My first attempt at potty training my son drove me to an entire bottle of Merlot and an emergency rollie on night one.
I later heard that a ‘Down-to-business, control-freak mum’ (check) and a ‘Laid-back-chilled-out boy’ (check) are the worst possible combination when it comes to successful potty training.
No shit. (Well, quite).
I was following Gina Ford’s book (regular readers will know I can’t stand the woman, but someone I trust had promised me it was the quickest route). In hindsight it was ridiculous, because my son did absolutely nothing the book said, despite scoring full marks in the little ‘Are they ready’ quiz. He is a child who does very little ‘on-time’, in a text-book fashion, the way he’s ‘meant’ to. When I explained to The Husband how I was approaching it – waving Gina Ford at him manically - he just shot me a puzzled look and said’ Have you met your son?’
It was a horrible few days. He didn’t and wouldn’t and couldn’t ‘go’. It was a mixture of fear, confusion and downright stubbornness because he knew I wanted him to jump through Gina’s little hoops. So I spent hours having to watch him squirm with pain until his bladder would eventually burst and I would react with either comfort / anger / sympathy / frustration depending on what time of day it was and how many biscuits I’d eaten.
I would comb forums desperately looking for a chink of hope that would tell me it’ll pass and he’ll eventually get it. And then I wouldn’t believe it anyway. I kept telling myself that even Wayne Rooney had managed to get out of pull-ups so surely there was hope for my boy.
He did, of course, eventually get it. But I did not emerge mentally unscathed.
So this time round my approach is going to be different.
1. Flush Gina Ford’s book down the loo.
2. Pour a glass of Merlot.
3. Follow my instincts.
Wish me luck.