Before I became a mom, I never considered how many times a day I would be wiping someone else’s butt. When I imagined becoming a parent I daydreamed about cute little baby outfits, snuggles and giggles. Not the diapers, massive amounts of poop, and potty training.
Dexter was ready to potty train 1 year ago, when he was 2.5 years old. I say he was ready, because I had attempted it before that and he simply wasn’t ready and things didn’t go well. So we listened to the advice of other parents and waited until Dexter was ready. One day he decided he wanted to go on the big potty and never looked back.
So after a year of going on the potty on his own, we were in a pretty normal routine. He would tell us when he had to go, he would do the deed, and then call us to help him wipe and wash his hands. But about a week ago, Dexter became very interested in being independent in the bathroom and I knew we had to jump on his enthusiasm before we lost it and were stuck wiping his butt until he went to college.
It’s been a little nerve wracking letting a 3.5 year old wipe himself, but so far he’s done a great job. And honestly I’m surprised how great it feels to only have 1 extra (the baby) butt to worry about.
Dexter also suddenly wanted to learn how to stand up to pee. Which led to some pee on the floor (and other weird places) of course but after just a few days, he got that down too. Now when we’re in a public restroom I’m not struggling to hold him on the toilet, while holding the baby, and trying not to fall over myself, and make sure no one touches anything.
We weren’t sure if he was ready to handle so much on his own in the bathroom, but clearly he is. Matt and I were a little hesitant to let Dexter do all of this on his own. He is only three and a half years old, and he has been known to make quite the mess. As parents it can be scary and a little frustrating when we hand over control to our little ones. But allowing Dexter to experience more independence, and take care of himself more has been very positive for him. He is proud of himself, and has more self confidence.
Now I just have to figure out how to potty train an 8 month old…