I'm going tell you something that might come off as a little harsh, but it's absolutely true.
In terms of developmental milestones, my kids aren't breaking any records.
Now, before you TOTALLY take away my status as Mother of the Year, hear me out.
Finn walked at 16 mo.
He potty trained initially at 18 mo...and then decided it wasn't worth the hassle, gave it up, and was finally fully potty trained at 3.5 years.
Kiki walked at 15 mo.
She was fully potty trained at 3.
Leve walked at 17 mo.
She was fully potty trained at 3.5.
TJ walked at 21 mo.
At 2.5, he's not potty trained.
I admit to having a pretty "go with the flow" attitude toward parenting. My philosophy is that they're only little for such a short while, why rush the process? It's worked alright for me. Don't get me wrong, I've TRIED to get the kids to walk. We've stood with them between us. We've held their fingers. We've encouraged. Nothing. I've spent time trying to toilet train each of them when I felt they were showing interest. Nothing. I refuse to bash myself over the head with it and have just let it happen. Not so surprisingly, they all figured it out and with minimal muss and fuss.
After getting his hair cut very short and being told what a big boy he looked like, Finn asked me for a pair of underwear one day and "training" was over. Kiki wanted a particular doll. "Get potty trained and I'll buy it for you", I said. Done. 2 days later she had it locked in and was playing with the doll. Leve decided that she couldn't possibly go to the Fair with diapers on and trained herself with a little help from Daddy and her siblings.
I've been introducing the potty and encouraging TJ for the last month or so. He seems to "get" what it's all about, but hasn't done much about it. Until last week.
I was laying him down for a nap and he said, "I pooped."
"No you didn't, I just changed you."
"I poop my butt."
"Do you need to go potty?"
I take him and set him down. He says, "I get a treat?"
"Of course. If you go potty you get a treat."
"Shut the door."
Now, I'm not sure what was funnier...that he negotiated the treat BEFORE going to the bathroom, or the fact that he demanded privacy, but I giggled pretty hard outside the bathroom regardless. And he did a nice number in the potty, so it was a good thing. He got lots of praise from me, but the biggest high fives came from his siblings. Why?
THEY GET A TREAT TOO.
I started it with Leve. At the time Kiki was 6 and Finn was 8...old enough to be potty-experts. I decided instead of making potty training a Mom/Kid thing we were going to make it a family thing. With the lure of a treat, I suddenly have 3 people asking if Leve needed to go to the bathroom instead of just me doing it. PERFECT!
I'm doing the same with TJ...and it's going well. Leve is especially helpful, even asking and helping him at church! (Note to self; Bring treats WITH for jobs well done outside the house. Leve was NOT impressed that there was no treat until we got home. Oops.)
He is not breaking any records, but we're definitely on the right path. We seem to have #2 taken care of, so it's just to make sure #1 always happens.
I have noticed that he cannot jump with both feet yet, and, according to a Mom of 7 that I used to give piano lessons to, that is a key developmental milestone for being prepared to do #1 on the potty...something about brain/body connections...hey, she's trained 7 kids, I figured I'd trust her! ;) So, we'll give it time.
In the mean time I get to see this cute mug more and more. :)