So, how does one get a child ready and excited to use the potty, after twenty months of gleefully filling diapers? Do you have your pen and paper handy to jot this wisdom down? You do? Ready for it? Here goes....
I have no idea.
There, I said it. I have no clue how to get a child interested in using their potty. The truth is, this is something the day care did for us, somehow squeezing it into Chunk's once-per-week schedule.
Actually, the day care manages to teach Chunk a lot of things in his limited time there. For example, he's been telling us "No mas!" all week. Saying "No mas!" (Spanish for "No more," if you didn't know) isn't really all that strange, even for a toddler, but you can be fairly certain he didn't pick that up from his Norwegian/German dad and his Italian/Irish mother. He has also developed some weird table manners that must have been learned at day care, as we don't believe in table manners in the Denver household. I'm fairly certain he's also picked up hitting people at day care, but that's not what I'm trying to get at right now.
What wisdom have I bestowed upon my trusting son, the new, gentle human who needs guidance in how the world works? So far, that belching and farting is funny, croutons can be a meal, and Starbucks will split a green tea frappacino into two servings (for dad and child), even when you go through the drive through, if you ask nicely enough.
I hate day care. He gets sick at day care. He cries when we drop him off and pick him up. They have this weird system of filing, so that whenever our son paints a picture or works on some sort of craft, it just gets filed away somewhere and we never get to see it. And, its expensive.
On the other hand, we need day care. We simply couldn't survive without it. And, despite all of my frustrations with it, they are teaching him amazing things. His vocabulary is better, thanks to day care. He has better social skills with his peers, thanks to day care. He has a mountain of artwork we'll never see, thanks to day care. You can't argue with results, can you?
So, back to our little guy using the potty. It's simple. We take off his pants and diaper and his sits on the pot, literally. The only real problem we've found is that he's a little impatient and expects something to happen right away, so with even just a few potty experiences under our belt, we've already developed some bathroom rituals. I will present those rituals below, in screenplay format, should you want to film this and submit it to the Academy for consideration as "Best Short Film Regarding A Potty."
INT. BATHROOM -- BRIGHT AND CHEERFUL, BUT THE TUB NEEDS TO BE SCRUBBED
Two people enter the bathroom, one blurry-eyed and yawning, another considerably shorter and more enthusiastic about the day. The adult, grumbling about how early it is, despite it being the afternoon, helps the toddler out of his shorts and diaper. Then, holding a near naked boy in his arms, lowers the child onto his training potty.
Toddler: Do ta da da ra rey!
Denver Dad: That's right! That's what I usually say when I use the bathroom too.
The toddler jumps up from the seat, peering into the spotless bowl where he was sitting. He tries to stick his hand in the bowl, but is stopped by Denver Dad.
Denver Dad: Buddy, you need to keep your hand out of there. Icky!
Toddler: (pointing at bowl) Rurhooobs!
Denver Dad: Right.
Denver Dad lifts Toddler and puts him back on the potty. He sits down across from him on the adult "potty."
Denver Dad: Now, you need to relax. Take a deep breath. Are you ready?
Denver Dad: Okay, take a deep breath. Now, let it go.
Denver Dad starts taking deep breaths and letting them go, trying to show Toddler how to relax. After a while, he starts getting light-headed and has to grab the wall to keep from passing out and falling off the toilet. Toddler eventually follows Denver Dad's breathing example and during one of the breaths out, starts to "go."
There is much celebration and more attempts to touch it all once he is finished.
Fade to black.