I was in the middle of folding laundry when all of a sudden I hear an urgent “gah gah” from my 16 month son at that time. He had been roaming around the house as I did some house work. He had been fascinated by the fan all morning and made the same urgent “gah gah” sound every time he went near it, so when I turned to look I got ready to say what I had said 10 times before, “yes, that’s the fan.” But instead I noticed him moving his hand in a fist like shake. It was similar to a sign I had been using to indicate “toilet” for the last four months. So I jumped at the chance to see if I was reading his sign correctly and I said, “Do you have to go to the toilet? Why don’t we just go see.” I scooped him up and hurried to the bathroom.
I laughed with him about how tight the pants he had on were and then I plopped him on the toilet. For a second he wanted off, so I said, “Do you want to play with something, here why don’t we look at this book. Can you open the book for me?” He reached over to the book to open it up. I sat on a stool in front of the toilet holding the book as he opened and closed it. He then went pee. I said ,“Wowey, look at that you went pee. It’s a good thing we went to the toilet.” As I said “Toilet” I copied the shaking hand motion that he had done before and we smiled together. He then farted and I said, “pee ue phew,” waving hand back and forth in front of my nose, “You just farted.” He laughed. When he farted again I did the waving motion and he laughed again. I also noticed that he went poo so I said “Look at that you went poo. Yay, for going poo in the toilet.” He laughed as he closed the book in my hand and he did one last sign. A sign I definitely knew for we had been using it for when he was done eating, He waved his hand back and forth to indicate “all done”. So I took him off the toilet and said “Mommy’s just going to wipe your bum.” He turned around and waited for me to clean him. He then closed the lid of the toilet and I said “bye bye poo” as he pushed the handle down to flush the toilet and he waved. I forgot about getting him to wash his hands first, and instead started washing my own hands. He made a noise to get me to look as he struggled trying to lift the stool he stood on to clean his hands. I realized he wanted to clean his hands too. So I helped him wash his hands.
A moment of communication with my son felt so precious. As it’s not always the case that I understand him. We have been signing with him since he was 6 months but I have not been trying really hard to sign. We have 3 signs, like “all done”, which was the first one I noticed him saying. The rest of the time I am playing the guessing game. When it comes to toilet training I decided I was tired of cleaning poopy diapers and I remembered watching a friend with her 4 year old fighting over him using the toilet before they head out of the house. I didn’t want that to happen to me so I looked for advice which I found in a book called, “ Diaper-Free Before 3: The Healthier Way to Toilet Train and Help Your Child Out of Diapers Sooner” by Jill Lekovic, M.D.
The book offered such simple advice that I had to try it. So for Xmas I asked for and received a potty. It was suggested to just pick one time a day to have the baby sit on the potty. Either before going to bed or just after they wake up, so that they get into the routine of doing it at that time. I chose to have him sit on the potty after waking up.
The potty we got for Xmas was a bit too large but I thought it would be ok until he fell off twice while he was going poo. I ended up buying three other potties trying to figure out which was the best one for him. The one he liked the most was the one attached to the adult toilet. I sit on the stool in front of him just to make sure he doesn’t fall off and or to entertain him. There are some moments when he doesn’t have to go and so I wait for a few minutes just in case as there have been times that he has peed on me after just getting off the toilet. When he doesn’t want to be on it I help him off. We make going to the toilet a game and a regular part of every day life. When we went on vacation I brought a traveling toilet seat that helped maintain some of the daily routine while traveling, he used it a few times.
He is learning he doesn’t like to go poo in his diaper either. We still have him in a diaper. Though the next day I let him go naked for a moment and he comes running up to me urgently waving his new sign for “toilet”. I put him on the toilet but he doesn’t go so I let him off. I then see that he had peed on the floor in the other room before coming to get me. Like a game baby 1, parents 0.
He is Four. It is amazing how the struggles of communication about toilet training when he was 16 months has long past. Now he has a little brother that is almost 11 months. Now he gets to teach his little brother how to use the toilet. Or not.
The other day as he stayed on the toilet forever playing with toys I got impatient so I left the room to go do an errand. His little brother played in the room beside him. Just as I was about to go back in he comes running out of the room with out his pants on of course. I check to see if it was more than pee and sure enough it was…. but the poo was not just in the potty he had been sitting on.
My other little guy had gotten his hands in it! It was smeared in both hands, some on his forehead and more on the floor. Luckily nothing around his mouth!!
I learned a lesson there, don’t leave kids alone in the bathroom for even a second when one of them is going poo.
Poo is a fun word to say! This is just a reminder of how gross parenthood can be but as well as its amazingness!!!
Story of Pee will be saved for another day!