Hello and welcome.
Today’s lesson is how to toilet train your child.
I use, as a shining example, my 2 year old daughter, BabyGirl. She is toilet trained, both day and night. That’s right, mums and dads and random others, she is completely, utterly toilet trained and she is not even three years old.
“But tell us, Fantastic Mrs T, how on earth did you achieve such a feat, such an extraordinary (typed in a fancy British accent, fyi) level of parenting mastery?”
Ok, because I like you all, I’m going to tell you.
Wait – what? Nothing? As in, nil? Nada? Nothing?
Yup. Ok, so I’ll climb down from my pedestal now. Alright, I’ll take off my Perfect Mother crown too. You want the medal back too? Fine.
It’s true – BabyGirl is, and has been for some time now, completely dry, both day and night. And, yes – we essentially did nothing. We didn’t force her, we just let her do what she was ready to do. And, as luck would have it, she happens to be a relatively early toileter.
As well you know, she is our third child. So, I was entirely Not Bothered about whether or not she toilet trained. The fact is, she has never been a heavy wetter, and holds pee like a camel. Seriously – this kid goes hours without peeing. Not I. Oh no. More often than not, it’s her waiting for me in public loos. I won’t lie, I use her as an excuse. Often. Shhhh.
But I digress.
Here’s the thing that I’ve learned from all this parenting bizzo – kids learn things at different times, at different paces, and to compare any two children is like comparing the gestation periods of animals. We don’t criticise the elephant for her 18 month gestation period (good LORD, imagine that!) for being considerably longer than, say, the gestation period of a dog (which, btw, is 58-68 days)(you are welcome). Why? Because it’s nature.
Toilet training, too, is, by-and-large, nature. The nature of the child. Princess first showed interest in toilet training when she was quite young, around the 18 month mark. However, she wasn’t comfortably, go-out-without-a-nappy-and-three-spare-changes-of-clothes dry until well after her third birthday. And, she was still wetting her bed consistently at six years old. BoyChild went through a wonderfully enjoyable period (sarcasm) of pooping and peeing all over the house between ages 3 and 3 1/2, and then suddenly was just dry, day and night in the same week. Thank heavens. And, as mentioned, BabyGirl is dry, day and night, before she is three.
Each child is different.
So, really, my advice for toilet training, is that I have no real advice. Except, perhaps, let nature take it’s course. Introduce your child to the concept of using a toilet (let’s be honest, we all share the damn toilet room with them anyway, you might as well tell them what you are doing in there). Once you take the tentative step towards letting them leave the house without a nappy, pack plenty of spare clothes and don’t look back. They will absolutely pee all over a store floor at least once. You will die of embarrassment and not go back into that store for at least a month after, utilising their online store and delivery service instead. But then, you move on.
These are all learning steps, for you and your child (and also, for the surly store lady who had to clean up the puddle)(she needed a lesson in being nice to the mother whose child accidentally pee’d all over the floor, and also perhaps a lesson in gratitude that it wasn’t poop).
I am happy to announce that we have now graduated from the training toilet seat to using the real, adult seat. And, great news – she’s only fallen in the loo once. Oh, how I
laughed helped her out like a responsible mother.
And that, ladies and fellas, concludes my lesson in Parenting today.
The next lesson will be on how to successfully have three children go to bed nicely and sleep through the night.
When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.