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Why I Won't Potty Train My Toddler

Photograph by Twenty20

The other day my soon took a massive poop in the tub. I happened to be in there with him since, at times, he has a tendency to slip and slide in the tub with such force that I fear for his safety. In those instances, I literally hover over him in true helicopter mom style.

That day, as I recited the ABCs, I felt something brush against my leg. I saw our brown friend floating in the water. Upon encountering this invader in our tub I promptly yelled, "Ewww!" and jumped out. I left Dad in there to make it all go away, but not before my son attempted play with his own poop—which I made a mental note of. Because according to most experts, his lack of awareness of how bowel came to be means he is not ready to be potty-trained.

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He turned 2 just a few weeks ago, but people are already asking me when we are going to get him out of diapers. I'll admit, potty training is one of those milestones that I haven't been waiting for. I anticipate that life sans diapers and wipes will be great. But the months leading up to it will involve lots of accidents and hurried trips to the bathroom. My instinct is that toddlers rarely do things they don't want to do, and so i'm not going to force the issue. I keep hoping one day he will wake up and say, "I'm ready to use the bathroom!"

I am a worry wart by nature and am often plagued with questions about whether or not I am a good mother. That is tremendous pressure.

I guess you can say I'm also not ready for him to be potty-trained. For one, I don't find it appealing to force him to sit on a potty training toilet. There's so much happening around him already. While we often joke about the "Terrible 2's" I think of them more as the "Adventurous 2's." The whole world is opening up before my son's very eyes. It's normal that he wants to see everything and do everything. We are all adjusting to his developmental shifts, so I don't think it's time to add potty-training to the mix.

Still, there is tons of pressure to get our children to do things on a certain timeline, to have our children fit it with the norm. I fall for the pressure, too, sometimes.

But I'm sitting this one out, everyone.

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I didn't start out this way. I started out reading all the information on milestones religiously. In fact, I spent the day of his first birthday convinced there must be something not right, since he wasn't waving on command like he was "supposed to." I am a worry wart by nature and am often plagued with questions about whether or not I am a good mother. That is tremendous pressure. But I have learned that, in a world where parenting has become a competitive sport, sometimes it's best to follow your instincts and let your child lead the way.

I also heard rumors that some daycare centers potty train kids for you. So maybe I'm secretly waiting for that, too.

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