I thought I came up with a much better solution this time around. A solution that did not require me to carry a potty around in the car or force me to spend wasted hours in a bathroom with a toddler.
It was a warm winter, so we were outside a lot. I encouraged Cuckoo to simply pee outside. Before we left the house, each and every time, I had Cuckoo pee in the grass next to the van. And the moment we got home, I had him do it again. There had been too many accidents on the way into the house, and I have enough laundry. We live on a farm. We can't even see another house from our yard. What could this method hurt?
Well, let me just tell you.
A few months ago, I was standing in the foyer, calling for someone upstairs, when a naked Cuckoo came streaking by. Without a word from me, he just ran by, yelling, "I have to go potty!" He did not run in the direction of the bathroom. He went straight out the front door, down the steps, and into the grass, where he "made water".
We discussed the fact that peeing outside should only happen when we are already outside. No need to make a special trip. The toilet will work just fine.
The day our best friends surprised us, the friends with four girls, Cuckoo gave those girls an eyeful. The adults were inside getting dinner ready, when I looked out the window to see Cuckoo with his wet bathing suit around his ankles. He finished up, but when he went to pull his pants up, the wetness of the suit caused him some trouble. The suit was stuck around mid-calf. Before I could get outside to help him, he found a different solution. He waddled on over to the girls, who were seated in the grass around the corner. Unfortunately, Buttercup didn't see that he was headed right for them, so he made it all the way up to their circle to show those girls all that God had given him. They were a bit on the appalled side, and did a bit of horrified giggling. That startled poor Cuckoo, and he took off at a waddle-run back to the house, jiggling all the way.
We discussed the fact that peeing outside should only happen when the yard doesn't have visitors milling about.
At the end of the spring soccer season, one of Star's teammates had a soccer family pool party. I was there with all six children. I was chatting with some friends when they all started giggling and pointing. There was Cuckoo, on the pool deck, pulling his pants down, readying himself for a big ol' pool contamination. Fortunately I was able to grab him before any "P" got in the "ool".
We discussed the fact that peeing at anyone else's house was considered rude and unacceptable.
Since then, we have done quite well. Cuckoo hasn't had one inappropriate peeing incident since then. He has figured out all of the nuances of peeing outside in a mannerly fashion.
And then, this weekend, Cuckoo lost his mind. I do believe the cold he got last week weaseled into his brain and infected the area that made him a logical, obedient, personable child. All that is left is a whiny, argumentative, disobedient oddball.
For example, all weekend long, he kept taking his socks and shoes off to "paint" his toenails with pastel-type crayons.
|Heaven forbid we forget the pinky toe!
But the clincher, the one that proved to me that he has taken the train to crazyville, happened at the soccer field. He was actually behaving quite well, simply sitting and drawing pictures in his notebook. I was watching the game and not paying much attention to Cuckoo. Clearly.
I heard him pouring the water out of his water bottle and turned to tell him to stop. Except it wasn't water, and it wasn't coming out of a bottle.
The child was standing on the sideline of the soccer field with his pants around his ankles. Bare bummed and a grin on his face, he was actually peeing on the soccer field where Giant's team was playing. Directly in front of the line of parents. I couldn't really stop him, so I did the next best thing. I held my umbrella in front of him. (I always use an umbrella on sunny days, as sunlight causes Lupus flares.) Completely nonchalantly. Totally not out of place at all.
Only problem is, an umbrella can only shield one side of him. I chose to conceal him from the players. I figured it was much better for the team if the kids were left completely in the dark.
The parents were laughing their heads off, as expected. (and I am positive more than one mom peed her pants in the process, which would serve her right for laughing at us) Only after he was done, and his pants were returned to their natural location did I realize where we actually were. The parents weren't the only ones lucky enough to witness the field contamination. I had forgotten that we were on Field 1, which butts up (no pun intended, but now that I typed it, I'm totally keeping it.) to the road. The main road. Where traffic is constant. Perfect.
I guess we can safely say that I have, in fact, not potty trained Cuckoo. He's grass trained. Like a dog. With no concern for modesty or privacy.
I really should be concerned with this whole peeing in public thing, but I'm having trouble seeing it. The amount of laundry I don't have to do, because of the number of accidents he didn't have, seriously fogs my appropriateness meter. It's not all that wrong for a three year old to pee in public, is it?
Although, with this potty training method, I'm probably putting one more tick in the "Redneck" column, aren't I?
Either way, if at the age of 10, I find him dropping his drawers in the middle of a cross country meet in order to relieve himself, we'll have to talk. I'll totally make him stop.
Until then, I'm just going to keep my umbrella handy.
Have a lovely day!