Saturday, July 2, 2011

potty powerless

Geekyboy has discovered irony. He must have done, or why else would he have peed on the couch while watching "Potty Power"?

I was warned that potty training little boys could be hard. I had been under the impression that Geekygirl had been quite difficult to train in this respect, and that I was now an expert in these matters, but I now take all my complaints back. If you ever think you know anything about kids, just have another one. This will set you straight and remind you that children are individuals, damn them, and they can't be reared to any kind of formula. When it comes to potty training, Geekyboy has proved to be  recalcitrant.

He can recognize California, Texas, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Maine on a map of the USA (he and I are about on par with our recognition of the states. The squareish states in the middle of the union all look the same to me.) He can spell his name and count to twenty. He does still think one and one make eleven, so we have some work to do there, but he is clearly a bright boy.

He doesn't understand his own body though. He can sit on the potty for twenty minutes, and three or four stories (which makes it just about impossible for me to get in to work at 8.00am these days), with nary a trickle produced. Three minutes later we will find him standing in a lake of pee. "Make it come out Mummy" he shouts with frustration while sitting on the loo. 

I had an escape from this madness with my annual trip to the American Diabetes Association scientific sessions last week. This year it was in San Diego which is one of my favourite conference locations. A short hop from home, but with much  warmer weather. I broke out my summer dresses and strappy sandals, guzzled cocktails with abandon (not during the conference sessions, I hasten to add) and probably to the bemusement of my co workers I was as giddy as if I was on a tropical vacation. A full time working mum has to get her kicks where she can find them.

This was my first business trip with my newly acquired Kindle. The only downside of traveling with an electronic instead of a paper book is that it has to be turned off during take of and landing, leaving me itching for any kind of reading material. Browsing that catalog of the bizarre that is United Airlines "Sky mall" magazine. I came across this.
 I am not sure whether to be encouraged or depressed that people can potty train cats more easily than I can potty train a three and a half year old.

On returning from my trip (I'm not sure who is more delighted to see me when I get back from these trips, the kids, the dog or my husband) a victory had been reached. Geekyboy's patient and ingenious preschool teachers devised a strategy. They sit him on the toilet with his feet in a bowl of warm water, and simultaneously give him a cup of water to drink. A full week of this ritual and he seems to have got the hang of actually peeing on the loo.

He still doesn't seem to recognize when he needs to go, so we need to be vigilant, and as for pooping, lets just say we won't be getting rid of the diaper pail any time soon. Any other potty advice very much welcomed, wise blogosphere (and of course wise family members!)