It has been a week now since the commencement of project potty and I am pleased to report a few Eureka! Moments. I did not think it was possible to get excited at the sight of poo, but it has happened, twice now. I am a very proud parent.

The puddles in the bed every morning are getting smaller too so hopefully the tide will be well and truly out through the night once he has completely grasped the concept. The downside is getting up as soon as baby boy awakes to encourage him on the potty. I have discovered it is a rude awakening at just gone 6am to go straight from a deep sleep into poo and wee cajoling.

The Eureka moment today happened with the guidance of a 3 year old boy. I have to pause at this moment because as I was typing my son suddenly started saying ‘potty’, ‘potty’. So I rushed into the living room to see my son shifting uncomfortably in a damp patch on the sofa. So I put him on the potty while I put the cushion cover in the washing machine along with the trousers and pants.

So, back to the Eureka moment, I figured it had been a while since his last accident, so I put him on the potty and put on his favourite film, cars. After a while I heard him say ‘all done’. He has said this many a time after emerging from a dry potty, but when I glanced down and saw a pool of yellow I cheered as if we had won the lottery (well maybe that is slightly over-dramatized but you get my drift).

Like most parents going through this process (mainly mothers as we tend to be slightly better at multiple reminders), I wondered whether this would represent the turning point. The sofa incident proved that we are still a way off.

This was further confirmed when I watched my baby boy walk across the room with his toy laptop, pause, adjust his legs a little wider, drop a brown bomb that arrived on the laminate flooring with a splat and then carry on walking again as if it was entirely normal to ‘poo on the go’. I suppose he has seen our dogs do it and then watched me picking it up with a bag so assumes its ok for him too. I swiftly picked him up and carried him over to the potty in the next room and placed him on the potty. I hadn’t realised that another brown package had descended on route to the potty and I walked straight through it. My daughter was watching this as if she was watching some disgusting comedy kids programme on TV providing commentary as she watched me tackle the poo. I quickly peeled off my poo covered socks and whisked them to the washing machine.

Then the doorbell rang. It was my friend and I welcomed her in explaining why me and the house might smell a bit suss. Armed with Dettol spray I returned to the site of the incident, I returned to find it had magically disappeared and glanced up to see one of my dogs licking her lips. My daughter said, ‘yeah she just ate the poo’. I don’t know whether she attempted to stop her or whether she decided to keep quiet and see how much of baby boy’s poo our dog was willing to eat.

The whole entire time my son was watching this while sat on his potty. He is going to be one confused kid.

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A great way to start Monday

I am looking forward to work tomorrow, not because I relish the prospect of what lies in store at my desk but because I will be handing over the responsibility of potty training to the nursery. It is so much easier to say, ‘yes he is in pants but just needs to be put on the potty frequently to remind him when not to do it so he can ensure he pees on the floor the minute your back is turned……oh, and here are the umpteen pairs of trousers and spare pants, just in case.

Since project potty began, I have been waking up at 6 am in anticipation of his morning bowel movement and need to pass water the minute he stirs from is sleep. It is particularly important as he likes to visit his sister first thing in the morning. He woke up with a dry bed yesterday morning and this lulled me into a very false sense of security.

This morning I awoke to, “Mum, he has done a poo in my room”. As I dragged myself from slumber to realise that the sentence was in existence in the conscious world, I leapt to my feet and almost bumped into my hubby as he made his way to her room after having a very similar reaction. I told him to go back to bed for the last 5 minutes before his alarm was due to go off as it doesn’t take more than one parent to pick up a child’s poo.

When I saw a friend later and mentioned the incident she said, ‘oh but that’s not too bad, they are generally easy to pick up’….. not my son’s poo. Without going into too much detail, if it had stayed in his pants it would have made one helluva skidmark. It took 3 sprays of vanish to return the area into a colour that faintly resembled the original carpet. Unfortunately it was only a few centimetres away from where my daughter was sick a few months ago and that was a definite ‘pizza without the base job’, which had me scrubbing for days. At this rate I will have to re-locate my daughter’s bed to expose patches of fresher coloured carpet, but I might just leave that til after the penny has dropped (scuse the pun) with my little boy.

I am sorry that the subjects of recent posts have been dominated by pee, pants, poo and pot. There are far, far, far more interesting topics and important subjects in other blogs. I am hoping that, for some, this offers some light relief from the more high-brow subjects, albeit in the shape of my son’s toileting habits, or lack of.

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Bear talk

We are now on day three of potty training and I am already exhausted with potty reminders. I am seriously considering getting baby boy a build a bear designed for potty training with a recording of my voice saying ‘pee and poo in the potty not in your pants’. This approach would be good for several reasons:

1) Before and after every accident he would be receiving the potty reminder from the calm and friendly face of a bear, in a tone that isn’t being said through gritted teeth and from a face that isn’t trying to suppress frustration

2) I would give my voice a rest and could exercise some of my frustration each time I squeeze the bear to get it to talk

3) I could keep the bear for when he hits his teenage years and threaten to show it to his friends and girlfriend each time he has an attitude problem

4) he might listen to a bear more than he will listen to his mother…

In fact maybe I should get a bear for each stage of his development (although maybe not the birds and the bees – that’s just plain wrong).

In the meantime I will just settle for lots of Dettol, vanish carpet cleaner, an overflowing washing basket and a load of Mickey mouse and Thomas the tank engine pants. Yes the packet of half empty nappies are talking to me in the same way as a Cadbury chocolate bar to try and tempt me but I will not deviate from the path to dryness……..although if this goes on for a fortnight it really will be testing my resolve.

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An inevitable tide

I am about to embark on the Sport Relief challenge but something even more challenging has come my way……potty training.

Not me, I hasten to add, I have been ‘dry’ for about 32 years now, except in I999 when I shouldn’t have touched the bottle of Metaxa….. I am referring to the potty training process of my 2 year old son.

It started with the purchase of Mickey mouse pants (I love encouraging him to repeat that phrase as he has a lisp). Once home I wasted no time getting him on his new pants and saying bye-bye to nappies after over 2 years. Then the ticking time bomb commenced. When would he need to do his first wee? I encouraged him to sit on the potty and then remain on it, reading half of his book collection in an effort to key him on the throne. But to no avail. After a play in the garden, I saw he started to walk like John Wayne and he announced to me that he was ‘wet’. So with minimum fuss I changed him into another version of his Mickey mouse pants and then commenced the frequent reminders of ‘potty’.

After he woke up from his afternoon nap I thought he might need a wizz but 5 books later the well of the potty was still dry. The focus on toilet routines had the opposite effect on me, I wanted to go to the loo even more frequently than normal. So, I decided to lead by example ably assisted by a baby Bjorn trainer seat. He seemed to be happier perched on this but even so all the children’s literature in the world could not encourage the waterworks, not even with the taps running.

So I know he has control, he just needs to learn how to release that control. I fear that will happen in his sleep tonight but I am confident that by this time next week we will be nappy free.

I have just enjoyed watching the Sport Relief programmes on the BBC, including the reports from Africa, which were incredibly difficult to watch but reinforce why Sport Relief is so important. You just get the feeling that much more could be done if our world operated slightly differently (I am referring to programmes, such as last night’s channel Four programme on the customers of Rolls Royce). How many malaria vaccines could be bought with the equivalent capital to buy one person seven Rolls Royce.

But until re-distribution of wealth is sorted, causes like Sport Relief do their best to make do on the generosity of people wanting things to change, if only they could change for good rather than stem the tide of poverty that seems to be inevitable across the world.

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gap between developing and developed countries, rich and poor