He was staring into space. The Kindle was idle in his hands, even as Mickey Mouse and Goofy filled the screen. That could only mean one thing--
"Equis, are you going potty?" I asked him.
My son shook his chubby cheeks, "No, Mommy!"
I picked him up with one arm, and with the other, pulled his denim jeans and diaper off.
"We have to go potty in the toilet," I reminded him.
"No! Mommy, noooooo!" he shrieked.
"Watch the Kindle, Papi. Look, Mickey Mouse!" I pointed. I positioned him on the toilet and ran my fingers through his curly hair. After a couple minutes, he calmed down enough that I could let him go. He watched Netflix for the next twenty minutes.
Every so often, he'd look up at me with his soft brown eyes and say, "I don' wan', Mommy."
I'd respond, "You're a big boy. You can do it! Yay!"
Instead, I joked, "You're all farts and no poop, huh?"
I pulled him off the porcelain throne, walked two steps out of the bathroom, and then it happened. Splat! Equis went potty on our gray-tiled floor.
The turd smelled of my failure and despair.
In my head I heard, "You shoulda known better, Xiomara. Why didn't you just wait one more minute?"
I wiped his behind and replaced his diaper while whispering, "You did it! But next time, we go potty in the toilet, 'kay?"
With a taunting smirk Equis replied, "No, Mommy."
Did you know four million toddlers will embark on potty training each year? Hispanic moms often feel pressure from friends and family to potty train their child as early as possible but don’t understand the process so they stop once setbacks occur.
I'm totally one of those moms. As a Puerto Rican mother, I've felt extremely guilty that my son still isn't potty trained, but I also feel as if I have no instructions on how to go about doing so. It frustrates me when my family insists, "Hurry! Run him to the bathroom! He's going potty!" because I know that no matter how quickly I rush him there, my son is just going to hold it in for as long as I hold him to the toilet.
I've made a fool of myself trying to get my son to be as excited as I was the three times he actually went potty in the potty.
As in, I've done a happy potty dance that involves jumping up and down, waving my hands and clapping while singing, "Equis did it! Equis did it!." He was too upset by the experience to be into it. I gave up.
Pull-Ups is motivating Moms to stick with Potty Training by promoting the message that every try deserves a little celebration. How wise! They've even created a free Pull-Ups Big-Kids app for smartphones, which helps parents and toddlers digitally celebrate Every Flush.
Hopefully, with a more positive attitude and with great rewards like dancing, stickers, M&Ms and the Big Kid app, Equis can happily learn how to use the potty.
I've pledged to not pressure Equis when he tells me, "I don' wan'" a thousand times. I expect him to thrust his pelvis in an attempt to get off the toilet, but I won't fight him on it.
I hope to make the experience more exciting for us both by celebrating every minute he sits on the toilet. As much as Equis may test my patience, I need to remind myself he can only succeed when he's ready to.
Last Friday, I placed Equis on the toilet as part of a new bedtime ritual.
I didn't tell him to "Go pee-pee" or make him stay there any longer than he cared to. I had to reassure myself, "You can do it!"
Equis had the biggest smile on his face as he wiped himself and flushed… even though he hadn't gone pee-pee at all. I didn't worry about how foolish my celebration of his victorious minute of trying made me look: I put on my biggest smile, hopped around and flailed my arms in our tiny bathroom, all the while chanting, "You did it! You did it!" This time, he joined me.
Also, check out this fun Pull-Ups video on YouTube:
However, all opinions expressed are my own.