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Do you really have control?

There are numerous books, blogs and thoughts on potty training.  So, I thought, while my youngest child is currently undergoing this tremendous challenge in my his life, I thought I would add my two cents.

Potty training has nothing to do about training your child to go potty in a potty.  No.  After numerous consulting of professionals and parents who've been here before, I've determined that potty training is an inaccurate term for this station in life.  The correct term is "Children training their parents that the one and only thing they [the child] can fully control is their bodily functions, including when and where they function."

Parents like to believe in this fictional place where we have control over every aspect (100%) of our children's lives.  However, in numerous realities - including my own - this percentage is quite a bit less.  I have control over the clothes that appear in my children's closet and dresser drawers through me being the primary purchaser of their clothes.  I sometimes have control over what they choose to wear each day if I choose to wage this battle in the morning.  I have control over the food that is placed in front of my children during each dining period.  I rarely have control over the amount that makes it into their stomach [I say stomach because much of it makes it into their mouth but not all the way through the digestive process].  I even have control over when I decide to "potty train" my children.  But, let's take a closer look at where that control ends...

When I decide it's time to start potty training my children, I have control over the fact that big boy/girl underwear/panties appear in my children's dresser drawers.

If I want my children to actually wear said big boy/girl undergarments, then I do not have control over the fact that I must give in to the marketing genius of putting Hello Kitty, Minnie Mouse, Planes, and Cars characters on said undergarments.  I despise these gimmicks.  I do not see the point in my child parading around in undergarments that they want to showcase to everyone they see in our house, out on a walk, in a store...Nor do I enjoy the fact that my son screams, "Corn. It gives you gas" every time he wears his Planes underwear while using the potty in a public setting.

While I have control over the fact that my children must sit on the potty at specific times during the day, before we leave the house, when we return, and before bed time, I do not have control over the fact that my child will also have to go potty at the most inopportune time - like when I'm standing in the long grocery line on a tight schedule.

If I actually require that my children go pee or poop in the potty during each restroom visit, then I do not have control over the length of time that we will be in the restroom.  Sometimes I think that my children believe that the purpose of life must be fully debated prior to each and every release of bodily fluids - especially when we've had to run to the potty while standing in a very long line at the grocery store and I'm on a tight schedule.

Although I may assume I have control of the situation after my child has gone potty in the potty, they will prove to me I don't by then going potty in their pants 5 minutes later...usually not the easy kind to clean up.

While I have control in the excitement generated each time my children actually "go" on the potty (Yes, we have a potty song and a potty dance), I do not have control over the fact that my children will do this same song and dance when they've decided to use nature's bathroom because they couldn't quite make it inside the house when they were busy playing outside.  [Yes, neighbors, you saw correctly that my child used your bushes.  I promise to treat them as a pet and clean up after them.]

After all is said and done, I've realized that I have only about a 1% control over this whole potty training concept.  My kids realized this a lot faster than I did and have extorted this knowledge.


*Be sure to come back for tomorrow's blog topic: The rules of potty training.

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