We haven’t really been organised about starting potty training with Hawkeye yet. Partially, because I don’t feel the need to rush, and partially because we’re simply not, well… organised. I’ve been meaning to get a potty seat and step stool for the bathroom but just haven’t quite managed to get to that line on my to do list. And Hawkeye himself doesn’t seem in a hurry.
However, a colleague at work who just went through this experience with her daughter suggested to me that summertime is the best time to do it, and she also shared with me her secret weapon in potty training: recruiting an army of stuffed animals to join the campaign. She said that they put all of her daughter’s soft toys into underpants and made a big deal about it.
Well, I still haven’t managed to get the stuff I need for the bathroom (though it’s steadily rising to the top of my to do list) but over the weekend I did have a chance to nip into Dunnes and pick up a cheap multipack pair of the smallest boys’ underpants I could find. I figured we could start slow. If mommy and daddy couldn’t get their act together straightaway for the actual sitting on the toilet part, at least we could start by introducing Hawkeye to the concept of underpants.
This may end up being a wise move because when it comes to clothes he resists change with the strength of a ranging fire and the force of a great typhoon. He insisted on wearing his winter hat when the weather was hitting 17°C and wouldn’t go near his summer hat until I left it in creche for the staff to attempt it. Peer pressure of two dozen other children wearing them is apparently stronger than a raging fire and a great typhoon. Similarly, it took heroic effort to get him to switch from his winter to his summer jacket. And don’t get me started on socks. It’s now warm enough to sleep without socks, and as a warm baby, he would probably be more comfortable sleeping with long trousers and sleeves but with bare feet in the summer to help regulate his body temperature. It’s what we did last summer, when he had far fewer opinions about his wardrobe. This summer, however, socks are of paramount importance. Any attempts to forego socks, in daytime or nighttime, result in hysterics of epic proportions. Even mommy’s bare feet drew a several comments the other day, though he didn’t go quite so far as to command mommy to put on socks before joining him in bed.
Underpants are almost certainly going to fall into this category. Once upon a time I accidentally purchased a packet of pull-up nappies rather than the usual kind I get, and they’ve been languishing in the back of his closet. We decided to try them over the weekend as a starting point but lo and behold, a tantrum ensued.
“I don’t want that nappy! I want this nappy!”
Seriously, just give me an army of Huns to fight, because I am clearly unsuited to the rage of this war. We deferred to his preferences the first couple of times but eventually we persisted for the third time and got him into a pull-up nappy. It took a long time to distract him from the knowledge and dissatisfaction of wearing a nappy not of his own choosing. He sat up and kept poking his nappy for a while demanding that we “take it off!” until daddy managed to distract him with some other part of our bed time ritual.
Clearly we have some work ahead of us. In the meantime, however, we have enlisted the aid of Mickey Mouse, Peanut the Elephant, Elmo, and Cookie Monster. (Guard Bear already has pants on him and I don’t have the heart to tell Hawkeye that the bear goes commando underneath her Majesty’s uniform.) These guys are all now sporting underpants, which occasionally prompt Hawkeye to bring one stuffed animal or another to us and loudly exclaim “PANDAPANTS!” because he’s still only two and a half and words are hard, ok?
The best part of this whole adventure so far has been a complete serendipity. I really didn’t look very closely at the underpants I was buying other than to check that 1) they were the smallest size available 2) they were cheap and 3) they were vaguely boy coloured. (It’s not that I insist on all of Hawkeye’s stuff being “boy” themed but more that I detest pinks and pastels and if I had a girl I’d probably be dressing her the same way.) As it happened, the underpants had a nautical theme going so when I unrolled the third pair from the pack I encountered the pun-tastic phrase “OH BUOY” on the front.
These immediately were assigned to Cookie Monster because, obviously, whenever Cookie gets excited he starts repeating “oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!”
It’s like the pandapants err…. sorry… underpants were designed for him.
What’s with all the weird metaphors and references to wars and Huns, you ask? Sorry, my bad. I just finished reading a Chinese-themed retelling of Cinderella which was suspiciously similar to the plot of Mulan and now I have the song stuck in my head.