the boy who potty trained himself

Once upon a time, about a month ago, Devon politely suggested that we begin the potty-training process with Arthur. I was incredulous.

“He really wants to be more independent.” Devon said. “We should at least try.”

No less incredulous than before, I conceded to try. We bought some training pants and M&Ms and pulled out a potty seat and it began. I explained underwear to Arthur and sat him on the toilet as often as I could. And miraculously, in three days, not one drop of pee made it into the toilet. And so the process ended almost as soon as it began.

“He’s not ready.” I told Devon.

Fast forward a couple weeks and Arthur wakes up in the morning. I go to his room to get him out of his crib and he looks me in the eyes and says, “Poop! Potty!” Reluctantly, I put him on the toilet and. . . he does his business.

Since then, we’ve been making slow progress. Gradually, he’s had fewer accidents and his desire to go on the toilet has increased. Meanwhile, I feel like I’ve been learning as much as he has. I’ve learned how often I should suggest that he go. I’ve learned treats are essential. I’ve learned how to hold him so that he can comfortably use a big toilet when we are out and about. And overall, with lots of patience, things have gone rather smoothly. I attribute that fact to Arthur. Beyond belief, it seems that he is ready to be potty-trained. Thank you son!

The biggest lesson of our potty training saga has been that potty-training, like any other developmental hurtle, can only happen when the child wants it. Babies don’t sleep through the night or crawl until they are ready and potty training is the same. That being said, as parents we can definitely help. Arthur wouldn’t be where he is today without Devon’s suggestion that we try. He wouldn’t have been able to shatter my expectations unless I gave him the chance to do so. Also, patience is the number one most important parenting characteristic, I think.

Anyway, I am one impressed and grateful mommy!

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