Thursday, May 17, 2012

Leading the Way

There are many challenges and rewards that come with mothering. One challenge that has given me the greatest rewards is allowing myself to let my little man show me the way.

This challenges me to my core every single day. I have to constantly remind myself to let him lead, to be the partner in our dance and to just follow him. It is a challenge because I am a natural leader, I always have been. I like to lead, I enjoy leading, but now I must follow.
This challenge though has given me an opportunity to watch my little man learn and grow. It has allowed me to trust him and his ways, but also to trust myself and have confidence in his ability to lead. Each and every time I let him lead the way he finds his way. It may not be the way I would have chosen, it may not be as quick as society thought it should be, but he did it in his own way and watching it all transpire is amazing and so very rewarding.

Just after Reece’s second birthday I decided to buy a potty. I had no intention of “toilet training”, I just wanted it to be in the bathroom for him to see, and get use to. He showed no real interest in it, except to use it as a garage for his cars (the kid has a great imagination).
That potty sat there for 18 months and he never used it. And I was perfectly okay with that. I figured he would use it when he was ready and I was letting him decide when he was ready. I was not going to force him to use it. I asked him occasionally if he would like to try. His answer was always “no, when I’m big”. Okay I would say and we would move on.

For some reason Reece ended up with quite a rash on his little bum last week, still not sure why. But at a diaper change it looked so red and sore I told him that I was not putting a diaper back on. Instead we headed to his drawer and he picked out a pair of fire truck boxers. I told him to let me know if he had to go pee, and that was it. I was prepared for an accident but instead not an hour later he came running up telling me he had to go pee. Great! But dad was in the only bathroom in our home. I quickly grabbed a bowl from the kitchen and presto my little man went pee. 

I did not make a big deal of this outwardly, but inside I was doing a little dance. He put a diaper on for bed that night, but he insisted on wearing his boxers over top. The next morning I casually asked diaper or boxers. Boxers he answered. And that is where we are at.
He has had two little accidents, both happened when he was very much into his play and I am sure he totally forgot he didn’t have a diaper on. We just cleaned up, changed boxers and clothes and went about our day.

My little man his leading the way, his way, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

30 comments:

  1. Wow, what a wonderful little man you have!!

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  2. My son took forever...he led the s-l-o-w way. Congrats on another milestone :)

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  3. Congratulations! We dealt with it pretty much the same way. They know when they are ready and why force the issue? Oh the "recommendations" we received...I did a lot of polite smiling then.

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  4. Good for you. It's one of the hardest things as parents, I think, to let them have the freedom to decide.

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    1. It is, and like I said it challenges me everyday.

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  5. The hardest thing to do with the greatest reward as a parent...stepping back. Congratulations on the milestone! Maybe he could chat with Noah about this potty thing :)

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    1. You are so right, it does bring the greatest rewards. Thanks and yes, he can chat with Noah about it anytime :)

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  6. Another lovely post Kim. You are such a great role model to other mum's!!

    Have a great night. xxoo Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie, that means so much. I really appreciate your kind words.

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  7. What a wonderful way to potty train. It's amazing the things that happen when we let the little ones lead!

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  8. Isn't it such a great way to live?! Congrats to Reece! Such exciting news! :)

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    1. Oh Shel it is the best way to live, love it!!! Thanks!

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  9. yay reece! and yay for mama for a lighter diaper load now :)

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    1. Thanks! And I am looking forward to a lighter diaper load. We were getting short on cloth diapers and I really didn't want to buy more, so I was washing the 10 we had left a lot. That is one thing I won't miss :)

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  10. What wonderful news! All you hear about is the battle that parents and kids go through over potty training. How refreshing to read about an experience that is child-led, relaxed, and respectful.

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  11. Lovely sentiments about following your son's lead. Such amazing things happen when we give our children the time and trust to be. - Marisa

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Marisa. Such amazing things for sure :)

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  12. Wow! That is amazing and beautifully said. <3

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  13. Yeah! Underwear was the most rewarding factor for Sofia as well. I hope his transition continues to go so smoothly. After almost a year we still have occasional accidents when she's really into playing.

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    1. So far so good. No more accidents and we are now diaper free all night long. I think I may have done my last load of diapers, for this baby anyway :)

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  14. This is pretty close to where we are in terms of approach. I bought a toilet months and months ago and sometimes she asks to sit on it. It's mostly story time but every now and then she'll pee on it. After most poops she'll tell me and then want to sit on the toilet so we do.We've been going diaper free at home many days recently and she wants to sit on the toilet, then she wants a diaper, no toilet, no diaper and I want to support her decision but feel overwhelmed when she can't make up her mind. I haven't pushed the issue at all and I'm letting her lead but I'm tired. And pregnant. And emotional...
    Breathe.
    Maybe I need to get her some cute undies.

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    1. So it is more than just the potty training. It sounds to me like she is ready, but likes the ability to change her mind :)

      The cute undies might work, or a cute bathing suit.

      With Reece he just went to his boxers and that was it. He has asked about his diapers a few times and I tell him they are gone, he just smiles and changes the subject.

      I think she is trying to find her way through all of this. Not easy for you, but hang in there, she will find it.

      If you want to chat more about it email me :)

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  15. My middle daughter had a similar experience. I had no intention of starting potty training, but one day she refused to put on her diaper and instead borrowed a pair of big sister's underwear. I told her that was fine, but to tell me when she had to pee. An hour later she did just that. She was ready, she knew it, and she did it. I love how you captured this sentiment in words - letting them lead the way. It is beautiful to see how capable they are.

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    1. Thank you. They are amazing aren't they, if we just stand back out of the way they know exactly where they want to go and how to get there.

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