Tis the season for traveling and visiting family! When Daryl and I packed up the van to visit my family over thanksgiving weekend, there was a long debate about whether or not to take Jonah's potty. On one hand, we are trying to travel lighter, which isn't easy to do with a young toddler. We both find it hard to cope with the fact that our minivan becomes completely full when we are leaving for just a small weekend trip. The potty is just one more thing to add to all the other space-eating "equipment." Especially when he hardly ever uses the potty when we are away from home. He just seems too distracted, as are we, for elimination communication (EC) to work properly.
On the other hand, Jonah has been doing a really good job of telling us when he needs to use the potty at home. Also, he is getting bigger and so is the baby in my belly. It is becoming increasingly difficult and cumbersome to hold him over the toilet when we are away from home. His little tush is still way too tiny to actually sit on the toilet. Even with me helping him, he usually ends up with either a foot, or his bum, in the toilet. So even though we haven't been too successful with EC on the road, we decided that it is about time to start making more of an effort to use it when we are away.
We went to Thanksgiving dinner, and tried without success to use the potty. Every time that I would think he might have to go, I would take him to the potty and he wouldn't go. While he does sign "potty" when he has to poop, he has not quite gotten down when to tell us that he needs to urinate. I still rely heavily on his body signals to know when to take him to urinate. We would get him on his potty, and I could see him flexing his tummy muscles as if he were trying to go, but nothing would come out. But at least we were trying!
When we got to our hotel that night after dinner, I realized that we had left all of the diapers at my mom's house. Luckily, I always keep a spare disposable diaper in the car, just in case we are caught without one. Our plan was to use this diaper for the night (it was late, so Jonah was going straight to bed!) and I would bring the diapers back later that night. I was going shopping with my mom and sister, so as soon as Jonah was in bed, I would be heading back to my family's house. No big deal.
It would have worked perfectly, except I forgot to bring the diapers back! So, at 8:00 in the morning, I stripped Jonah down bare naked in the hotel room, and Daryl went out to get the diapers. I just prayed that if he had to go potty, he would let me know. Sure enough, he was on his game that morning. He gave me the signs for both urinating and pooping. While Daryl was gone, he went on the potty three times! For whatever reasons, after that morning a little switch was flipped, and he used the potty for the majority of the trip.
I am beginning to think that just as I once had to do for using EC at home, I just have to make the decision and say "we will NOT be using diapers on this trip" and if I make that choice, then we can make it work. I think that when we make the choice of taking diapers out of the picture completely, it forces us as parents to be more aware of what Jonah is telling us and what his needs are when it comes to pottying. We no longer have the safety net, so we have to leave very little room for error.