I know that potty training a toddler is not necessarily considered easy. I did not know that attempting it would make me feel like I'd had a lobotomy- or possibly a complete decapitation.
There are as many potty training theories as there are children. I researched and talked to friends and decided to try to get it done over a long weekend. I know that every child is different, that some aren't ready at first, and that it might take more than one try. But I was confident because he is very sharp and catches on to things very quickly. He's also exploding in verbal ability and can now tell me that he wants to be changed, and he even asks to go potty when he hears other children asking to go potty! I thought if snacks were involved as rewards I could have him trained pretty quickly.
It wasn't all for naught. He did get a lot ( a lot ) of experience going on the potty. He learned what it feels like to try to go tee tee (as opposed to his natural state which is more or less automatic, I think). That was really cute because I would put him on the potty and say "try to go." If he didn't have to go he would grunt and say "it's not working." But what he definitely did not pick up on over the course of our potty training blitz is that he has to tell me that he needs to go before he goes. This was evident last night, after bath, right before bed, when running naked through the house he began to tee tee. He was well hydrated since I'd plied him with juice all day. He seemed surprised at what was happening, turning circles in bewilderment, all the while spreading a stream of urine far and wide. He looked up at me after he finished. "Did you have to go tee tee?" I asked. "No." He replied. It was a fitting end to our potty training that wasn't.
So, no big deal. We'll try again later. I was discouraged at first because I feel like two days of my life were flushed down the toilet. Unless you've been through it, you have no idea how exhausting it is to maintain feverish excitement about all things tee tee for days on end. I spent hours (cumulative over the two days) staring at the toilet (with him on it) hoping, yearning, willing myself to hear the tinkle of tee tee. It's brain deadening. I'm also perplexed because, even though he's still on the young end of the potty training spectrum, he seems decently aware of himself and his bodily functions. He wakes up from his nap telling me either that he "went poo poo" or that he "just tee teed." When he had accidents in his big boy underpants over the time that we were potty training, he asked to be changed. It seems that he's very close to readiness. Now I'm not sure I'm ready to jump back on the potty train any time soon. I'm pretty excited about getting back to diapers for now.