TTT stands for Toilet Training a Toddler.
For me, parenting is one dreadful prospect after the other. And potty-training is one of the worst. The thought of toilet training my two year old gave ME irritable bowels for almost a year.
I had already been making my boy pee in the bathtub when he was 18 months old. I used the bathtub because apparently running water would make him want to pee. I slowly started to condition him to pee to the ‘shhhhoo’ sound, which I would make with my mouth. So peeing was almost okay. (Gradually, I had him peeing into the toilet bowl. But this came much much later. Almost a year later. Till then he was pretty much peeing in the bathtub.)
In the beginning, he would indicate that he wanted to pee by holding his ‘wee-wee’. He wasn’t much of a speaker at 18 months. I had to be constantly watching out for this indication. If I ever ignore, he would pee in his pants.
Encouraged by this development, I wanted to have him poop in the potty. Honestly, I was tired of washing off poop from his pants and his body. Sometimes there would be too much poop, sometimes he would poop four times in a day. I had even stopped diapering him at home as part of his toilet training.
Not only was I tired, I was wary. All the other kids seemed to have been introduced to potties way earlier than my kid. My mother would say that she got us all pooping in potties at six months!
At 18 months, my son saw his first potty. We got an expensive one, which in hindsight seems like a total waste now. At that time, a lot of changes had been happening in our lives. We had permanently left Dubai. We landed in India, and were suddenly surrounded by lots of people. We were living in a house with lots of space, and a huge back and front yard as opposed to the tiny flat in Dubai. My son was totally distracted. He wasn’t eating well, because his primary focus was to play, unleash his curiosity and enjoy his new freedoms. This was probably the worst time to get him to sit on the potty.
We struggled badly. He hated sitting on the potty. It came to the point that he would suppress back his poop, and he would get constipated. My mother-in-law, seeing my anguish, suggested that I take a break from this routine.
Fast forward 3 months. We landed in Canada, and we were slowly going back to our ‘life in a tiny apartment’ mode. For the first 3 or 4 months in Canada, my son was pooping in his diapers. By this time I was thinking of enrolling him in a day-care program so that I could go back to school or look for work. I knew that it was high time he took to the potty.
We bought a second potty. The first two days, we got him familiar with the potty. I showed him some potty training videos. And voilà! He started sitting on the potty without a problem! It was unbelievably simple!
Nevertheless, we still have accidents. He still isn’t very excited about the potty, and if he had his way, he would still be pooping in his pants. He is yet to tell me when he wants to poop. Its been more than two months since his introduction, that he has been pooping in his potty, except for a few times when he has been out.
He now goes to a day-care where he is actively potty-trained in the toddler program. In September, he will officially be a pre-schooler. Hopefully he will be good on his own before he reaches school.