Thursday, July 22

From Rebecca's Rule Book: The Potty Training Absolutes

I bet you didn't know I have a rule book, did you? Well, I do. It's impossible to raise four kids and not have a rule book to show for it. So, from the page on potty training, I give you these surefire steps.

1. Wait until the child is two and a half. Or two and a halfish. If you live where there are four seasons, wait until the spring/summer/nice weather nearest to the two and a half milestone.

2. Make a trip to buy several pairs of training pants (or just underwear) bearing the likeness of something beloved. (This means something beloved to the trainee.)

3. Don't allow the panties bearing beloved likenesses to be worn yet. However, admiring them is allowed. Tell trainee that these special unmentionables are being saved for that hallmark day when they begin using the toilet (or a tree) like mommy and daddy do.

4. Put the potty chair away. We will be going straight to using more grown up receptacles, like flush toilets. Unless, of course, you have some compelling reason to disregard this rule. Like, "But potty chairs are so cute," or "I really prefer dumping to flushing."

5. Wake up one day and say to yourself, "This is the day." It'll work best if this is a day that is good for staying outdoors, and a day when you can stay home, but you can also opt for a day when you feel up to tolerating puddles indoors.

6. Dress the trainee in the now-beloved-and-much-admired underwear and a t-shirt. Any more clothing is counterproductive.

7. Go outdoors to play. Wait for the first accident. Sympathize with the child over the now wet likeness of something beloved. Help the little one change to a new pair of similarly loved undies, and have them put the old wet ones in the hamper. Mention in passing that if the child feels like they need to pee, they can tell you, and you can help them go in the toilet so the beautiful undies don't get wet.

8. Repeat step 7 as many times as necessary. For as many days as necessary. You will probably be surprised how few times step 7 needs to be repeated.

9. If your child is male, and you have a private yard, feel free to allow the use of a tree or fence post instead of the toilet. This will add to the potty training ease for you, and the fun for him. You can always civilize him later, if necessary. (If you do go this route, may want to mention to the little guy that the parking meters on Main St. are not exactly the same thing as fence posts.)

10. There isn't really a step 10. There IS a money-back guarantee of success. If you follow these rules religiously, and your child still goes to kindergarten in diapers, please write for a refund.