him every two seconds if he needed a wee. He got annoyed at me. He said with another dramatic huff, “Mummy- I will tell you when I need to go and we will find a toilet.” Whoah, Ok, sorry when did you turn 10? I was like a meerkat around that shopping centre. Bobbing my head up- always aware of where the nearest toilet was. Edgy. Coiled spring. I couldn’t focus on what I needed to buy. I went to Primark- bought loads of random things while he slept (towel underneath). He woke up and asked if we could find a toilet. YES. GO GO GO. Obviously, I had a plan where the nearest toilet was didn’t I? NO. Primark distracted me. I was sweating. The nearest one was quite far away. I briskly walked to the toilet. Trying not to look as manic as I felt, but failing miserably. Hair falling out. Face red. We made it. He went. He was so chill and nonchalant, blissfully unaware of my inner turmoil. What was all the fuss about? The worse had been avoided. No piss in Primark or in his pants. I phoned my Mum and Dad who were on a gondola in Venice and told them about our first public toilet experience.
We went for lunch, we had a wee in the pub. His first wee in a pub. It was like the twilight zone- it felt so odd and grown up. It had happened overnight, unexpectedly and I actually felt a bit sad about it. I was happy we had been out all day with no mishaps but I was also, with face smacking clarity, aware he had taken that next step towards independence. My grown up boy. He had done it. All by himself. I phoned, texted, sent pigeons to everyone I knew.
Now, as I write this blog post, he has decided he wants to take himself to the toilet when at home and I am not always allowed to come. This has all happened in the space of a week. He comes back with his pants in a twist, so he still needs me a little bit. Thankfully. he still needs me to encourage him to do a number 2. He needs to push like Hulk and we grit our teeth together and wait for the plop. Then we have a look at ‘Mr Pooey’ and flush him away with a bye-bye. New lows of parenting but it works.
He has also decided he doesn’t want a nappy on at night. Which lead to Daddy having a broken nights sleep. Not the first and not the last. He jumped up every time he heard the slightest noise and said ‘Do you think he needs a wee?’ No babe, I can hear him just turning over. And he has done it. 3 dry nights. Not 3 blind mice but 3 dry nights.
A few people have asked me for tips in this area as its, seemingly, gone quite smoothly. But remember, we had 2 failed attempts first. I have no tips. I have no idea what I am doing. This week we might regress, who knows. All I will say is wait. Wait for them to tell you, wait for them to be ready. It was Eden’s time. We haven’t had a reward chart, we haven’t even used the potty, heck I even gave him a massive drink before bed. We did all the things you are not supposed to do. So throw the rule book out and do what the boss says (the kid). And try not to stress over it. What’s the worse that can happen? A bit of piss in Primark? Worse things have happened.