If I ever get to the stage where my kids are grown and I therefore think I’ve become a Parenting Expert who gets to give you unsolicited and dogmatic advice when all you want is to be left alone to figure it out yourself, give me a good slap. Because I’ll bloody deserve it.
Last night, on a very rare night out for an extended family member’s birthday, I found myself surrounded by a group of moms, all of whom have children older than my girls. This seemed to make them think they had the right to tell me that I should be potty training the twins NOW and that the “problem” is that I’m not ready.
Let me be clear: I am always grateful for advice given in response to me asking for help. I may not necessarily follow the advice, or I might adapt it to suit my needs, but if I’ve asked for advice then I’ll graciously accept it.
But last night was supposed to be a fun night out, not a Netmums session. I didn’t ask for the advice, and I didn’t want it. The reason I didn’t want it is because I’ve already made the decision not to potty train the twins yet. They’re not even two yet and show no signs of being interested in progressing out of nappies. I don’t find nappies a chore and I’m in no rush. With the Terrible Twos already proving extremely challenging, why would I want to add to the stress by potty training them at the same time? I also feel like I’ll know instinctively when they’re ready, and I think it will coincide with the time when they can actually communicate their needs. They do talk, in that lovely toddler way, but only in single words, none of which involve, “Mommy, I hate this nappy, can I use the potty/toilet please?”
What really got my back up was the way they laughed at me when I tried to explain my decision (which I shouldn’t even have to do). It was a laugh that said, “Ah haha you have so much to learn little one! Oh you naive young thing, I’m such an experienced parent but you are a mere fledgling!” They’re the perfect parents of course.
Don’t get me wrong; I know I need to crack this nut before they start school. But they won’t start school for over two years. They’ll start pre-school in just over a year, so maybe I’ll think about it in six months or so, but honestly, I’d be ok if they’re still in nappies when they’re three. The point is, I don’t want the transition to be stressful if I can help it, and I want it to come from them, rather than from me.
Maybe they were well-meaning. Maybe they didn’t mean to annoy me. Maybe they’re even right! But I really would prefer to be left alone to figure it out for myself, unless I’ve asked for help!