Thursday, September 20, 2012


I had just turned off the water in the shower and wrapped my hair in a towel this morning when I heard, "Lydia, come see this!"

I have a general rule to never leave a warm bathroom while I'm still wet, so I started drying off. A more insistent, "Come quick, you're going to miss it!" had me wrapping the towel around me and slipping down the hallway on wet feet.

James had a milestone yesterday--taking five steps while only holding on with one hand--so I wondered what he was doing this morning! As I slid into the living room, I saw James clumsily, yet happily, swinging a light saber toward his Daddy, who was gently tapping his own light saber on James's.

"Look! We're sword fighting!"

As I stood there cold and wet in my towel, I had to laugh at a dad's definition of important events in a son's life.


Speaking of milestones, James and I are about to attempt a biggie: potty training.

Before you tell me how crazy I am, I kinda know. But do you also remember I took on potty training with Caleb at 18 months? It wasn't really the route I'd recommend, and we had a LOT of frustrations, but it worked out in the end, and evidently I'm a glutton for punishment.

Kids with Down syndrome don't typically potty train at 2...or 3...or maybe even 4 years of age. Low muscle tone effects every part of their bodies, including bladders...and the ability to control them!

But...let me just give you the reasoning.
  • It's been a general rule with James that it will take him longer to learn things, so let's start early. I'm applying that rule to potty training.
  • James has been very successful going peepee in the potty, seemingly on purpose.
  • His nighttime diapers, while not dry, are definitely less wet than they used to be.
  • His daytime diapers, he can keep dry for long periods of time, and then whoosh! it all comes at once. 
  • He can already sign "potty." When I ask if he needs to go potty, he either gives me the sign as an affirmative, or he shakes his head.
These are all very good signs for potty training, and I don't want to miss an opportunity and end up inadvertently training him to ignore the signs and just go potty whenever, which is basically what I'm doing when I continue to let him wear a diaper.

SO...up went the rugs, off came the diapers, and out came the training undies (thanks, mom!). And yes, the frog potty is back out. When Jon saw it, he sighed, "I wasn't ready to see that again." I kind of agree, but parenting--it turns out--is not about what we parents want. Not sure the kids believe that, yet....or us, for that matter.

As I re-read my daily posts about Caleb's first week of potty training (check out the May 2010 posts), I was very encouraged. Some of the hurdles I'm anticipating with James were also hurdles with Caleb, and I'd forgotten that. But there are a few more these days, and we'll see how they go.

Possible Hurdles:
  • James doesn't tell me when he needs to go potty, just answers "yes" or "no" when I ask.
  • He doesn't seem concerned when his diaper is wet, though he doesn't like a poopy diaper
  • He doesn't seem concerned when he finds himself in a puddle of pee, and just scoots out of it and moves on.
  • James can't walk -- Others have mentioned this problem, but it's really not a big deal, because I carried Caleb to the potty and pulled off his shorts for him for a long time, and I can do the same for James.
  • Our lives are busier. Now I have two kids and a daily out-of-the-house schedule. We can't just pause life like we had done with Caleb, and it's harder for me to give 100% attention to The One Not Potty Trained.
Wish us luck!


  1. Well, of course, I wanted to wait until after we moved even though Seth had shown some interest earlier this summer. We're at the defiance stage with diapers... do you need a clean diaper? NO!!!! Because he doesn't want to pause in his day for that... so I don't know how that would translate to pottying. He also misnames things... "Just wet" when he's poopy or "Hey, poop!" when he's not. Maybe over the holidays... we'll have a break from school and since we're not traveling then...

  2. Oh, and Ian was day and night trained at the same time. We're planning to tackle Seth's sleep issues here soon (like THIS weekend) but I don't want to reintroduce a new nighttime wakeup pattern once we finally get into a good groove! Argh, no kidding, why can't they be like kittens?

  3. Sounds like Lydia's got this potty thing down, Karen. Let's just ship O and S off to Aunt Lydia and watch her work her magic!

    1. Oh sure...but I charge for services like that! ;)

  4. Grandma's Potty Camp is always open!

    1. I think you're schedule is busier than mine these days! But maybe I'll ship him off to Palestine when I'm ready to throw in the towel. :)


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