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Thursday, December 5, 2013

potty training in the trenches

If there's one thing I know about Henry, it's that he's not going to do something unless it's his own idea. What's up with that??
So, when it came to potty training, we were in agreement that we would do our best to let it be his idea. Or at least trick him into thinking it was. We bought him a potty chair a year ago and let it sit in our bathroom as an experiment. He drug it around the house a little, filled it with toys, figured out how to take it apart, but had zero interest in sitting on it. Fine with me. I didn't want to try to train him right before Baby #2 anyway. I had heard from several credible sources that you shouldn't try to train a boy before age 3, so that was always in the back of my mind. Every now and then I would feel a little bad for him because he is so verbal that I think people assume he is older than he is, so to them it seemed strange that he was still in diapers. And every now and then he would suddenly be in the mood to sit on the potty chair. But that's all that he would do. Just sit. Nothing would happen. No positive reinforcement. We bought him underwear but they just sat, too. Sat in his drawer.
Then one day about three weeks ago, we had an unexpected playdate pop up. We told him his friend would be coming in about 20 minutes. The next thing we know he's silent and when we went looking for him we found him in his room trying to hurriedly put on his underwear over his diaper. Didn't want to look like a baby in front of his friend, I guess :) We jumped on the opportunity and introduced the idea of pottying and earning a treat. That was a game changer for the little guy. The treats started out big. A choice of one piece of candy from the Halloween bucket. And suddenly he was able to go a little trickle every time he sat down. Which just so happened to be every six minutes. No joke! How can he go that often? He must be holding in just a little each time so he can up the number of treats he earns. So, the treats quickly turned from a trip to the Halloween bucket to a single M&M.
But because of this need-to-go-every-six-minutes issue, potty-training takes over our entire life. We can't do anything else besides potty, clean out the potty, flush (big deal), wash hands, get M&M, and do it again. Ughhhhhh...turns out I have little patience for this routine. How will we ever leave the house??  
And potty training is messy! Our little do-it-yourselfer has decided to try dumping the potty on his own a few times and that doesn't go well. And then there was the time that I turned my back for two seconds and the dog was DRINKING the potty. Ahhh!! After that little incident, I grabbed my phone to text about it to my mommy friend, but just as I started in with the story a text popped up from her telling me that her CHILD had just drank the potty. Her exact words were: What.the.actual.heck?
Yup, I got trumped.
All this is to say, this potty training business has me secretly wishing he stays in diapers for another year. It's just so much easier.


Ruth Ann said...

I laughed out loud because, well, you know why. And we should chat soon because we have been potty training Silas for the last week.

We should go on a vacation together. We totally deserve it.

The Blackley Tribe said...

Hang in there friend. This is humbling, exhausting business here. There is NO formula. If only!