18 pairs of wet underwear
47 Peanut M&Ms
1 can of Clorox wipes
32 unnecessary flushes
A few tears (mommy too)
A bottle (or 3) of wine
…. and we are potty trained, folks!
In a nutshell, it was dreadful.
At one point, I was so anxious over the whole thing, that I almost gave up. But that’s the thing about kids. They beat you down until you’re about to snap, and then they do something uber cute that magically erases all of the bad stuff. It’s the same with potty training -they pee and poop all over your house and just when you are about to go insane and start digging the diapers out of the trash can, you hear the words, “Mommy, I have to go pee pee!” and you look at the floor and their is no puddle. And you run with your little one to the toilet and hear the sweet sound of urine hitting water and you CRY tears of joy! You DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!! You cartwheel and kiss and confetti the entire bathroom. And you feel the proudness beaming from your heart simply because your little baby finally gets it! It’s a proud moment. Like, earning a Master’s degree proud. I am proud of him, and I am proud of me for not giving up and/or going totally insane. Going diaper-free is pretty huge. I am already equating diaper money in J. Crew purchases. Although, my husband doesn’t think that is so funny….
Anyway, here is how we did it:
I read up on a bunch of methods and combined them into a method that would work for me considering my life at this moment. I knew I wanted something quick and dirty, but wasn’t willing to stay home for 3 days straight like most of the “boot camp” methods suggest. With a four year old and and infant in the picture, that just wasn’t realistic. One week prior to the official potty training I did a lot of seed planting – a.k.a. reading books about going on the potty, breaking out the big boy underwear, suggesting that we give the diapers to our baby etc…. Then on a Saturday when my husband was home we took off his diaper first thing in the morning, gave the diapers to our baby (most methods tell you to throw them away so you have no crutch, but seriously??? Those things are like gold. )
Then you let the pee-ing all over the house begin. But this is a good thing, so they say! The feeling of discomfort makes the little trainee aware of when they are going and the sensation that happens before they go. As soon as they start to go, you wisk them to the toilet and instruct, “This is where we go to the potty.” No yelling, no fuss, just business. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Reward even the smallest victories at first (i.e. agreeing to sit on the potty) and then wean rewards away as they make progress. I used peanut M&Ms and the whole family got a few whenever he had a success. After all, it was a group effort.
There are two different schools of thought on reminding your child about going to the potty. One suggests you ask your child every 10 minutes if they have to go, and another suggests you set a timer and physically bring your child to the potty every 20-30 minutes. Child-centered versus parent-centered, I guess. I did a combo of both. I asked my little guy if he had to go to the potty so much that I was even annoying myself. Poor guy. He just wanted to play with his trucks. His answer was always a NO, so sometimes I brought him to the potty to test it out and see if any magic happened. The first two days were mostly all accidents. When we went out, I put a pull-up on and resumed potty training when we got home. On the 4th day, it clicked and he got it, and 3 days later we haven’t turned back.
What about nighttime and naptime, you ask? At naptime I ask him if he wants a pull-up on and if he says no, then I respect his wishes and pray. So far, so good. At night-time I try to sneak a pull-up on and just don’t make a big deal about it because with an infant that has spastic sleeping patterns, I can’t be up changing sheets in the wee (no pun intended) hours of the morning.
Oh, and I went to J. Crew today with three kids in tow. You know, just to see what my new diaper money could buy me. And guess, what? My little potty expert pooped on the potty. On the J. Crew potty. Is that a sign, or is that a sign?