Let me share a little secret with you. I never changed a diaper until my first son was born. Never ever. Even after giving birth in the hospital. I was so drugged up and sore that Naaman changed Landon’s diapers during the two day stay in the hospital.
When we got home, I placed our new little six pound baby on the fresh changing table and said, “Okay, honey, teach me how to change a diaper.” I seriously didn’t know how. There weren’t any babies in our family so I guess I never had the chance to learn.
Naaman slowly showed me how to change my first diaper and in those first few weeks my confidence with this brand new activity grew. I enjoyed lifting his tiny bottom up to scootch the diaper under him. He sat still. I cooed at him and he gurgled back at me. It was blissful. I actually enjoyed changing diapers.
That was then.
Somewhere around nine or ten months, Landon morphed into an alligator and I, an alligator wrangler. He hated having to lay down on the table because that meant he must stop moving. How dare I change his diaper so he doesn’t have to walk around with his own feces pasted to his butt? I mean, the nerve, mom. I dreaded diaper change time. It would take twice as long as it needed to because he refused to cooperate. And I have hated changing his diaper ever since.
I never read any books on potty training. I listened to everyone tell me that potty training is harder for boys. Don’t start too soon! But don’t start too late either! I even heard someone tell me that Landon probably wouldn’t “get it” until he was at least three-years-old. I think I cried after that conversation. Because I didn’t think I could take another year and a half of changing an alligator’s diaper AND a baby’s diaper. I know my limits and I can only wrangle one animal at a time. And listening to everyone else’s opinions made me feel like Landon might still be in diapers when he left for college. You know, because I missed the perfect potty training window.
When I found out I was pregnant again it took the pressure off. I think I even used it as an excuse to push any potty training talk under the table. Landon would be going through such a huge transition with a new baby brother in his life. He didn’t need another big transition to the potty chair. I promised myself that I would purchase a potty chair after Landon turned two and use the “let’s see what happens” approach.
You know what happened when I set the potty chair out? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
He knew what the potty chair was. He told us when he had to go. But he did not start using the potty just because it was there. Damn it. I thought sure that would have worked. Looks like I would be forced to go buy a book on potty training because this obviously wasn’t going to be easy. I needed some sort of program. Some sort of plan that a book outlined in carefully written chapters.
On the midnight after Thanksgiving, my sisters, mom and I ventured out to do some Black Friday shopping. We went to the Carter’s Outlet and stood in line for about 30 minutes amongst many other crazy moms. Right in front of us were some cute underwear for toddler boys and I started talking about potty training and how I just knew it was going to be hell. Suddenly the mom in front of us turned around and literally changed my life.
“Forget about diapers. Just put him in the underwear. He might surprise you.” She went on to explain that if they wet their underpants it is a much more uncomfortable feeling because they know they have just had an accident, whereas in a diaper they don’t feel that they are wet. Huh. Well, I never thought of that. Thank you, random shopper lady.
Since I had already bought some underwear I decided to try out this woman’s simple technique that she claimed worked wonders for her son. After Landon woke up one morning I put him in “big boy” undies instead of a diaper, showed him the potty chair and told him to let me know when he needed to go potty. And guess what? It totally worked.
We have been doing this for more than a week now and he rarely has an accident. In the beginning, I had to remind him and continuously ask, “Landon, do you have to go potty?” But he will go into the potty chair with almost no prompting now and go on his own. I am so freaking proud.
We still use a pull-up for nap time but I honestly don’t even think he needs one. As long as he goes potty before nap time he is dry when he wakes up! Obviously we still use a special pull-up for night time because he is a heavy wetter during that 12-hour snooze. But who cares! I am declaring him day time potty trained. I don’t think I’ve been this happy about a milestone since Landon started walking!
Good news — I changed Landon’s diapers for 840 days and I’m done.
Bad news — I’ve got 630 days – give or take – left of changing Brigham’s diaper. And he hasn’t even turned into an alligator yet.
Dear Lord, help me.