Or Why I wish I had an actual job, paying actual money, so that I could afford for a nanny or a child minder or a day nursery to do the hard graft.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’ve got it easy really. I’m so lucky we can afford for me to be a stay at home mum, but sometimes it drives me a bit crazy.
I am not a first timer. I have successfully potty trained my older two children. Both of them had to be dry by the time they started pre-school at about 2 years 9 months, and that didn’t seem to be a problem.
When Miss 9 turned two, I tried potty training for the first time, armed with Gina Ford’s ‘Potty Training in One Week’. After two weeks, at about ten changes of clothing a day, and an adamant refusal to sit on a potty, I gave up and chucked the book in the bin. Six weeks later she decided for herself to use the toilet and that was that. Done.
I don’t really remember potty training Miss 7, although I do remember I bought a car seat cover which was never required.
I had been warned that boys took longer than girls, and there was no problem having him start pre-school while still in nappies, so I left it a bit longer with Mr 3. We started potty training in early December, with me blithely thinking it would all be fine by Christmas. Silly me. Yesterday I washed seven pairs of toddler trousers. The day before, six.
It isn’t that he can’t manage it. If you’d asked me a fortnight ago I’d have told you we had it all sorted. Unfortunately he seems to alternate between finding it all a huge game which needs to be replayed repeatedly, and finding it all a bit of a bore and not bothering. I find the game phase as frustrating as the bored phase. A couple of weeks ago we took the girls roller skating at the local leisure centre. In the hour and a half we were there he visited the toilet seven times.
Now, I drop him off at pre-school thinking, ‘At least he’s their problem for three hours’. That’s not a great attitude to have, but I think I need a holiday!