Monday, October 10, 2005

Everything Old is New Again

My grandmother and all her sisters (except Barbara and Elsie) are looking down from heaven (Barbara and Elsie are still of this Earth... not that they went someplace "not heaven....just wanted to be clear) and just shaking their heads.

They watched The Today Show Today with the rest of us.

You see.... They started potty training their babies at 6 months plus or minus. They were 12 of them. Four boys, Eight girls. I think. Dang if I can remember all the time.... (ask my cousin Lori, she knows). But when you have THAT MANY CHILDREN back in the day? You didn't have Huggies and you didn't have those fancy schmancy "nappy covers". You didn't even have rubber pants. Back in the day, if there WAS a diaper service, they didn't go out to the ranch. Or you called the diaper service "the big girls". So babies didn't walk around in diapers for three or four years.

My grandmother and her sisters had their babies pottied trained by the time they could walk.

Those babies, for the most part, did the same with their babies. Our generation totally failed our grandmothers.

But I would venture that most of us had our babies pottied trained before the national average.

Yes. This is PARENT LED potty training. Shocking, I know. It requires the PARENT to decide that "now is time". It's a good idea, really. Sets up your authority for the future. "It is time to go to school". Emma would still be in Miss Rose's preschool if her parents didn't lead her away and off to kindergarten.

No. No one goes to college still in diapers. But that doesn't mean the kid has to wear them until three days before kindergarten either.

It's a simple principle really. Start them as soon as they can sit up on their own (because toppling over isn't good for anyone) but before they can get up and walk away. Captive audience. It won't happen overnight. It won't happen in a week. It will take a year to get the child to the point that they can use the potty on his or her own and be pretty much accident free.

I had one child announce that she wanted to start using the potty. And from that point on, she did. She was barely two. Verbal little cuss she was too.... It was up to me to let the other child know it was time. And even tho' she was the ornery sort at the time, she complied. It took longer with her, several months (not the diapers yesterday, no diapers today or ever again day and night like her sister) but she was fully potty trained by 2 and a half.

It just slays me to see three year olds say "I need a new diaper". If they can know they need a new diaper, they can know they need to get to the potty. But the parents say "He doesn't want to". WTF? He's not gonna want to take out the trash or do his homework EITHER. Step up and be a parent.

The Denny sisters are looking down and just shaking their heads. Probably squabbling about who had to change or wash the most sibling diapers too. They were a great bunch of women. For so many reasons. Grammy died when I was 6. I wish I knew her when my own was 6. But my sister and I were adopted by the rest as their own granddaughters. My girls may have been in diapers WAY too long... but I hope I make them proud.


Sarah Lena said...

One of the only children I've known since birth was one of the "he doesn't want to" variety. It was uncomfortable for me, as an adult who had known him since he could hold his head up on his own, to have him ask me in a complete sentence to wipe him.

I think he was four and a half by the time it was unnecessary for me to assist in any way, shape, or form. He has a long road ahead of him.

LivingWilde said...

This was the talk at day care this morning, too... I'm currently in a state of "when do I start pushing?" Mike is 2 years and 3 months, and he's inconsistent. Just hard getting him motivated to care. His sister potty-trained herself at 18 months old. So I've had one of each, too... Mike, unlike his sister, is fascinated by how far he can make his pee-pee fly. And this is not relegated JUST to bathtub time. I will never forget the day he dropped his pull-up in the living room just to show Peter Pan how far he can pee... (Peter Pan was on the TV.)

Anonymous said...

Honey, you have made them (the Denney Sisters) proud in many ways. Mom

Elaine said...

Helen's potty trained when she's conscious. But the little fish drinks so damn much that it's gonna be a while before she can wake up dry from a nap or after sleeping at night... For someone who awakens so easily you'd think she'd wake up when the urge hit, but nooooo.... she wakes up when her legs get cold because they're wet.

No worries. I can handle a diaper-a-day habit. It's not forever. And I'd rather have her hydrated.