A little more than a week ago, my 2-year-old son, Jason, who is 2 years and 9 months to be exact, decided that he did not like having a diaper on anymore and began refusing to wear one.
At first we tried many methods to get him to allow us to put a diaper on him. After he had several “accidents” around the house, I decided to bring the potty chair to the kitchen. (Our bathrooms are both upstairs in our split level house.)
I encouraged him to use his potty chair to go the bathroom. He agreed to do so and began using his potty chair. He still did not want to wear anything on his bottom, not even the underpants I had for him. It seamed to me he did not like the tight feeling around his legs or body. Leaving the house was a challenge and for a while we did not take him anywhere.
A few days later, I went out shopping and decided to find him some underwear. I first thought of finding character underwear that he might like and in a bigger size then the pair we had at home. Low and behold, I found something better. Did you know they make boxers and boxer briefs for toddlers?
I debated briefly on which size and decided to go with the larger 3T-4T but worried they might be too big on his waist. When I got home, I discovered that I had made a smart move. Jason really liked the boxers and the waist was not too big!
He soon began wearing the underwear to leave the house and even while in the house- much to the delight of my other children who were bothered especially at meal times by the sight of their 2-year-old bare -bottomed brother.
And so now before his third birthday, and earlier than either of my other children, much earlier- I might add, than his older brother- I have a toddler who is potty training. Along with the underwear, I had bought a different style of diaper as well as some pull -ups. He did not like the pull ups I had at home and had tried, which I figured might just be too small.
It took some effort the first couple days to convince him despite using the potty during the day, that he needed to wear a pull-up or diaper at night. Now he is in the routine of putting on his own pull-up before bed. He even gets them on correctly!
It is funny, because with my older two children, potty training was the one thing that I did not like at all about parenting. My oldest had held out for a long time and we “forced- potty trained him” when he was 4 and I was 6 months pregnant with his younger sibling. I wasn’t about to change a 4-year-old’s diaper and a newborn’s. Looking back, sure, I would do things much differently now. I know for one, that potty training can become a power struggle and my insistence on him needing to be potty trained, didn’t help the situation.
So hear I am, older, wiser and with no expectations that my youngest boy would potty train anytime before 3 -and yet he has done just that- in his own way. He is strong-willed like that and shows much independence in wanting to do things for himself and by himself- he has always been that way; from talking early and walking at 9 months, and in countless other ways like pushing a chair into the living room to reach something up high when he was not even one.
He even just takes himself over to his potty chair when he needs to pee and lets us know that he has gone. Going “number 2” is a bit more challenging but I am totally at peace with all of it. For here we are easily passing the hurdle of what I previously considered the most difficult aspect of parenting a young child.
He is so eager to be like his much older brother and sister. For once, his “wanting to be older” has been a blessing. Sure, I find having a toddler who needs to use a potty more work than changing a diaper but I am happy to help him navigate this monumental aspect of toddlerhood. He is my youngest and my last child and with a son about to turn 14 and a 9-year-old daughter, the challenges of potty training now seem so much less stressful and simple than they did to me in the past. And so I appreciate my toddler for the simpleness of life with him and for his making what might otherwise have been a dreaded aspect of parenting to be one of joy and ease instead.