For the past few weeks after bath time G has been playing this game where he purposefully pees on the changing table and me. It happened accidentally one night, and he laughed so hard when I jumped to throw a towel over him to catch the pee that I started laughing, which was a huge mistake. He stopped the flow, so I assumed that he was finished (another mistake). As soon as I pulled back the towel and before I could get that diaper on he sprayed me again, I jumped with the towel, again… and he collapsed in a fit of giggles. It’s moments like this during parenting that are a real dilemma for me.
The rational side of me says “DON’T LAUGH DON’T LAUGH DON’T LAUGH” and the other part–the part that loves to laugh at anything and everything– is ready to pee my pants when he is giggling so hard that he can’t stop. Some days I have to pull my shirt over my head so he can’t see me laughing at him when he is doing something bad. True story.
I bought a potty about a month ago to try to introduce him to the idea of going to the bathroom. Not that he hasn’t been introduced to it already when he watches his dad and me go to the bathroom. He’s well acquainted with big people potties. “Flush” was one of his first words, in fact. There was a time when he was obsessed with unrolling toilet paper and putting it in the toilet, then flushing it down one sheet at a time.
So back to this little game… After that first night, he has done it several more times, except nowadays he’s totally doing it on purpose. Every time it happens he gives me this sly look with a half grin, then fires away at me. And each time he thinks it’s HIGHLY hilarious to be whizzing all over mama. I am sure that my squeals and quick movements trying to cover his little firehose just add to the hilarity of it all for him.
Tonight we were unsuccessfully trying to get him diapered and dressed in his pajamas when suddenly he sat down on the step stool by his bed and started peeing on the carpet. J yelled at him, I stuck my head in my shirt, and Garrett stopped the flow and gave us a huge grin. Then we realized this was Garrett’s way of imitating pee-peeing on the potty. I think J and I concluded at the same time that a great learning opportunity had just presented itself so we both jumped to action trying to figure out how to make him do it again. Strike while the iron’s hot and all that. At first, I tried putting him on the actual toilet, but he was having none of that as he clung to me like a monkey. Then J whipped out the new potty chair, and we sat him down on it. But the trouble with that soon became obvious. His junk points up towards the ceiling and we need to direct the stream down into the hole.
Um. Sorry dude. Not gonna happen.
So then after some quick thinking, J let Garrett sit on a towel and pee pee on that. G dribbled a little bit, and I let out an uncontrollable squeal which immediately stopped the flow. I just couldn’t help it. You try watching your kid pee on a towel in the middle of his bedroom floor and see if you can remain silent. It’s not that easy, yall. I scared Garrett a little when I yelled, and for a minute he thought he was in trouble. It’s tricky business to teach a toddler that it’s ok to pee out in the open in front of God and everybody. I didn’t want him to miss the towel and pee on the carpet, but I also didn’t want to squelch any potty training progress we might potentially have been making. Like I said in the 18-month update, I am very tired of diaper changes turning into wrestling matches, so the sooner he wants to potty train the better. I guess we should have moved him into the bathroom, but it all happened so fast there wasn’t much time for rational decisions. We just decided to go with the flow. Heh.
Finally, G decided to open the tap one more time. The stars aligned and I was able to hold the removable bowl of the potty chair underneath him while he peed a little more. When he finished J and I both cheered and made a big production out of letting him flush his pee pee down the toilet. He was so proud, and so were we.
I have no idea or expectation if it will happen again anytime soon. But I was amazed at how he clearly understood what he was doing and finally made it happen in the potty. There was no doubt that he gets the concept of what we want him to do. I just hope he continues to do it willingly. Everything I’ve read says don’t force potty training. It will happen when he is ready. I even read a little checklist just the other day and dismissed the idea completely after answering “no” to about 90% of the questions. So we will see how it goes. For now, I’m just proud that we were able to make a small step towards progress in that department.
I was also a bit jealous of his ability to start and stop a stream like that.