We really didn’t mean to start potty training Matthew . . . and I’m still not sure I would call it that . . . but the fact is, I haven’t changed a poopy diaper all week.
Several weeks ago, the boys were in the bath together and Matthew got “that look.” Fearing the worst, I immediately scooped him up and put him on the potty, since I had no other option at that point. He was a little shocked to be scooped up so quickly, but then proceeded to grunt and make a considerable deposit into the toilet. Since that is the appropriate place for such a thing, we clapped and cheered for him. He looked like he had no idea what he had just done, but was happy to clap for himself anyway.
A few days later, I noticed that he had really fallen into a pattern. Almost like clockwork, I would be changing a diaper 30-45 minutes after breakfast. One day, I was sure I smelled my signal, but as I removed the offending diaper, it turned out to be just gas. Suspecting there was more on the way, I one again plopped my little Matthew on to the toilet, where he proceeded, again, to make my job much easier by doing his business into the potty instead of his diaper. The next day, at the first sign of a grunt, he was plopped onto the potty.
Matthew is so receptive to positive reinforcement – he will go through all of his “tricks” to win positive reinforcement and applause – that it did not take long at all for him to learn what earned him applause while on the potty. Now, I take him to the potty about 45 minutes after breakfast, or other times during the day if he looks or smells like he needs it. It has been working wonderfully, and I am extremely happy to have changed only wet diapers this week!
I don’t know if I dare to hope that we can keep this up . . . but it’s sure not bad for 17 months!
Is he too young? Maybe . . . but my dear sister-in-law, mother of five, once told me, “If they are old enough to sit, they are old enough to sit on the potty!”