The first day was a fluke.

(By the way, I’m back to regular programming! Thank you so much for your comments on yesterday’s post, and even if I don’t personally know you, even if it feels isolating to be a WAHM, I feel I’ve made a lot of friends in the online world. God be with you!)

So last week, I talked about Yuri pooping and peeing in the potty for the first time. For some reason, I had the gut feeling that Yuri wasn’t really actually potty-knowledgeable yet and that it was just a fluke.

Call it mom’s intuition, but I was correct.

That afternoon, he wouldn’t go near the potty. He was holding his pee in (intuition) and would only go when I hold him over the bathroom sink.

Me: Yuri, potty ka?
Yuri: No. Ayaw.
Me: Saan ka ihi and pupu?
Yuri: Table. Chair. Sahig. Rocks. Dahon. Toys.

Lagot tayo dito.

During the next days, which were over the weekend, he would still refuse to use the potty. In fact, he would tip the potty over if I bring it near him. I tried everything: let him play potty-training apps, bribed him, sat on the potty myself. Nothing worked.

Me: Tingnan mo si Elmo, nag-potty.
Yuri: Potty Elmo?
Me: Oo baby.
Yuri: Potty bear? (Referring to an app we played)
Me: Oo potty din bear.
Yuri: Potty mama?
Me: Yes baby. Potty din Yuri?
Yuri: Ayaw potty Yuri.

He hated the potty.

I tried to know the reasons. I was (am) sure he’s physically prepared for it because – duh – he already did the deeds. So what could it be?

My first theory was that maybe he didn’t like seeing his *ehem* excretions in the potty. Knowing his aversion to dirty-looking things, this was a possibility.

However, I dismissed it because I already oriented him about the idea of “pupu” long before we started potty-training. He knew what poop was because we regularly cleaned up in the bathroom and no longer with wipes.

After researching, though, I realized the problem was emotional. I read some blogs that say how some children refused to use the potty because it (one) became a power struggle and (two) became a source of pressure and stress. Hey, even babies get stressed!

I didn’t realize that I was making it a “power struggle” by forcing him to sit down on his potty on schedule (I was just following a popular PT advice!). I didn’t realize it became a source of stress for Yuri when I get upset when he doesn’t use it. In effect, he wanted to use the potty even less.

When I stressed about Yuri possibly holding in his pee, he sees and understands it. I guess he understood that the cause of my stress was the potty, which sent him signals that potty no good.

He might also have felt pressure to make a good “performance.” After pooping and peeing on the potty, which was what Mama wanted, little Yuri might not have known how to follow it through. Yuri loves to be celebrated but I can see he’s a bit insecure.

I researched and learned that regression is really a part of potty training. In most cases though, gaya ng amin, it’s the parent’s fault why the child regresses.

In hindsight, there are some things I should have done. Here they are:

  1. I should not have made a big deal out of the potty. I should have known Yuri will “sense” my anxiety about it.
  2. I should not have forced him to use the potty. I should have prevented it from being a power struggle (which I will never win!).
  3. I should have kept the bribes off. Yuri doesn’t do bribes. He doesn’t like being given stuff to do stuff. Gusto nya bigyan na sya kaagad!
  4. I should not have made a big deal out of his accidents. It only stressed him out even more.
  5. Finally, I should not have relied on those pieces of potty training advice- they don’t fit Yuri’s personality! I’ll talk more about this in the next potty training post.

Well, the good news is that the regression only lasted for about a few days. Yes, it’s frustrating – very frustrating – but trust me, it will end if you make the right adjustments.

An even better news is that we’re almost there. Yuri is now consistently using the potty, and though there are still some accidents, it’s okay! I learned not to have unrealistic expectations from my 23-month old baby. Teaching him to use the potty is a process, not a military training.

So yun na nga, after a few days of regression, I believe we’re on our way. I’m sure you moms have a lot of experiences din with potty training. Care to share? 🙂