Its time for the Sunday Parenting Party. Please link up your parenting posts - posts about being a better parent, tips and tricks, random parenting experiences or parenting woes. This link up is exclusively for parenting posts to provide a one stop shop of ideas, solutions, laughs and tears. If your post is a kids activity post please link it to Kids Co-op instead. Here is what I will be linking this week:
(Goblin is 35 months)
Back in early July I wrote two posts Potty Training Part 1: The Long Journey and Potty Training Part 2: The Big Push describing Goblin's potty training journey. I finished Part 2 when Goblin has had about a week of dry days and we believed we had pretty much cracked it. From reading other potty training posts that does appear to be where most people leave it. But this leaves other parents embarking on this journey with the impression that after the post that is it, job done, move on to next mile stone.
I'm sure there are some miracle kids out there for whom potty training is one messy week and then they never have an accident again. But thats not our experience and I'm pretty sure our experience is shared by many others. Its the end of September. Goblin has been "potty trained" for approximately 2 and a half months. For me this means that he will take himself off to the toilet when he needs a poo or a wee, without me having to constantly hover around him saying "do you need the loo", "are you sure you don't need the loo". I still ask him to go before we go on a long car journey and usually ask him before I put his nappy on at night.
He has also mastered standing up to pee. This makes my life so much easier as I don't have to take the potty (Which doubled as a toilet seat) out with us everywhere.
He is not night time dry. He is certainly getting there. He usually wakes at about midnight and 4am and asks to be taken to the toilet - he is so sleepy that he sits on the loo with his eyes shut and sways as if he's about to topple off while he goes. And his nappies are usually dry, but if he's tired he won't wake and his nappy will be wet, so I am leaving that stage for the time being - what's the rush?
All this so far sounds pretty good doesn't it?
Only here's the thing. While he is normally very good, there will be at least one incident a week where he is too tired or too distracted by something fun and he just won't ask. So he'll wet himself. I don't mean a full on puddle on the floor, just wet pants because he starts before he realises to he needs to get to the toilet. So I can't abandon the change of clothes, wipes and nappy bags just yet (*oh for the day when I can carry a small handbag again*).
And then we went to Center Parcs. The change of routine coupled with the massive amounts of water he consumed on our two hour daily swimming antics just left him peeing all the time and largely failing to ask first. We have been back a week and although he is getting back to normal at home, the accidental wetting while out has amounted to a couple a day in the last few days rather than the one a week we'd got down to.
I'm not too disheartened because I know I am not alone. I have heard from friends that their sons and daughters have suddenly taken a step backwards in potty training, often as a result of a change in routine or environment. One friend whose daughter had been fully potty trained for 6 months has recently experienced continuous episodes of wetting which she puts it down to the younger sibling learning to walk. And there are probably other friends out there who are also struggling but are too embarrassed to mention it because they are under the misguided impression that my son has mastered it completely.
I'm not saying that this will happen with every child, but what I am saying is that potty training isn't always the simple one week (or less) of mess that it can be portrayed as in the blogoshpere. We don;t often like to blog (or talk) about set backs, and as a result the internet version of child rearing is often a little more rosy than real life. So if your child has also taken a step backwards don't worry. You aren't a failure if your kids need more time, and you aren't alone.
Incidentally if you are looking for some inspiration with how to potty train, Two of Everything is holding a Potty Training Carnival.
I'm afraid I haven't got quite back in the swing of things since the holiday so I only have two posts from last week to feature for you. Both have important messages that made me think and I recommend them to you: