My kid is 3 years, 2 months, 3 weeks and 3-days-old, and nope, he still isn’t potty trained. My oldest was 2-and-a-half-years-old and fully trained by that time, even sleeping through the night dry as a whistle.
So I guess what they say is true, no two kids are alike. I can accept it, so why can’t others?
Well apparently I should be worried. And I mean really worried. Why? You ask.
Shit, hell if I know, but you should see the looks in the eyes of the people who give me the stares of disappointment and pity. They attempt to tell me horror stories of pee and poop with just one look. It can be downright fucking creepy. Not to mention none of their damn business!
A girl I know saw a picture of my child in a diaper, before he turned 3, and literally gasped and cringed with judgment. She had one child at the time (ONE!), a three-month-old, and she had the nerve to tell me she would potty-train her son by 18 months. I gouged her eyes out with my death stare, for all of us. You’re welcome.
I’ve heard others tell me that this lag in toilet-seeking behavior could mean he’s too dependent on others (ahem, you mean me). He’s not disciplined enough, they say. He’s not going to get into kindergarten without being potty trained, they say (which means I still have 2 whole years). Something might be developmentally wrong with him since he’s not grasping the concept.
Aren’t you worried? They asked.
Am I worried? Me? It sounds like everyone but me is worried.
My son is perfect! He’s met and surpassed every developmental milestone I would deem appropriate for a 3-year-old. And even if he hadn’t, he would still be my perfect boy. He’s hilarious, goofy, smart, talkative, active and sometimes he pees and poops in the potty.
But sometimes he doesn’t.
We’ve tried it all: Pull-Ups, underwear, going commando. The trick that seems to work best is letting him run around the house naked. He knows to take his little tush to the toilet and release, and does so every time. But we can’t let him be naked all the time, especially outside the house. So what ends up happening, regardless of how many times we ask and remind him, is that sometimes he uses the toilet.
And sometimes he doesn’t.
Do you want to know what this tells me? Are you sure you really want to know? I’m not sure you can handle what I’m about to say. Ok, here it goes…
He’s NOT READY.
There. I said it. I’m not into forcing my child to do something he’s just not ready to do. So I don’t. Simple as that.
There will come a day, however, when my child decides that he no longer wants to sit in his own urine-filled, feces-packed, soiled pants, and when that day comes, I will jump for joy. I will be excited, and high five him, and do this embarrassing dance to a song off Ni Hao Kai Lan as I sing, “We did it, we did it, we did it—ah, we did it, we did it, we did it, hooray!” My husband will give him their ritualistic chest bump and we will move on with our lives.
But until then I will not be worried, or disappointed. I will keep working with him and wait for the switch to flip. And I will still love him all the same.
I will treat him like a 3-year-old who doesn’t want to go pee pee in the potty 100% of the time, yet. I won’t sit and wallow in shame, because first of all he’s fucking fine! But also because something tells me I’m not alone here. Something tells me that there are other moms who have three-year-olds who also aren’t ready for the porcelain potty.
And something tells me they are all going to be just fine.
©2015 Alison Chrun, as first published on Scary Mommy