There have been many, many occasions in the past where I have written about potty training Hamish. Over the past year I have started and then given up again because something's gotten in the way, or he's been happy to pee in the potty when he's either naked from the waist down or wearing little pants, but then totally forgets when he's wearing trousers. And more recently still I thought it was getting to the point of ridiculousness and just took him into Kita one day and told them he was potty training (I'd started him off again fully over the weekend before) and that he had a big bag of clothes with him. I saw the woman's face drop and when I went to pick him up he was back wearing nappies, so I realised I wasn't going to get an awful lot of support from them.
The trouble with Hamish is that he just loves to drink loads. Orla is the complete opposite and was an absolute breeze to potty train. But Hamish is a little bit like a garden sprinkler timed to release every 10 minutes. (And no, he's not diabetic, he just really likes drinking, peeing, and us having to spend a fortune on nappies).
So with Stevie having a little intermittent whinge about how many nappies our boy goes through, I've been waiting for a good time to bite the bullet, and just get it done. This seemed like the perfect week. The kids are on holiday from Kita and with a weekend either side I figured I could get it done.
Of course there have been a few accidents. Mostly when he is either really busy (playing with water in the bathroom sink - I think it was the running tap that set him off), or when we are seconds away from stepping out of the house and he knows that a full change of clothing from the waist down including socks and sandals will delay me just enough to make me not just my normal really late but unbelievably late.
But mostly it's gone well so far. The bit I am not so keen on though is that when they say they need to do it, they really need to do it there and then. Yesterday for example we had been at the park and managed to get to the front door of our building when he told me he needed the toilet. As we live on the 4th floor I knew he'd never make it up to the apartment on time, so I whipped down his trousers and as he was nearly shouting 'It's coming!' we kind of had no choice but to pee against one of the giant potted trees outside the building. I was just waiting for one of the neighbours to come out and catch us. It would reaffirm ALL their suspicions about our unsuitability to reside amongst them. Especially as my hands and bag were a little damp from the finest mist of piddle that sprayed back at us from the stupid pot plant.
I had been trying to do that thing where you limit your trips out of the house to minimise hassle, but big mouth Stevie went and mentioned to Orla that if she fancied going to see dinosaurs this week then she just needed to mention it to mummy. So this morning I was getting the full on barrage of dinosaur requests from the two of them. But I managed to talk them out of it (I just couldn't have faced taking Hamish on a train into Mitte and feeling a little trapped if he was desperate.)
So I managed to talk them into a trip to the aquarium. It's only a walk away so easy enough to handle if we needed a pee stop. And oh, how he enjoys peeing outdoors (apparently just like daddy, though I can't confirm that. I believe it's the fact that he gets to stand to pee). He pee'd against the demolisher's fences surrounding the Zoo Palast cinema that they're currently taking down; he pee'd IN A TOILET! at the aquarium (without complaining or refusing to do it because they had neither a special mini toilet or little toilet seat); he pee'd into the foliage in a shady part of the zoo while looking at the elephants; and against the wall of the otter enclosure; and finally between 2 cars outside a Chinese restaurant.
Despite all the al fresco peeing, which I would prefer happened indoors in an actual toilet, I think he's getting the hang of it. Tomorrow we may venture on a journey into Mitte and see the dinosaurs and then I might let him pee on the Brandenburg Gate, the Fernsehturm, the Reichstag, and maybe even the Frederick the Great statue in the middle of Unter den Linden. And now I'm off to wash my hands again...