My daughter was fully potty trained by the time she was 2. My son, however, took a lot longer. He's 4 and stopped wearing a diaper at night, eh, about a month ago. I had heard that boys went diaper-free much later than girls, but I never really believed it so the delay was a shock. And when I was asked, "Is your kid potty trained yet?" I was force to realize how misguided that question truly is. I mean, who cares at what age your child finally went diaper-free? Most children learn to use the toilet properly before elementary school, right? What's the harm in letting the kids figure it out on their own?
At 18 months I decided it was time to potty train my daughter. Many people told me I was already late to the game and they just "couldn't believe my 18-month-old was still walking around in a diaper." But after multiple accidents on the carpet, including one where I had to scrub poop off the fibers, I decided nothing was worth that much trouble. Around 22 months, my daughter decided she will no longer use a diaper, and we began stress-free diaper weaning. In two months, she was living completely diaper-free, even at night.
Since I tend to learn from my mistakes, I didn't bother trying with my son until he was at least 2. But he showed absolutely no interest and I gave up trying pretty quickly. When he was closer to 3 he said he no longer wanted to wear a diaper and, instead, wanted to be a "big boy" like his father. But he refused to wear a diaper at night and, after multiple nighttime accidents, it was all too much for this working mother to handle. Our struggle continued for almost a year. So trust me when I say the last thing I needed was someone asking me why we hadn't mastered potty training yet. So if someone feels like inquiring about your kid's potty prowess, here are a few things you can say in response:
"On Good Days, Yes"
Hey, everyone has good days and bad days, and my potty training child was no different. If he managed to pee in the toilet consistently, it was a good day. If there were accidents, well, not so much. It's OK, your kid will eventually pee in the toilet.
"Oh, Was I Supposed To Take Care Of That?"
Seriously, aren't they going to do it on their own? I mean, they'll see us doing it, see that their friends aren't wearing diapers, and, like, sometime before first grade they'll "train" themselves. Right?
"Training Is For Animals"
I know "training" is the preferred, most common term, but I always picture an animal when I hear the word "training." Like, I'm not training my kids you guys, I'm guiding them to be diaper-free. I'm weaning them off diapers. I'm modeling behaviors.
No, my child is not trained and probably won't be for a while. I know, I know: I'm a terrible parent. How dare I? How could I? I'm the worst. Also, stop asking me this question.
Yes, and he could probably teach your children as well. Any interest? We charge by the minute.
I don't know why I feel so snarky towards this question, just feels so judgmental.
"They'll Do It When They Are Ready"
In my experience, the whole "they'll do it when they're ready" thing is absolutely true. There's no parenting prize for having your kid be diaper-free at a certain age. Trust me, no one gets a trophy. All you get is a several more strands of gray hairs and possibly a somewhat permanent eye-twitch. It's not worth it, you guys.