This post is all about the little man. I have posted lots about baby girl recently, but he's really been center stage the last two weeks as I decided it was time to potty train.
He needs to be out of diapers by August for preschool and to move up to the next class at church. Seeing that he's 3 yrs 2 months, and hasn't shown ANY interest in the potty, it was time to put a fire under him. I was waiting and hoping that he'd show more than a passing interest in being clean. Nope. Or using the potty. Eh. Or wanting to wear underwear. Not yet. Or just potty train himself. Whatev'. Or maybe the teachers at school would do it at school for me. Not happening.
Crap. I'm his mom. Can't pass this buck.
We go and buy a truck. Specifically a car carrier truck. (And a baby potty and a potty seat and a stool and undies and books for kids and adults about potty training.) Ready, set, go.
Day One (of one million...argh!) Wednesday, June 4th.
Checking out the equipment.
So, I hover around him, following him around with the baby potty, reading him books, playing with trucks, sitting on the potty for endless periods, or asking, urging and pleading with him to try to use the potty. I have M&M's ready to dole out for every attempt, which is the only reason he even bothers. Mostly, he just sits, toots and exclaims, "I did it!" No, baby, you didn't.
He has had four accidents, including one while sitting on the potty--peed straight onto the floor. After that, the commode was persona-non-Grata to him. I eventually gave up and let him put a diaper back on when he asks. And, to put a cherry on it, he drives me batty begging for the car carrier, even though I explain that he gets it when he goes pee and poo in the potty. He ignores this and continues to whine and beg and even attempts to climb up and get it from on top of the fridge (and has an accident, meanwhile) until I hide it upstairs.
What.have.I.done?!? This is the black hole of parenting. There can be no escape. Child must be potty trained, so into the deep darkness we go.
Day 2-Thursday. We start the day by asking him if he wants to wear underwear, and he enthusiastically says yes, which was encouraging, and cute. No accidents all morning, but only because he's holding it in. Four hours later, I give up, emotionally exhausted, and let him put the diaper back on. So, I read more toilet training books, websites. I post pitiful status updates on Facebook and a plea for prayer on Instagram. And since I only ever post pictures of my adorable kids or how fantastic a runner or cook I am, I must be desperate.
Day 3: Friday. Casey gets him to pee outside in the backyard and into the urinal at the pool. Breakthrough!!! Much rejoicing. I quietly hope that Casey will take this over. He is obviously better at this than I am. He should be in charge.
Or maybe Saturday at the grocery store, when he has an accident, right as Giselle starts wailing, so I'm breastfeeding her in the car while Casey tries to clean him up. We manage to get the groceries home and eat Chinese food for dinner in defeat.
Day 5: Or maybe at church, after at least 3 different appeals to pee during the service, he lets loose in the crowded foyer after church. Casey uses every single napkin to wipe up the puddle on the floor.
Day 7: Indiana starts "Summer Camp" preschool two days a week. In the rush of the morning, Casey forgets to tell the teachers that he's potty training and in undies, so he had an accident, and then he refuses his teacher's urging to use the potty and has another accident right as I'm picking him up.
Day 9: The second day at school, they're better prepared, but he still refuses to go, "I can't!" so they leave him in his naptime pull-up. I don't blame them at all. Discussing it with his teacher, I hope to find company to my misery, but all the kids in his class are already potty trained except two that are partially potty trained. I do NOT like coming in last. Now I am completely determined that he will go in the potty.
Day 10: Friday, I hold him hostage in the bathroom while he screams "I can't!" trying to force his way out of of the room while I block the door with my body, begging him to try. It was ugly. I see him in therapy over this very moment later on, but I persist until I hear the baby crying. I fought the toddler, and the toddler won. He pees in the yard. I'm surprised the grass survives the onslaught.
We ask his school to switch him from two days a week to four because Mommy can't handle the strain. (Did I mention I also have a newborn whom I nurse every 2.3 hours, including 3-5 times a night?!? Pity me, please.
Over the weekend, Casey mentions over dinner that we need to up the ante to get him to go in the potty. He's right. We start offering toys from a goodie bag that Nana Cindy brought to help with the potty training that I hadn't yet tried. He pees in the backyard into the baby potty, but only because I shove the potty in the path of the stream. He gets a prize. Next time, he aims for the potty. OMG. OMG. This might work.
Day 12, Monday: It starts to work. Teachers discovers that little man prefers the urinal. He's game. No accidents. Another toy from the bag.
He goes three full days with NO accidents, either at school or at home. With the prizes from Nana's goodie bag, he's going in the potty, mostly the baby potty outside, but inside a little. But still no poop in the potty.
On Day 1, 000,000. No, really, on Day 14. He poops in the baby potty (with some persistence and quick positioning from mommy). Twice. I'm calling it a win.It's been two week. We all need a win.
He plays with it for a full hour. We dance. We sing. High fives, text messages to Daddy and Nana.
Day 15, no accidents. The pressure is off. We are getting there.
We're far from finished. Nap dryness and night time dryness are hurdles that we do not yet have to face. And I know there will be accidents. But we're getting it. We've passed through the black hole and come out alive on the other side.
But don't you dare.