Monday, 13 August 2012
And That's Why I'm Drinking Vodka At Two In The Afternoon
So we officially started potty training today. We've had to keep putting it off (travelling, visitors, a wedding) and we were ready. I mean, we were ready.
Did we have potties? Check. Yes, we had potties.
Did we have about a million pairs of dry pants? Check. Yes, we had dry pants. (And by pants, I mean whatever it is that you guys call your underwear. This lost-in-translation stuff is confusing).
Had we been talking about this together for about a month? Why yes we had.
Did we have special potty books, one for boys, one for girls? UH HUH. Absolutely.
Were they begging to be allowed to wee in a potty? Why yes they were.
And did we have a strategy? Heck yes, we had a strategy.
Want to hear about the strategy? Here it is: you don't teach them to use the potty, you teach them to keep their pants dry. The idea is that you reward them (every ten minutes or so, at the start) for having dry pants, rather than rewarding them for using the potty. Get the difference? Also, the rewards are in the form of salty snacks so they want to drink and drink and therefore get lots of practice at weeing where they should. This is a strategy my parents swear by, and my Dad was waxing lyrical about it on their recent visit. On rewarding dry pants vs rewarding weeing: "the thing is", he said, "you have to make sure that you are rewarding an outcome, not a process". (And that, my friends, is everything you need to know about my childhood, right there).
Anyway. We started at about ten this morning. I gave them their special dry-pants-day treat of new Hello Kitty water bottles (for obvious reasons) and some Octonauts toys (because who doesn't love the Octonauts?)
So. How's it going? Well. We have two kids here, obviously. And one of them turns out to be terrified of the potty, despite having begged to use it for weeks and weeks. This child is constantly crying and saying 'no! I scared, I scared!'. This child needs to be hugged while on the potty because of all the fear. This child needs to be sung to. However, this child has managed to wee in the potty twice.
The other child, on the other hand, has no fear of the potty. This child has no problem pulling pants up and down, up and down, sitting happily on the potty and singing while there. And this child has managed to wee three times.
On the floor.
This child also likes to yell at the frightened child while that child is on the potty, causing loud and abject wailing from the frightened one. He (okay, it's Blue) then yells for more of the Octonauts DVD and she's saying "I frightened, I frightened!" and honestly, this is not going well at all.
Did I mention that they covered our lounge in crushed salty chips?
And now I've just put them to bed (with nappies, of course - I'm not crazy) and am trying to work out the best way to get a lovely mix of urine and chips off my feet. And I know they are going to wake up soon, and I have to do it all again, and oooooooooh, noooooooooooooooo, this is it, my life is over.
And that, my friends, is why I'm drinking vodka at two in the afternoon. Not much, obviously, just enough so that I can say to them 'well okay, so I have to spend all day sponging up wee but at least I'm old enough to drink'.
Do you think that makes things sound better?
Yeah, no, me either.