Call it my pursuit of imparting independence into the children or my vile hatred of changing poopy diapers. Whichever it is, I have been working hard at potty training the two year old. Mind you we only have him every other week and at least one day that week is spent at his grandma’s…where no effort to aide the training seems to be taking place. Not to mention his bio mom has admitted that she’s not around him enough to make much effort in his potty practices. So the job has been tough trying to teach a consistent habit to a child who currently lives an unfortunately inconsistent life (#stepparentproblems). But, have no fear, for I have had great success this past week! Dex turned 2 in May and I believe we began introducing the idea of using the potty the beginning of June. Of course some people have made comments that it’s too early for him, we’re expecting to much out of him. I totally disagree. Although every child is different, I believe parents have a common tendency to hold back from challenging a young child because they’re just not ready for their baby to grow up yet. Add this to the busy lives we all lead and the many people in a child’s life (family members, teachers, daycare providers) and it can be difficult to stay on top of something when everyone else has their own way.
One thing that has been helpful in the process is that Dex has an older brother to mimic. Of course Vince is completely potty trained and wearing regular underwear so Dex has a role model of sorts to look up to. Outside of his older brother’s help it hasn’t been easy. I’ve been blessed to be home so I can put Dex on the toilet literally every 45 minutes to an hour. Carlos and I keep a jar of treats for Dex that he gets every time he uses the potty. We started out with Reese’s Pieces and have moved to Gummy Bears, he really enjoys those. He’s also in pull-ups which of course makes the process a lot easier than having to take a diaper on and off. We’ve also found that Dex aims to please, so when he has an accident all it takes is a simple look and statement of disappointment and he’s utterly heartbroken (which is pretty hard because he’s so stinking cute). Of course we have to consider whether his accidents were our doing if we waited to long to check in with him or if we didn’t let him finish using the bathroom while he was on the potty. All in all it’s been going very well. We’re now working on his efforts to tell us he has to go. Right now we simply ask him or just put him on the potty.
I think it’s amazing the things a child can do and accomplish in such a short time when given a little nudge and some opportunity. I always tell Carlos that one benefit the kids have of me is that I’m not their bio mom, so I’m not swayed by the cuteness or the baby feelings mom’s go through with their kids. If I see they need direction I can give it to them straight without getting all emotional about it. I’m proud of that, because I have a two year old who goes to sleep with no fuss every night in a full size bunk bed, who can dress and undress himself and who is on his way to being fully potty trained long before he’s three - I may not be their real mom, but I’d say I’m doing a damn good job at something! High-fives to all the step parents out there, you’re doing great! :0)