Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The House of Wee and Poo

Goodness I've been away for a long time! I didn't realise I hadn't posted since April (not that I imagine there are hordes of you on the edge of your seats hanging on my every word). Anyway, I've changed jobs, moved house and most significantly of all......


Now, as I always do with these posts, I'm not going to tell you how I think you should do it, I'm just going to tell you what I did (and there may be the odd amusing/mortifying incident to keep you entertained along the way).

So, my twins are 2 years and 8 months old. We've had potties around the house for quite a while and both were happy to sit on them from time to time (son: wees and poos, daughter: nothing. ever). They were in the garden a couple of weeks ago (naked) and my son happily used the potty I'd left out there without being prompted, so we thought the time was about right for him. My darling daughter had never really shown much of an interest, had never produced anything on a potty, and barely sat on it for 3 seconds before she would declare "no poo!" and spring up and on to the next adventure. So the plan was to try it with the boy and see if the girl showed an interest.

I got 2 new (well, donated from a friend) very fancy potties that look like real toilets and bought about 15 pairs of pants/knickers each. Then we picked a day and just went for it. With everything that's written about potty training I thought there would be more "science" to it, but in actual fact all you do it take their nappy off and see what happens.

What happened was the girl decided that she wanted in on the action and both used their potties perfectly! You could have knocked me down with a feather when the girl produced a massive log of a poo. What a lovely family moment. They were also fine with putting nappies back on for nightime, which I thought they might kick off about.

The next day we decided to be brave and go out. Now, I thought that during the dreaded "training week" we would be confined to the house (Gina Ford even recommends staying in the kitchen for the first 2 days!), but we were naive and foolish and decided to be reckless. We took a potty with us and kept asking them if they wanted to do a wee. At this point I would highly recommend a car with a large boot. At one point, the boy and my husband were both in there avec le pot. So, all fine until the girl did a massive wee in Next. I whipped her into a nearby changing room, captured the remaining drips, changed her clothes, apologised to the shop assistant and legged it. Sorted.

Then came lunch. All fine, took both to the toilet with us one at a time (boy: wee, girl: nothing). To be honest we were feeling quite smug... until my daughter looked up at me with sheer panic in her eyes and uttered the immortal words "poo coming". What could we do? I sprang into action, dived under the table, whipped off her trousers and knickers, sat her on the potty - where she produced the most foul-smelling, grown-man-sized poo I have ever seen. If I hadn't been crouched under a restaurant table (our table was in the window, by the way) holding my breath against the stench I would have paraded the potty around the tables, proudly showing it off to our fellow diners. It was awesome. Anyway, the problem was now I had a potty full to the actual brim with poo, what to do? I settled on grabbing a large number of tissues and scooping the potty contents into a nappy bag, before giving the potty an anti-bacterial wipe and emerging from under the table as if nothing was amiss. Thank goodness we had paid the bill, so we swept out of there, leaving behind a room of traumatised customers and a waft of sewerage treatment works. Ta dah!

So, I won't pretend it has been particularly glamourous or trouble-free, but generally (like most milestones I tend to regard with total dread) it's been a great deal smoother than I expected.

Here come the top tips:

- wait until they are ready, but also until you are ready to do it. If you're going to do it half-heartedly there's really no point

- pick a time when you have some help. My husband and I were both around, which was really useful when both twins needed attention/wiping at the same time

- nappies can go back on for naps, although funnily enough mine haven't had any accidents (yet) whilst sleeping

- try not to panic, but make it fun to race to the potty when they need a wee

- let them take their own trousers and pants down and put them back on again if possible. You really don't want to be doing it for them for longer than absolutely necessary

- forgot modesty and social decorum. If your child needs to do a poo in a public place, just get it done

- the portable potty with the bags is good as you can just tie the bag and chuck it in a bin rather than walking through shops with a full-to-the-brim potty looking for somewhere to empty it

- weeing in the garden, on beaches and down drains is absolutely fine (for children)

- try not to show your utter disgust at what they produce on the potty. Grin and bear it, praising them constantly

- keep nappy bags handy for the wipes, tissues and faeces

- anti-bacterial wipes are good for keeping everything vaguely clean and sweet-smelling

So my next step is to get them to go on the toilette, so I'll be getting kitted out with toddler seats and steps. Thankfully the new house has 3 bathrooms; I've a feeling we'll be needing them.

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