So, in case you don’t know, June is/was potty-training month. Potty training, as Maurisa has said here before is, “the bane of motherhood.” Rachel Balducci has a post up over at Faith and Family Live and Sonya just posted today about S’s potty training progress so I thought I would update you all as to how we are doing here.
Some of you may remember that in November we had some great success with Joey. Three whole days worth. Then he refused to use the potty at all. Even stripping him naked he would just pee or poop wherever he was. Discouraging did not even begin to describe my feelings about the situation. We were ready for him to potty train, but he was in full resistance mode. We tried incentives like money and candy. We tried taking away privileges and toys. We tried sticker charts and peer pressure and everything else in the book. Nothing worked. I was beginning to feel that he would indeed be going to college in diapers.
The new year was bringing no breakthroughs in the great potty training standoff. Finally, in May, I just forced my hand. Although having brand new Lightening McQueen underwear had not prevented him from peeing or pooping in them before, I was going to do something drastic. My in-laws were coming over to watch the boys while I took Shelby for her first dentist appointment. That morning I informed Joey that he had no choice but to wear his big boy underwear and pee and poop on the potty because Nan and Poppy would not change a diaper on a big boy. I put his potty in the living room as I know that sometimes kids feel the urge kind of late and don’t make it to the potty in time. Joey peed on it all day. He held his pee while his grandparents were there. We had a poopy accident after they left, but I couldn’t believe it, he was being compliant. So, as of now we have been potty trained with pee over a month (with just 2 accidents the whole time pee-pee wise) during the day.
Poop, a totally different story. One day he would go the next day not. And the culprit here, laziness. And no amount of incentivizing, again, was working in our favor. Until, last week, when he started swimming lessons. Joey has, for the last two summers, been terrified of the water (thanks to his father diving into a wave with him the summer before last at the beach) but after a couple of beach trips this year he has shown great improvement. We found a swim instructor for Shelby (he specializes in adaptive swimming for special needs children) who said he would love to take Joey on as well. We were skeptical, but we decided to leverage pooping on the potty with getting swim lessons. We are now three days (and one day last week) poop-free accidents! I am hoping for continued success of course, and I think this time, we are actually on our way.
Some things I have learned from this trying experience:
1) What works for others may or may not work for you. Just because so-and-so-mother-of-the-year did it the same way with all 29 of her kids, doesn’t mean it’s gonna work for you.
2) Pull-ups are just expensive diapers. And don’t use them at night on an untrained child unless you like doing laundry every day that must be done by nap-time.
3) YOU might be ready, but if you’re child is not, it just will not happen. Don’t forget, your child is a person with his or her own opinions and free will. It’s kind of like that old proverb, “You can take a horse to water…”
4) Not all children in the same family will train the same. Will is training himself now with Joey. Who would have thought?
5) People will feel free to give you tons of advice about how old your child should be when potty trained. Ignore them. Unless a daycare that you have to use is forcing it (and in that case, they should be offering to help you by training during the day), pressuring yourself and your child will only result in disappointment for both of you.
6) Be ready to try new things. Incentives you think are fool-proof may end up being fails. Something you may think has no chance of working might be the golden ticket.
So good luck to all you potty training parents out there. We are in the trenches together!