Friday, November 22, 2002

The Potty Train

Once a friend stopped by when we were potty training Stephen several years ago. She asked, "Are you potty training?" Stephen only heard the part about the train and started chug chugging around the room and and shouting, "Choo choo!"

This has stuck as an inside joke in our family. Sometimes as someone empties the potty chair one of us will say, "Chugga chugga choo choo!" We chuckle and enjoy our little private joke.

We have lots going on in our family with 7 children ages 20 to 3 (and of course one on the way) and so potty training doesn't get the time, energy and focus that it did when we had one or two children and used the "Potty Training in Less Than a Day" method. I guess you could call our method, "Potty Training in Less Than a Year."

Some days, especially busy ones, Luke will go through half a dozen pairs of pants. In our cold northwestern fall days he has got to wear long pants even though potty training is lots easier during warm weather when the toddler can run around in training pants alone. Yesterday Luke wore the same pair of pants all day. This is a successful day of learning to use the potty when he "needs to."

We try to make potty training fun with lots of cheering, clapping and stickers on the shirt for rewards. Luke, now 3 years old, is sporting about half a dozen stickers these days and Stephen, age 5, is a big helper/teacher and he gets a sticker too, if he helps. Stevie is good at taking Luke with him when he "needs to" and gives me a report on Luke's bathroom activity.

My job is to stop what I'm doing, go into the bathroom with Luke and Stephen and cheer and clap my hands and give out stickers. Sometimes I am not too enthusiastic, but Luke doesn't let me get away with just saying, "Yea! You used the potty!" He says, "Now you have to clap for me, Mama!"

Luke's dresser is now labled with stickees that tell him which drawer his clean pants can be found and he is learning to undress and to dress himself these days. Sometimes his tops and bottoms don't match or aren't quite ON all the way, but he's getting the hang of it. The funniest thing he did was to pull a blue sweatshirt on like a pair of pants. He came to me for help knowing something wasn't quite right. Oh that was so funny! We all laughed SO much over that. No wonder the youngest often ends up good at making people laugh. Luke enjoys his audience/family and sometimes I wonder if he doesn't do such things on purpose.

Today Luke donned the last pair of britches in his drawer. This last pair has a zipper and snap which makes things quite difficult when he "needs to." He is quick at undoing, but can't do it up again so he's asked me several times today, "Mama, will you snap me up?"

After lunch he came to me with his round full belly and asked me to do him up. I commented, "Oh my you've got a big belly!" He replied, "Yeah! Just like you Mama!"

Love in Jesus,
Cliff and Jenny Silliman, 931 S 7th, Sequim, WA 98382
Dan 20 Val 18 David 16 Mike 12 Josh 10 Stephen 5 Luke 3
Baby Darlin' Dumplin' due 03-23-03