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Toddler - Week #76

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Month 18: I'm Pooping and I Don't Want to Be Seen!

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

           Just this week I started to notice that every time Evan has a poop, he goes and hides in the corner. At first I wasn't sure I was seeing this right. At first I thought it was just a coincidence-that he was playing in the corner with some toys and pooped. But then it happened a few more times. Being a good detective, I began to watch more carefully. Sure enough, he would get this look on his face like he knew the poop was coming, and he'd run for the corner. When he was through pooping, he would come back out and come right over to me. He would say "P-U" while holding his nose, waiting to be changed. It was the first sign I have seen that he is starting to understand this process.


Creating Good Readers:
           Evan's milestone this week got me to thinking about reading in the bathroom! I know it sounds silly, but how many people have magazines in the bathroom to occupy them while they are on the throne? My friend has a whole magazine rack in there, and she has a little basket of books for her son! I think that is very cute and actually a wonderful idea. After all, we know our toddlers love to imitate our behavior-going to the bathroom and reading are two behaviors we would love for them to imitate! This week, I decided to gather some potty books and put them in my bathroom.


Book Of The Week:
           This book is tried and true for potty training. It is a classic that I have had since my oldest son (now sixteen!) began his potty training adventures. Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel is available in a boy edition or girl edition. The author uses simple bathroom words children can relate to, though some she uses aren't my first choice. For instance, she says the boy has "a pee-pee for making wee-wee." Personally, I like to use actual terms like penis when referring to body parts. But, overall, the book is a good choice for getting the potty training idea out there for mom and child.       

       Also, in beginning to explore this topic, I found a new choice to purchase. I found a book simply called Potty that is an adorable tale about animals finding a potty in the jungle. It is written by Mylo Freeman and is sort of like Cinderella and the glass slipper. Each animal takes a turn trying out the potty only to discover it isn't quite right, which is hysterical. Finally, an African boy tries the potty on for size and discovers it is a perfect fit. The animals give him all sorts of tips on how to successfully use the potty.


           This week I decided on giving up my idea that my bathroom trips were solo activities. Prior to this week I was of the mindset that using the toilet was my one escape from Evan attached to my leg. But now I am thinking differently. Once I started thinking about potty training, I figured Evan should start watching all of us in the bathroom-much to his delight! Normally, I shut the door behind me and he pounds on it crying until I come out. You can imagine the look of surprise on his face this week as he rushed behind me toward that door and I didn't hurry to close it. I also took Alice's old potty chair out just as a little sitting chair in there for when he watches. As I said above, I also put some books in there now. So not only did I let Evan in while I used the bathroom, I also began just going in to read a magazine while sitting fully clothed on the toilet! The funny thing is that Evan won't really let me sit on the couch for ten minutes and read a magazine. He'll rip it apart from my hands, demand to be on my lap, and just be overall miserable. But move this into the bathroom, and it's a different story! He sits on his chair and reads while I sit on my throne!


Rhyme Time:
           I started to make up some of my own potty songs to sing while I use the toilet. I am hoping the words will start to make sense to Evan in a few months or so. Here's one of my silly tunes sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star :       

        Tinkle, tinkle, mommy's going...

   How the pee-pee is really flowing.

       On the toilet is where poop goes,

       then we never mess our clothes.

       Tinkle, Tinkle, do you have to pee?

       Soon you'll do it on the toilet like me!       



Evan's Opinion:
           Well, let's just say Evan is thrilled with not being shut out of the bathroom anymore! He barely notices me in there as he sits and looks through his book, but he'd notice if he wasn't in there! So now not only have I eliminated one of the biggest tantrums we used to have daily, but I also feel like I may be inviting him to start exploring the idea that pee-pee and poop go somewhere else other than the diaper. I think he liked the animal book best, but that could just be my opinion. I mean the classic is just that-a classic. But Evan loves the animal books anyway, and I have to say the idea for this one was quite clever! As far as my song....well, I think he hardly hears me! But I am amusing myself, and I have begun to start thinking of some more for when the real potty training begins! I've not even thought about trying anything with him. The only thing I have really done besides open up the bathroom and bring out the chair is to identify what he is doing when he is in that corner. However, after saying it a few times when he ran over to the corner to poop, I changed my mind. He seemed pretty upset when I said, "Are you doing a poop?" and would whine and look away. After researching a bit, I found that some people believe children go to the corner because they are looking for privacy. So for now, I will give him exactly that, and leave it alone.


You're Probably Wondering.....
           "Is eighteen months old too soon to start potty training?"       

       I will admit potty training did immediately jump into my mind once he started doing the corner thing! I thought, "Wow, he knows what he is doing and now I will always know. Maybe I can scoop him up and rush to the toilet!" But then I started reading my older children's baby books to see what age they were when they were trained. And I started talking about it with friends and reading up on it on the internet. Age is not the main factor for deciding about potty training, but for the most part the answer to the above question is yes. Eighteen months old is too early.       

       I could get to Evan quickly when he goes to the corner and hurry to put him on the toilet so he poops in there. But then if I think rationally about this, what would be the point? So if I get him to poop in the toilet, who cares? He will still need to wear a diaper for urinating because he definitely does not have the bladder control for that at his age. Also, it isn't like the process could be repeated at the daycare in the infant room! Some experts say it could even lead to him having a harder time when it comes time to really potty train. I could traumatize him and make him afraid of the toilet. With my older son, he was so late in potty training; everyone thought they could fix him. One day my sister-in-law was watching him and made him sit on the toilet for a really long time. That stint of who could be more stubborn actually set us back months!       

       Speaking of sitting for a long time...that is one of the questions to ask if your child is ready to train! Can she sit for a long period of time without getting upset and/or frustrated? In potty training, your child is going to have to sit for a bit on the toilet every hour or so to try to urinate. I don't know about your eighteen-month-old, but mine doesn't seem to like to sit even for a minute! They are all different and that's why the experts ask questions about readiness rather than simply give an age for training. Here are some of the other questions:

        Does your child know when he is ready to urinate or poop?

        Can he pull his pants up and down?

        Do his diapers stay dry for longer than two hours?

        Can he follow a chain of directions?

        Can he run so he can make it on time?

        Does he want to use the toilet?       

       Again, they are all different, but for Evan the answer to some of these is no. Evan's diapers do stay dry for awhile. He is able to get his pants off but not back up. He can follow some directions, and he can run. But most importantly, he is not able to tell when he is urinating, and he can't even talk enough to tell me if he wants to use the toilet. So for us it is way too early. For now, I am just going to have my open door to the bathroom policy and keep talking about the potty. On that note, I am off to change a poopy diaper!


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