Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Potty Journal

     I. Am so. Exhausted. Never before has anything puzzled me to much as potty training. Sam is now three years old and current me resents former childless me for looking down on mothers who's kids were still in diapers after two. I remember thinking "my child will never be in diapers at three." Whelp, welcome to the real world ex-me, how do those words taste?

     A while ago I started reading online about how to start potty training a kid. We bought a potty about a year ago and showed it to Sam and were met with COMPLETE disinterest. He was obviously not ready, so we tucked it away, taking it out every few months to try again.

     Before his birthday we tried again, made a potty chart, got some potty board books and started hyping the potty again. I bought The No-Cry Potty Training Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, which is pretty in tune with the whole attachment parenting way of life. We started "potty learning," and he happily talked about the potty and sat on it with his clothes on, sometimes with his clothes off, but never actually did any peeing. I really feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I know all about potty training theory, like don't ever scold your child for having an accident, let them do it on their own time, stay upbeat and reward successes. But mechanically? No clue. I have so much anxiety over it because I feel like this is one of those do-it-right-or-your-kid-is-a-serial-killer parenting moments.

    Friday was my day off, followed by my weekend off so I felt that this was the perfect time for the full court potty press. I was super motivated. I told Sam the night before to say good bye to his diapers and that tomorrow he would get big boy pants and use the potty (which he did, which was adorable). Friday morning we woke up ready to rock. I changed his last diaper (tear) and put him in disposable training pants. I sat him on the potty every hour for 15 minutes at least. He didn't do one drop of pee on the potty all. Day.  As soon as he got off the potty he peed the disposable pants. Saturday we kept trying, and even went to the zoo with foamy potty seat in tow and he actually did pee on the zoo potty once. By Sunday I started thinking that maybe the disposable pants were too much like diapers, so we went to Target and got some of those old school white training pants with the extra layers and some super cool train underwear for later. He really likes his "unnaweeyahs" but it really didn't change the outcome too much. Monday and Tuesday I was at work and from all reports, the trend of sitting on the potty with no results and immediately peeing in the pull up (which I gave to my mom and Jeff's grandmother who watch the kids when I'm at work) or underpants continued.

Sam either doesn't know or care when he is wet in diapers and would never complain about it. I also had no idea when he was pooping. I knew this was going to be a hurdle when we eventually started potty training him. Because of this and because he didn't seem to make the connection between having to go and the potty when he had the trainers on, I took drastic measures. Yesterday, we started going pants free. Yes. Free wheeling buns all over the house. I was terrified and really hesitant to do it but honestly, its made all the difference int he world. He can SEE himself peeing and then all I had to do was associate that feeling with "quick! Run to the potty!" Last night was full of experimenting intially. I caught him pushing pee out onto the floor just to watch himself. After a few times though, he really seemed to begin to understand. He actually peed on the potty for the first time that I was sure wasn't just due to timing and then he did the most amazing thing: he came up to me and said "mama, have to go peepee potty please?" So I rushed him into the bathroom, placed him on the potty, and he peed right away and clapped for himself when he was done. Of course I made a HUGE deal about it and told him over and over why it was so amazing. Later on, he was playing by himself, and then quietly got up, sat down on his little potty in the living room and pooped. I was ecstatic. I'm so relieved that he really seems to get what he is supposed to do. He can associate that need to go feeling with sitting on the potty.

     Today has been a lot of reminding. He has many many accidents, but I'm trying to focus on getting him to pay attention to what his little body is saying and to take a break to sit on the potty. One thing that's still making me nuts though is that he pees so frequently. He pees like ten drops every ten minutes. What's up with that? When he sits on the potty he stays there for several minutes, so it's not like he's getting up too soon. I gave him extra milk this morning to increase the number of potty opportunities and it resulted in a hailstorm of pees on the floor. I feel bad that all morning revolved around accidents on the floor, reinforcement, cleaning up, and then more accidents. By noonish, he was feeling frustrated, I was frustrated, and he asked for a bubble bath to relax in (love that) which I happily gave him.

     After lunch he was must more relaxed. Abby on the other hand, has been beside herself that Sam is getting the majority of the attention. End result, everyone is having an early nap, including mommy. Today is one of those rainy dreary days where I have no motivation anyways. I need a break. And some time to reflect on how far we've come. Today there's pee in the potty which there hasn't been, he knows what's going on and what he's supposed to do. I'm off the rest of today and tomorrow also, so I'm hoping we'll be in a pretty good place come the weekend. I'm not expecting anything less than weeks to pass before he's completely day time potty trained, and am just looking for progress.

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