Have you heard the joke about the progression of parenthood with each child?
It goes something like this...
First child eats dirt, parent calls doctor.
Second child eats dirt, parent cleans out child's mouth.
Third child eats dirt, parent wonders if she really needs to feed him lunch.
Well, there's a lot of truth to this. My children are now 9, 6, and 3. I have gotten less over-protective with each child--knowing the stages that are coming and understanding the importance of independence. Let's take a look at my parenting progression specifically regarding potty training....
First, I will never forget moms of boys warning me that boys are difficult to potty train and not to expect it before their fourth birthday. Oh--well that was a challenge and I was going to take it head on. Timmy was potty trained before his 3rd birthday even though his little brother was born when Tim was 35 months old (yup--no regression!). I remember the doctor was even impressed. SCORE!
When Josh turned 3, I was about to embark on my journey as a stay-at-home mom, so I just KNEW that he would be potty trained that summer. Danny was born when Josh was 37 months old and if you've followed my blog, potty training Josh was beyond difficult. I was convinced he would be in diapers in college. He needed to be potty trained for school and he was good with peeing in the potty, but poop was a different story. I would pray every day that he could hold it until he got home (if he had to poop). Josh was finally FULLY potty trained by his 4th birthday. Jen-1 Expert moms of boys-1
Well, here I am with my third and final child and it's HARD! When you only have one child--or even two and they're fairly young, it's easy because you're AT HOME. I'm busy running errands, playing with the boys, out and about--and it is HARD to potty train your child when you are anywhere but home! Danny has a great babysitter and she started working with him at the end of the school year. I've dabbled with potty training and especially the last couple of days have been working hard to get him where he should be!
Well....where SHOULD he be?! Right where he is. He's a stubborn boy--he knows how to use the potty. One day, he was in the bathtub and he got out of the tub to poop on the potty. Then, the next day, he sneaks outside and poops on the patio in our backyard. He KNOWS what he's doing and he's CHOOSING to be difficult.
Am I worried? No--I'm really not. He's my youngest--my baby. I'll keep working on it, but it boils down to the child doing it when he/she is ready. He will get there when he's ready--and I'm sure that routine will help him! If routine is what we're missing (sorry, but I'm not going to make my older kids suffer while I try to potty train my youngest), it looks like he will be fully potty trained after the school year. I'm okay with that.
My last bit of advice--when expert moms give you advice, listen to them. They aren't challenging you--they are just sharing their experiences with you. And finally....I'm fine taking things as they come. I'm in no hurry for my "baby" to grow up. He's my last baby. I want to enjoy all the stages--no matter how horrible or gross they may be! <3