Sunday, September 22, 2013

Potty Training Hell

Oh, my.  Friends, we're potty training.
I must say that this is the most stressful thing I've done as a parent yet.  Really.  I wasn't interested in going there quite yet, as my nugget is only 2 1/2.  I knew I had some time before it became weird that my kid was wearing diapers, and quite honestly, I hoped that if I waited until he was older, he'd just decide to use the toilet on his own and I wouldn't have to struggle with the potty training.

Yeah, right.

I knew I needed to pull the trigger when Gabe came up to me during a play date and said "need a nice, clean diaper."  Yep, he couldn't stand to be in a dirty diaper for longer than two minutes.  And if I wasn't quick enough with the diaper change, into the diaper the hands would go, as he was uncomfortable.  I most certainly was not about to deal with a hands-in-diaper situation on a daily basis!

Enter "big boy pants."

I decided that since I knew my boy got uncomfortable when things weren't quite right in the pants-area, I'd just put him in underwear.  He'd soon realize that peeing in his pants meant wetness, and he would hate it, and start using the toilet, no problemo.

Again- yeah, right.

So Monday we installed our new toilet seats with the built-in child seat, and into underwear Gabe went.  It took him a little while to get over not having a diaper, but soon enough he was happily playing in his new big boy pants.  I set a timer to go off every 20 minutes.  Each time the timer rang, we ran to the bathroom to try going potty.  This wasn't Gabe's favorite, so I had to make going to the bathroom appealing.  I let him bring toys and snacks with him, and he got on board.

Eventually, it became all about the snacks.  Rice cakes, specifically.  Yep, he was a cheesy, rice-cakey mess.  As was the toilet.  As was the bathroom floor.  And just for some comic relief, at one point he pointed out "Got rice cakes on penis.  I get it."  And he brushed himself off, crumbs falling into the toilet.  Good times.

Anywho, we were constantly traipsing back and forth to and from the bathroom.  Gabe would sit and snack on his rice cakes, and do a whole lotta nothing else.  And then Margot's nap time would roll around.  I'd make sure that Gabe had just tried to pee before I went to put her down, so I felt confident that I wouldn't miss it.  But lo and behold, during those five minutes I was away, Gabe peed his pants.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

This happened several more times.  He would sit and sit and SIT on that toilet, but wait until the few minutes I left the room to have an accident.

Tuesday was much of the same.  Lemme tell ya', I pretty much just wanted to drink heavily.  I was beyond frustrated.  We were STUCK at home waiting on something to happen, and we had ZERO successes at the end of two days.

Then Wednesday rolled around.  I told Gabe I wasn't giving him his big boy pants back until he learned to pee only in the toilet.  He wasn't happy about it, but that's the way it was gonna be- naked from the waist down.  I'd read that kids feel like they need someplace to go- it used to be a diaper, then for Gabe it became underwear.  So I took all of that away, and encouraged the toilet to be the place he'd go.

He had two accidents that morning, (of course not on the hardwood, only on the carpet) and by the third time he realized the sensation and ran his little naked tushy to the bathroom.  And he's peed in the toilet every time since then.

(Of course, he hadn't mastered the #2 yet.  As I was coming back down the stairs after putting Margot down for her nap, feeling very confident as he had just peed before I headed upstairs, I heard Gabe repeating "only toilet, only toilet, only toilet" over and over again, as he looked down in dismay at the turd on the floor.  Oh, yeah.  This potty training stuff is awesome.)

After four straight days of being cooped up in the house, concentrating on nothing but using the toilet, we finally left the house on Friday.  And he did great.  He stopped playing to run to me and say "pee in toilet!"  We ran to the bathroom and he did his thing.  He's even stayed dry during naptime and overnights.  I am so very pleased with the progress he's made, and I no longer have the urge to shoot tequila every time I hear the kitchen timer go off.

Now to work on that whole poop thing.  Don't you wish you were me?

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