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Big Boy underpants: Week 1

Sweet Boy went to school in his Big Boy underpants for the first time on Thursday. He was so excited and proud. I was a nervous wreck.

In the many months since we started potty training, I've learned that potty training is more about training the parents than it is about training the kid. We have to be really, really proactive. At first we must sit the child on the potty at regular intervals throughout the day, whether or not he has to go, and whether he goes willingly or kicking and screaming. Then we must ply him with treats when he wizzes or poos. We must also praise him, great heaping praises for something that most of us either don't think of or think of with disgust. Finally, we must practice some tough love -- "you're a big boy now, and it's time you stop wearing diapers!"

Of course once the diapers are off, it's a whole new ballgame. Now we have to remember that the child probably hasn't yet mastered the whole thing yet, so it's our job to not only remind him to sit on the potty regularly, but also to force him to go to the potty even in the midst of playtime or a favorite cartoon. And, more importantly, it's our job to remember the spare underpants, pants, and shoes, as well as to clean up and apologize for any accidents that occur in public. Oh, and don't forget to always have diaper wipes and Lysol wipes on hand -- the first for the butt, the latter for the McDonald's bench the child just peed on.

I have a couple of favorite lines from this potty training adventure. The first was said the first time Sweet Boy peed without a diaper on, months ago: "Mommy, what did my weenie do?!" It's the eternal question, really.

And the second was today, while we were playing at the playground and I asked him for the 20th time if he had to pee, he finally looked at me and said, "No, mommy. I just already pee-peed," which is about the time I noticed the wet spot spreading down his pants legs. Sometimes you just have to giggle so as not to completely lose your marbles.

Which brings me to a whole new pondering: How many things do we come into contact with daily that have been peed or pooped on without our knowledge? I mean, in this first diaper-free week, my son has already peed on the YMCA floor (twice), the sandbox at the playground (and I'm not telling you which one!), and the Shoprite grocery cart. The third time I had the wipes handy, but not the first two...I apologize, truly, but I am a novice.

We're getting there, Sweet Boy and me. I remain hopeful that someday we'll both be fully trained.


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