Ah, potty training. It's a milestone that every parent dreads almost as much as they look forward to. It's the inevitable bridge all parents have to cross at some point, so parents might as well learn the rules for surviving potty training before embarking on this sticky, urine-covered journey that can leave you both celebrating properly discarded poop and screaming into your pillow for fear you may go somewhat insane.
Potty training is the worst, right? I mean, at least I think it is. As I type I am knee-deep in a pile of tiny underwear that are the direct result of potty training. I can tell you from my own personal experience that attempting to teach your kid how to use a toilet will possibly drive you to the brink of insanity, and when potty training isn't working, you're probably going to want to seek refuge one wine glass at a time. It's sticky and smelly and gross, and the emotional stages of potty training have lead me to pouring a strong drink (probably before many would consider it socially acceptable to do so) on more days than I'm comfortable admitting.
However, in recent weeks, it seems as though my son has turned a corner. He has voluntarily forfeited his bulky diapers for his "big boy pants," and seems as though he's dangerous close to becoming an independent pooper. There have been plenty of days, leading up to this point, when I wondered if the potty training was working, but I can confidently say that, yes, it was and is. I am cautiously optimistic that my son will be able to pee independently in just a week or two. It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
During this painful journey I've learned a lot, both from parents who shared their potty training tips and from my trusted friend, Google. Since my son is well on his way to living a diaper-free existence, I think it's only fair that I share some of the lessons that I learned the hard (and sticky) way. Honestly, I wish I'd known the following nine rules before I started trying to potty train because, well, I probably wouldn't be knee-deep in tiny underwear right now, if I had.