Friday, November 25, 2016

All or Nothing



Alden is a very even keeled little boy. He is very kind and tuned into the feelings of others.  He's made tons of friends at preschool and gets along with the older kids as well as the kids closer to his own age.  So, when I say that his approach to life is all or nothing, I don't really mean that he is extreme.  Or a dare devil.  It's just that he tends to go from not doing something to doing it fully and completely.  He doesn't do things half way.

He skipped over walking and went straight to running.  Our friends would joke on the few occasions that they saw him walking that he had the funniest stride -- he kind of stuck his tummy out first, slapping his feet in down.  But, he almost never walks.  He runs. And hops. He's been doing a two footed hop for over a year.  He's a hopping machine. 

Potty training proved to be no different. We've had a little potty for about a year.  Every once in awhile, we'd sit him on it.  And, he actually went on it a few times.  We also asked his daycare providers to sit him on the potty once a day, which they were doing, but being met with resistance (he's sit for about 2 seconds and demand to get down).  Then, about a month ago, he woke up on a Saturday morning and said, "I have to go potty!"  I got up with him and we went into the bathroom and he went.  A lot.  I know, TMI.  But, this is a blog about children -- TMI is sort of the whole point.  He was so pleased with himself and danced around the bathroom clapping for himself.  Eric had bought jelly beans and lollipops to encourage potty training, so I ran downstairs and got him a jelly bean and told him what a great job he had done.  And that was it.  I kid you not.  I asked him if he wanted to try out his new underwear.  He did.  We went to music class with him in underwear, which seemed pretty daring given that he had only gone to the potty ONCE that day (a feat he had accomplished previously).  I don't really know what compelled me to do that -- I just knew it had clicked for him.  He got through music class, a trip to Home Depot and Kai's soccer game without incident.  He was using the potty and even telling us when he had to go.  He did have one accident that day and one the following day. 

I took him to school on Monday in underwear.  I had a feeling that wasn't going to go over so well since the last time they had seen him, on Friday, he wasn't even a little bit potty trained.  I dropped him off and told them he was in underwear but he had diapers and a change of clothes in his backpack.  The Director wasn't there when I dropped him off, so I called a few hours later to talk it over.  She was highly skeptical of the wisdom of dropping Alden off that morning in underwear and gave me an earful about how young he is and that even if he was successful at using the potty at home, it was different at school because he would be distracted by his friends and forget to go, and them - again - emphasizing how young he was and that we were probably getting our hopes up and pushing him too fast.  I listened patiently and told her I had no expectations and that if he had an accident, we were totally fine with them reverting to diapers.  I told him that we were just following his lead and that I had a sense that he was ready, even though it had happened rather quickly.  We agreed to play it by ear and see how it went.

And he didn't have any accidents that day.  Or the next.  Or the next.  He went three weeks with no accidents at school.  He has sense had a couple when he got too into an art project and forgot to go, but at that point, everyone agreed that he was potty trained.

From 0 to 100 in a single weekend.  That seems to be Alden's approach, thus far, to mastering new skills.  I'm sure there will be instances when this particular trait might be frustrating, but with regard to potty training... it was awesome. 

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