“He’ll Go When He’s Ready”

I can’t begin to tell you how much I disliked that phrase when D was four. It felt like a cop out. There wasn’t enough wording to make me understand my son just wasn’t ready to potty-train. And then he was. Out of the blue, D decided he would use the toilet all on his own.

He turned five a couple of weeks ago – we had a jungle/Lion King/safari-themed afternoon. A few weeks before then, he surprised us by randomly (and independently) dropping what he was doing and running to the nearest restroom. The next step: getting him to communicate that he needed to use the potty.

D’s receptive vocabulary has multiplied since the beginning of the school year. His expressive language has also grown, but not at the same pace. (Any improvement is a step in the right direction.) I have Velcro’d “I need potty” PECS cards throughout our home in the hopes that he’ll begin the use them but I have a hard time catching him before he reaches the restroom in order to properly model the desired behavior. (I apologize if the vernacular is confusing.)

At around 3:30 this morning D woke up. He asked for milk and was talkative for a few minutes. I heard something about animals for the most part and then he started repeating: puppy, puppy, poppy, pah-ppy. Slowly opening one eye I asked, “you want a what?” “POPPY,” he pointed to the bathroom. We jumped out of bed and ran to the commode.

In my exhausted excitement, I almost didn’t notice he was letting out a satisfied, “ahhhhhh!” I have no idea where he learned that from but I let out a hearty laugh – relieved that we made it to the potty on time and that my kid has a great sense of humor.

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