Joshua is not at a stage at which I would call him potty-trained. We’re still in the present tense. He’s made a ton of progress, and I’m immensely proud. He’s in pretty good command of his pee, but poop is lagging far, far behind.
He’s gotten quite a bit better about letting us know when he needs to pee, but only our vigilance in watching for the potty dance gets him to the church on time for his vow-el movements (I’m so sorry). This isn’t abnormal for potty-trainees, I’m sure, but it does keep us all on our toes.
Not long ago, while at the mall, he [eventually] acknowledged that he needed to go. I didn’t anticipate being at the mall as long as we were, so I didn’t bring his potty with us. I opted to roll the die and try out the family bathroom which, fortunately, has a small, child-sized potty. He sat down with minimal fuss and — glory be! — peed, right then and there. I was so over the moon that I bought him some ice cream. In concert with his regular doses of candy for successful pottyings, he’s giving his toothbrush quite a workout these days.
I think I had been expecting something less gradual than this training process. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think it would happen in a day or two. I just wasn’t expecting it to be measured in months, either. Joshua’s M.O. for learning new things has always been erratic. He typically flat-out refuses to participate in any kind of new activity until, somehow, without any real practice, he attains perfect mastery. When he learned to talk, he picked up five words fairly quickly. Then, he didn’t add any new ones for months. When he finally did, he was speaking in complete sentences. Short sentences, but complete ones, unlike this. In the interim, we were beginning to wonder if he might have some kind of neurological or developmental problem (negative to both). I was expecting a similar progression with this, but I had hoped to avoid the drawn-out portion of his learning curve. Still, we’re miles from where we started, so I’m glad for that.
Because Jen and I have shared the potty-training responsibilities, Joshua has been in the bathroom with each of us while we’ve been about our business. His observations led to the following exchange whilst seated on his potty.
Joshua: “Mom pees out of her body because she doesn’t have any penises.”
Me: “That’s right. Mom is a girl, and girls don’t have penises.”*
Joshua: “When Mom gets bigger, she will have a penis.”
Me: “No, Mom is a girl. Girls don’t have penises, even when they grow up.”
Joshua: “Can I have some juice?”
*I edited out the part where I debated with myself whether the plural of penis was peni or penises. It’s penises.**
**I’ve written the word “penises” way too many times tonight.