When we last left off, my son and I had reached a new beginning on our quest to conquer potty training.
One day about a month later, there was another turning point moment in what seemed like a never-ending battle of wits. My son had been in underwear that day and doing well for the most part but still too lazy to make the trek to the potty when nature called him to do #2.
His M.O. from what I understand was fairly standard for kids in training. Normally, he would become unusually quiet and then mosey off to an area of the house alone and do his business in whatever he was wearing at the time. Unfortunately a couple of those times he had quickly taken off his pull-up or underwear first because it was "already wet" and then did his business. (Luckily, as I would find out, SHOUT did a pretty good job of getting it out of places even they may not even be aware of.)
This particular day in question was yet another one of those Def Con 3 noise level days and after a series of semi-successful potty hits and misses and near misses, my son, who has been weaning off the pull-up for underwear, once again called out to me - only this time he said "Daddy I need to go potty."
Understand that this particular statement was music to my ears. I knew he was so close to getting it. So I dropped everything (this always seemed to happen when I am cooking dinner) and ran to the potty with my son smiling and laughing along the way. We got to the potty and that is when it happened.
The sky opened up, shining this heavenly light down on us with a beautiful Aria playing in the background. With the biggest smile he could muster he began pooping and then everything seemed to start moving in slow motion. There is just one little problem with this unprecedented moment - he is not sitting down nor is he interested in sitting down; he is still standing at the potty.
At the risk of being too graphic, most of the poop landed on my arm, hand and the side of his leg, foot and step stool. Astonishingly, he had completely missed the potty altogether. All the while, my son is smiling, even laughing, at the mess. Admittedly, my patience level was not where it should have been for such a momentous occasion. I cleaned up the mess and, somewhere along the way, gave my son a "love tap” on his behind to get his full attention, once again explaining to him that making this kind of mess was not acceptable. This was not a banner moment for daddy; I spent much time reflecting on this incident.
With our kids, especially with our son, I have learned over the past three years that certain actions need to be addressed immediately if a pattern begins to emerge. He is a very bright boy who knows right from wrong but at the same time, he is still only 3 years old. Little did I know that this incident would prove to be the final turning point for both of us.
Fast forwarding to brighter days that were right around the corner, I can proudly announce that I have two 100 percent potty trained 3 year olds. Our son has been wearing underwear during the day and a pull-up at night. Recently, he had asked to sleep in big boy underwear as well. At first we reluctantly agreed. He has come through like a champ. Sure, there were still little uh-oh's here and there but we take it in stride. Looking back, if someone would have told me this past Christmas that my son would be sleeping without a pull-up and not only using the potty but also going to the potty on his own by the beginning of March, I would have fallen onto the floor with laughter. But here we are. Our kids continue to amaze us and exhaust us at the same time. It is truly an intoxicating ride, one that I would not trade for anything.
*No child was harmed in the making of this article, however a few pair of underwear were not so lucky*
(Editor's Note: Charlie Powell is currently a contributing columnist for Parents "R" Talking, Inc. The opinions in this article are those of Parents “R” Talking. The opinions are not medical advice. Always consult your pediatrician about any changes you are contemplating.)