The Story of Push vs Potty

This is a little anecdote that I find myself telling every once in a while so I thought I’d write a post about it. It’s about toilet training and a…

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This is a little anecdote that I find myself telling every once in a while so I thought I’d write a post about it. It’s about toilet training and a bit of toilet humor so if that isn’t your thing, move along.

When I started potty training Claire, I didn’t follow any guides or books, I read a few articles and then did what seems to make sense.

I used a rewards method using M&M’s, later I found out that there is a lot of debate whether this is good or not. Oh well, it worked for me and it worked for Claire. 1 m&m for number 1, 2 m&m’s for number 2, and a bonus m&m if she alerted me she needed to go to the bathroom. One bag of mini m&m’s did the trick.

One of the things that seem like common sense to me is that kids will learn to use the toilet like they learn everything else, from observing and from trying. The trying part is easy, you plop them down on the toilet and let them try to go on command or on a schedule.

The observing part means that our privacy was pretty much gone. I told my wife that whenever she went to the bathroom, she needed to leave the door open for Claire to come in and check things out. I did the same thing.

My wife wasn’t too keen on the idea of forfeiting her privacy, so in the end, I think it was mostly me doing this. It’s kind of annoying, but it’s what it is.

Whenever I would notice some sort of sign that Claire needed to go to the bathroom, I would rush her to the toilet and sit her down and then let her try to do her thing.

I can’t believe I’m telling you all this…

I would enthusiastically cheer her on from the door and tell her to try, and that she was doing a good job.

I would also stand by the door and if I saw the number 2 struggles happening, I would motion with my hands in closed fists close to my chest and tell her: “Push! Claire, Push!” I may or may not have also made a slight squatting motion simultaneously.

Things seemed to be working because she kept getting better and better at it.

One day, as I mentioned above, I was going about my business if you know what I mean, with the door open and out of nowhere, Claire shows up and stands in the same exact place I normally would stand to cheer her on.

She put her hands to her chest, made two little fists, and with all the seriousness she could muster did a little squat motion and said loudly and enthusiastically:

“Push, Daddy, Push!”

I couldn’t help it but laugh and tell her: thanks! LOL – she smiled and walked away as if her job there was done.

So that’s why Claire tells us now that she needs to “go push” instead of “go potty.” She’s growing up fast too and she’s now saying she needs to go to the bathroom a lot instead of “push” so I thought I’d tell the story before she’s a teenager and denies the whole thing ever happened.

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