Potty training has started for kiddo number two.
Hehe, number two.
I have a difficult time with potty training the wee ones (again!) because I’m apparently a Judd Apatow character who faces responsibility like a drunk teenager; poorly and hoping his mom can fix everything while not smelling the stink.
One person in my household with no trouble pitching in for potty training is the five year old. The firstborn is all about helping his brother figure out the toilet. He’s going so far as to show his younger brother that not only does every one poop, but every thing poops too. Case in point, stuffed penguins in a plastic toilet that is NOT in use for the training process (I want to make that point very clear to my mother and grandmother as they read this and grow concerned that my house is a cesspool of pink-eye prone habits. It is, but not because we have a port-o-potty running about).
“See, buddy,” The five year old says to the toddler, “every one uses the toilet! It’s the best.”
My five year old will potty dance for half an hour before finally going to the toilet, so his sudden glee with the process is quite possibly the most aggravating part of parenting experienced yet. Thankfully, we have drunk teenager phase to look forward to though and that will surely be much more aggravating (boys, if you are reading this in the future, please say no when anyone hands you a “hard lemonade”. It’s so not cool. That sort of thing wasn’t even 1980s cool, an historic low point in the history of ‘cool’. I guess, “don’t drink” would be good here too. If you’re playing brass in a ska band, come see me. Different rules apply in this situation.)
Back to potty training.
We are using a reward system to encourage use of the toilet itself. Each successful attempt is accompanied by a temporary tattoo. This is why the five year is being so helpful. Now when the toddler is successful, the firstborn gets a tattoo as well. Sleeves of Spider-Man and Minion tattoos now fill the arms of the toddler while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles let kindergartners know my five year uses body art to send a message. That message is, of course, that his brother can now use a proper toilet when he wants to.
Training is going so, so much easier the second time around. Not because my wife and I suddenly know what we’re doing. Far from, in fact. I am fairly certain I am more confused now than I was years ago getting the first one trained. It is so much easier because by golly the firstborn is going to participate and get himself a tattoo for making sure his brother knows proper technique.
I am very excited to have the firstborn in our corner. Usually whatever my wife and I say to the toddler (regardless of situation) is followed by the firtborn saying the exact opposite thing. “Go pick up, buckaroo,” we tell the toddler. “Let’s play with this box of Legos,” shouts the firstborn, tipping over a box of Legos. All day, every day; that sort of thing. But for toilet training, the firstborn is a little mimic to terrifying detail. You learn a lot about yourself hearing a new human repeat your words verbatim and in matching tone.
Our journey to finally, after 6 years, rid our home of diapers is moving along well. All it takes is a five year old, stuffed animals and unrelenting bribery.