My Son is Now a Man
High-resolution pictures and video coming soon!

Today, Anthony made a poopy in the toilet.

He'd been wearing underwear (not diapers) for parts of the day for a month or so, making pee-pee in the toilet with the occasional “shippai” (mistake) here and there. Since we have mostly hardwood floors, cleanup of such mistakes is not that big a deal.

Yet, the success of pee-pee in the toilet has been offset by difficulties with poopy in the toilet. We would have long talks about it, and he would claim that he can't do it. Not that he didn't want to, but that, apparently despite his best desires to do it, it's simply beyond the realm of possibility. The sorrow in his “I caaaan't make poopy in toilet” seemed genuine.

His belief that it was out of his control was made more evident by the lack of success of our bribe... uh, er, “setting goals”. We made it clear time and again that the day he made a poopy in the toilet was a day he got a very special “yellow truck” present. (He loves trucks and such). Perhaps that's the root of his sorrow, that he was given an impossible goal with no chance of payoff.

In any case, we eventually decided to lay low about the poopy-in-the-toilet thing to see if he'd naturally want to go for it at a later date.

So today, he came up to me and said “Daddy, I want (to) take underwear off (and) put on Anthony diaper (so) Anthony (can) make (a) poopy.” This was the first time that he was alerting us to a poopy before it came out. That's a big step.

I asked if he wanted to sit on the toilet for it, and he clearly said no (since, you know, he can't make a poopy on the toilet). I decided to push a bit and remind him that if he were to make that poopy on the toilet, that he'd get the new super-special toy. He asked to see the toy, so I said that if he just sat on the toilet, he could see the toy while sitting. To my surprise, he jumped at the idea.

So, I got him on the toilet and showed him this big yellow dump truck (part of a 30-piece construction set, of which he already has the huge crane, backhoe, flat-bed truck, etc). He turned into the quintessential gleeful child, positively giddy with excitement by just looking at it. As he looked and held it, suddenly, there was a plop. And then another plop. And my son was man... a man with a new toy that was now his. There was much celebration in the house. 🙂

In retrospect, I guess the toy really is a dump truck. (Sorry, just a bit of, er, toilet humor.)

Later in the day we were out at a mall (with him wearing a diaper, as we're not yet willing to take the chance with “mistakes” outside the house) and Mommy wanted to impress upon him how proud we were of his great achievement, so she took him to the toy section and said he could pick out one toy. He treated this task as the important life-altering event it was, and carefully considered a number of items before making a definitive selection: a garbage truck (a 1/55 scale “Hino Sanitary Truck” with four different “actions”). We then went for lunch, but he was too busy playing to eat. Other than the occasional need for us to create little pieces of garbage for him to put in the truck, it was the most peaceful whole-family restaurant outing we'd had in years. It was a very nice day.

Today Anthony is exactly one month shy of three years old. My brother (who has a 3-month-old himself) was impressed that Anthony had done this prior to his third birthday, but it's not that impressive at all. The fact that he did one poopy in the toilet doesn't mean he's “potty trained” by any stretch of the imagination. But one step's been taken.

My Ukrainian friend Sergey says that in Russia it's common to potty train starting at one year, finishing by 1.5 years old. Diapers are just too expensive not to. He's well off, but did so with his two kids nevertheless.

Another friend has a daughter and had started potty training at 3 months old, finishing at 6 months. In my experience as having been a parent of a 3-to-6-month old, this is absolutely inconceivable. There's no way in the world we had the energy to even consider it.

One comment so far...

My Daughter is Now a Woman?

3/19/2007 – Grace made poopy in the potty. And I think she was horrified at what she had wrought. We’ll see when it happens again…

— comment by Michael Friedl on March 21st, 2007 at 1:48am JST (15 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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