Last weekend we tackled what has been my personal biggest challenge thus far in day-to-day parenting. Potty training. Good grief. Somebody should write a manual for this. Oh wait, they have! They call it the 3 Day Method! I think they should burn it! Somebody should write a manual for how to manage the stress of it as the parent, I mean.
We attempted the 3 Day Method with Christopher a whopping 3 times, over the course of nearly 12 months. In the end, I think he was potty trained (I mean, let's face it, he still has occasional accidents), just a few weeks (days?) shy of his 3rd birthday and it certainly took longer than 3 days. The entire ordeal was seriously so frustrating and stressful for us both, I didn't even think I'd broach the subject with Matthew until his 3rd birthday had passed.
But, our new preschool starts at age 3 and has a "fully potty trained" requirement, so as his 3rd birthday is the day before school starts, I figured we'd better get going on the training. I mentioned it to a few people in passing, strangers mostly, who don't know the drama of training Christopher and every one of them said brightly "Oh! It'll be fine! Just do the 3 day method"! And I politely smiled, privately sulked, and put it off.
I'm not sure why I decided last Friday that we were going to go for it, but 11:30am found us at Target in the underwear aisle with a dozen new Lightning McQueen undies, a matching potty seat, and a mediocre level of excitement. This is usually the way things go for me...I buy all the ingredients knowing they'll serve as the motivation to actually start a project. By 5:00pm Matthew had soaked a carpet sample at Home Depot (totally my bad) and left a small puddle in the grocery store (why I thought we'd be safe to go out is beyond me). I was sure we should call it in and postpone preschool next year. But by Monday afternoon we were flying. And, here we are on Wednesday, about 75% done I think.
And frankly, most things in my life are about 75% done these days, so I'm calling it a success.
So I guess the 3 day method sort of worked, except that it's day 6 and we're still not quite there. On Sunday evening, after about a dozen outfit changes that day, we decided to take a quick breather. We let the boys go wild in the backyard with the hose, spraying themselves and the dog in the warm evening air. It was such a great release for everyone I think. Freedom from the potty and constant "dry" checks, and a chance for the boys to run free for a while.