Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There's no place like the potty for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, we are making our first real sustained attempt at potty training Owen. Probably not so convenient with all our travel plans, but at least I’ll be with Owen throughout the day – and we can help my mom relive the memories of cleaning up occasional accidents on her carpet instead of mine.

What launched the whole endeavor was Owen’s recent interest in wearing Elmo underwear. (I had to bravely skip the drab thick training underwear that worked for Will but is apparently not snazzy enough for his fashion-savvy younger brother.)

Having long ago abandoned sticker charts and other bribery as futile in terms of our long-term potty training efforts, I now focus on talking shamelessly about all things fecal. Will and I talk about how much better we feel after going potty and we examine the shapes of Owen’s poops – are they walruses, caterpillars trees, or bouncy balls? (Today we had a mama hippo with two baby hippos; and a rattlesnake. Just try not to visualize.) I talk with Owen about how he is saving diapers and trees and how I don’t have to use any wipes on him now (he’s not a fan of them).

Often we lure Owen to the potty with the promise of reading a book he picks out as he goes and Will, sitting on a stool next to Owen’s potty seat, typically joins us for a reading session. I'm beginning to wonder if it will be my fault when my boys turn into men who read and general take forever in the bathroom.

We've still got lots of work to do though before it's smooth sailing. When Owen’s immersed in play he’s not too interested in taking care of business, so it should add some insanity to our holiday break.

As always, any tips from potty-seasoned moms are welcome.

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