Monday, August 2, 2010

Potty Time!

Warning – this post may be considered “TMI” (Too Much Information) – but all parents have gone or will go through this ordeal. I thought I’d share my trials and triumphs! (I’m sure my daughter will LOVE this when she’s older! You can bet I’ll be saving it for her! Hey, at least I’m not posting any potty photos!!)

We have been working on a new “project” at our house – potty training!! Shocking, I know – my littlest girlie just turned 4… But, we learned with her older sister that when the child is ready to learn, it goes much faster and is much less painful, than if you decide (or others tell you) that it’s time! And really, I should confess that while we still were not seeing any of the “signs” that the experts tell you to look for – the child showing interest in the bathroom, the child telling you when they have to go to the bathroom, the child showing signs of discomfort in their diaper (asking you to change them) – we decided to take matters into our own hands last week! It was partly prompted by her 4th birthday, and also partly by the fact that we had over a week where either myself or my husband would be home with the girls – a great time to work on it!

So, after we procrastinated for the first, hmm… two-thirds of the week? ;) I jumped right in a week ago this past Sunday. Well, we started on Saturday, but I had her in a disposable training pant (pull- up), and I intended to put her on the potty every 30 minutes or so. At first, she used the training pant as a diaper, so that was not successful. (I was trying to save myself from accidents…) Then, I tried to put her on the potty (ok, toilet – she’s too big the “potty” that we have…) and she screamed and cried big tears and acted downright scared of the toilet! I decided to try again on Sunday. On Sunday, I tried putting her in a pair of her Disney Princess underpants that she got for Christmas and I put a pair of training pants over the underpants – my brilliant idea was that if she tinkled, she would feel uncomfortable in the underpants but the training pants would prevent a big mess for Mommy to clean up. Nice thought – she tinkled and kept playing – didn’t bother her at all! (See – no “signs”!) Well, this was my last day off (Daddy was home for the next two days) and I was bound and determined to have a breakthrough on the potty-training.

Breakdown, was more like it… My elder daughter was waiting for her best friend’s mom to come and pick her up for a play date that afternoon, and my little one and I were having a power struggle over the potty. She had no interest, and I desperately wanted to make this work! I had M&M’s (bribery!) for any attempt to go on the potty – no dice! Stickers and a sticker chart and then I tried reasoning – rarely if ever successful with a preschooler (or their 9-year-old sister, truth be told!) – “Sweetie, everyone you know goes potty on the potty! I know you can do it – you are a very smart girl!” Her response, “I AM NOT A SMART GIRL!! I DON’T WANT TO GO ON THE POTTY!!” Cue her big tears and stomping, pan to my older daughter crying because she doesn’t like to see her sister cry. What did Mommy do? She called Daddy at work to give him a heads up that she would more than likely be running away from home later in the day… (Kidding, of course!) Then I took a deep breath and regrouped, and I told my girlie that if she would at least TRY to go on the potty every day that week, then on Friday we would take her to see “Toy Story 3.” That worked for her! She came over and sat on the potty – hallelujah! I had a step stool at her feet to make her more comfortable, and I had a pile of books on the counter next to her. She and I sat in there for an hour and I read all of the books to her. And in all of that time – not a drop! In the meantime, her sister had left for her play date, and when my friend arrived to pick her up, I told her what I had in store for my day. She was very sympathetic, and I said, “Really, isn’t there a camp where you can send your child and they’ll send them back potty-trained?” and my friend paused and said, “You know…” and I said, “IS there a camp like that?” She said no, but had momentarily thought of a business opportunity and then said, “But I don’t want to be in THAT business!” Agreed!

Anyway, after an hour we decided it wasn’t happening and I put another pair of her underpants on her – no training pants (living on the edge!) – and we went downstairs and watched “Toy Story.” I kept asking her if she had to go potty, and finally when the movie was over we went upstairs and tried again – different pile of books this time! And lo and behold – she pooped! (Hey, I warned you this would be too much…) We were both SO excited! She got a hug, a kiss, and 4 M&M’s. We also called Daddy at work to tell him the big news – ok, I will share, she told him, “Daddy, it was as big as a carrot!!” (No idea why she said that, but she sounded very proud at the time!) It’s the little things that we like to look back and remember fondly! 

Since then, she has been doing great – 4 little accidents in 8 days (2 each on 2 different days) and we are very encouraging about how proud we are of her, and we make sure to say, “Are YOU proud of you?” And she is! This is such a big accomplishment for our little ones, and for us as parents – there are so many things that we have to teach our children and some things just come easier than others. But, if you stick with it and remind yourself that more than likely, your child will learn to use the potty before high school – you will survive potty training! (Two kids down, no more on the way – we survived – hooray!!)

And we did go to see Toy Story 3, which she loved, and I will tell you about that later!


Christine said...

Good for that little sweetie! (and you of course!)

I was never squeamish about messy undies actually and found that the best way for us was to just let her go around in undies (or nothing if wearing a dress in the house) and whatever happens will happen. She only had a few accidents. Wearing the pullups, for us, is what prolonged it.

The Fine Art of Motherhood said...

Yes, she's in underpants throughout the day and pull-ups only at night. She seems to be staying dry though, so we may lose those soon! And she's had a couple of naps in underpants and no pull-ups. Today I took her in the pool and she insisted on wearing a diaper, but she went to the bathroom prior to going in the pool, and halfway through our swim, she told me she had to go again and we got out and went in to go to the bathroom -- so she's really doing great!

Anonymous said...

For a second, I thought it said Party Time. Yikes!