April 19, 2010

A Tricky Task

When people ask me "how are you?" I normally have the common sense to say "I'm fine thanks. How are you?" But last Saturday, when a fellow volunteer asked me how I was, I didn't give him my standard answer. Instead, I started talking about my work in campus and how my babies are coping with daycare. Since he appeared to be genuinely interested in my well-being, I got carried away and started talking about the challenges in toilet training Alden. Big mistake.

After spending 15 minutes listening to my  stories about poos, potties and toddler tantrums, my friend excused himself  abruptly and disappeared into the visitors centre. What was I thinking eh? Lesson to learn: never talk about your kids' poo with people you barely know. The result could be catastrophic. Now, he'll probably go around telling people, "Don't go near that one. All she talks about is her kids and their poos". Oh Well. It's not like I know everybody there.

So anyway. I reflected on the reasons why I talked about this issue with the volunteer and realized that I was deeply worried about Alden's progress. So far, our biggest achievement  has been  getting him to poo in the potty. That's about it. He is not trained to pee in the toilet yet and frankly, I haven't been consistent in  his training  This didn't really bother me that much until his head teacher approached me last week. 

In our brief meeting, she highlighted the importance of toilet training and her message was clear: Alden needs to be toilet trained by the age of four. Hearing this, I managed to keep a straight face and was all smiles but inside I was panicking. That's a month from now!! How can I get him to graduate  and get  a degree in Toilet Training Skills when he's scared of looking at his own pee? Parenthood is looking pretty grim now.

What if Alden never learns how to pee in the toilet? What will his teachers say when he still wears diapers to school? I'm talking about primary school here. How can I find a diaper that will fit him when he gets too big? Adult diapers? These are some of the nightmarish stuff that crossed my mind. 

Worried, I googled toilet training toddlers and found a trillion of tips on  the subject.  Like most good ideas,  the tips I found only look good on paper and are not that practical for me. However, this site  is exceptionally helpful in understanding toilet training refusals. There are a few suggestions that I might  try.

Alden's teacher has also given me a very interesting suggestion - the aim-and-shoot game. The idea is to put a ping pong ball in the toilet bowl and get Daddy to show Alden how to aim and shoot at the ball.  Daddy does this a couple of times and whenever he gets it right, he gets a special treat from Mommy. This will hopefully encourage the innocent little Alden to do the same thing. Daddy  plays a big role here cos he needs to coax Alden to pee willingly. The moment he does, he gets a reward for his sheer effort. Of course a bigger reward will be given if he gets to shoot at the ping pong ball. Creative huh? I  personally like the idea cos my role is pretty small.

So. For the next couple of months, that's how hubby and Alden will spend quality time together - Shooting  at balls. Now all I need to do is go to Warehouse and get some nice ping pong balls. Hmmm, I wonder if they have them in pink. 

10 comments:

Mimi said...

Hehehe.. Ping Pong ball ah? That's actually a great idea!

chegu carol said...

Hahaha! That is so funny when I read this but it is actually a brilliant one. Hope Alden will pass with flying colors! Best of luck to both you and hubby too :)

Octavia said...

Toilet training boys must be a lot tougher then for girls kan liz. It was easy for me with Allana. I toilet trained her by 2 years old. Normally i would applaud whenever she manages to tell me when she wants to pee or poo..i also don't let her use diapers during the day and remind her not to pee her pants...there were a few times she had 'accidents' but lama-lama she got the hang of it....You also have to do your part by reminding Alden to pee frequently so the bladder is trained to hold for a particular time...start with asking him to pee every hour even though he doesn't want to.then lama-lama you can space out the time. That's what I did with Allana..until there was a point when using diapers was unthinkable for her! :)

Lizeewong said...

Mimi and Kay - Thanks...Hehe..I hope it works. Fingers crossed.

Oct - Wow! That's really an achievement Oct. I'm struggling ni. I know I should have started earlier.

Will definitely try your technique - getting him to go commando during the day. Hopefully he'll get the hang of it. Thanks :)

WebGrrrl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WebGrrrl said...

(sorry about the previous deleted comment)
I've bookmarked that toilet refusal thing and hope to get the chance to read it tonight. I'm struggling with my 3+ son on toilet training him as well. It's a headache. My older son was toilet trained when he was just 1yr 6 mths old! So I thought it would be a breeze with my 2nd one. No luck. Haiya, so worried. Next year he'll be in kindie!

Lizeewong said...

Webgrrrl- I'm so relieved to know that I am not alone. It's such a challenge for me too you know. The effort takes pretty much all of energy and patience, sampai I often feel like giving up.

Now, I have to take drastic measures cos he's turning 4 soon. Biarla sengsara satu kali.

Good luck with your 3 year old :)

Erin Gray said...

ping pong ball? gud idea jg ahh...i once heard some org putih la, they toilet train the kids ada yg since birth oo...i am so shocked at that time when i read some article la...bt then recently i read 1 local blogger, she toilet train her kid @ 4 months old...how cool is that...happy toilet training for ur Alden...

Lizeewong said...

Doi dogo 4 months suda toilet trained??? That makes me look REAL bad hehe. I wonder how they do it.

TheWanderingSumandak...... said...

LOL! shooting at balls? ping pong balls cowboys? :P