Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Potty Training Sucks

Okay people.  Time to be fully honest.  Time to lay it all out there.  Time to swallow my pride.  Funny thing about parenting - just when you think you have it TOTALLY figured out, something rolls along and b#%@*-slaps you across the face.  For me, it was potty training. 

Let me start from the beginning because there are oh-so-many-details to include in this one little post.  So at the end of the summer, Jared and I started talking about potty training.  We had some initial thoughts to try to squeeze this process in August but at Harper's teacher conference before the school year started, her teacher said they really wouldn't focus on this until after Christmas so we gave ourselves a little break.  In the meantime, I thought it might be smart to go out and purchase a little training potty to get The Squirrel use to the idea of it all.  I made a big deal out of it and took her with me to BrUs to pick out her own potty, just like all of the books say to.  They had a cute little froggy potty, a nice sleek modern white potty, a fun potty with a happy face on it - all great options.  But then, before I could block her vision, she spotted it - the horrendously ugly and terribly annoying talking Elmo potty.  Ugh.
"Dat one Mommy, dat one!"  I put on my best sales smile and tenderly tried steering her in the direction of any other the aforementioned options.  
"Look at this cute one Squirrel!  It would be so fun to tinkle on!"  
"No Mommy.  Dat one.  Elmo, Elmo, ELMO, ELMO ELMO!"
Great.  So now I was stuck with the talking Elmo potty. Whatever.  

After many a conversations with friends, I decided that the Three-Day Method made total sense to me.  I have friends that SWEAR by it and say "Viola!  Three days and it's a done deal!"  Perfection.  So off I went to read up and study.  Over the next few months, we would practice occasionally on the potty just to get her use to the idea but never any luck.  We tentatively decided on post-Christmas as our go time since Jared would be home for a few days and we could tag-team this action.  Then in November, the Squirrel had a UTI due to the antibiotics she was on so we had to get a urine sample.  Harper successfully sat on the potty at the doctor's office and peed in a cup.  FANTASTIC! I came home, bragging to Jared and we set the firm date.  December 26 we would own that potty!

As Christmas approached, I started talking to Harper about Big Girl Panties - how only babies used diapers, how she was a big girl now and wouldn't it be fun to wear panties, how Santa wanted to bring her a special present of big girl panties.  We would peruse the underwear aisle at Target and talk about all of the many options so I could get an idea of what kind she would get excited about.  All of the books and articles said to  get them underwear that they would want to wear and wouldn't want to get dirty.  We would look at the little girl panties with their explosion of Disney princesses, Dora the Explorer and TinkerBell.  The Squirrel took no interest what-so-ever.  Until the day she spotted them...Thomas the Tank Engine panties....err, should I say underwear. That's right.  She wanted the Thomas underwear and only the Thomas underwear.  Unfortunately, they only make Thomas underwear for those equipped with the male anatomy.  Believe me, I searched high and low.  And after that point, when we talked about panties, she insisted that she only wanted the Thomas panties.  So yes, I bought my sweet little girl Thomas underwear made for boys.  

Then the week of Christmas, out of the blue, the Squirrel started saying she wanted dinosaur underwear.  Once again, underwear makers are totally sexist and figure that ONLY little boys would want to wear dinosaur underwear.  After searching high and low, I finally found them and made the purchase of boy dinosaur underwear.  I did buy girl panties to throw in the mix and try to see if she might want them from time to time - guess what, she doesn't.

On Christmas Eve, the girl had a rough night of sleep and Christmas night was the same story.  It was accompanied by a runny nose so before we dove head first into potty training, we woke up the morning of December 26 and made a quick trip to the doctor to get her ears checked out.  No ear infection so home we came and it was GO TIME!  

Let me tell you, I was ready.  First off, I just knew this Three Day Method was going to work for my Harvard-bound girl.  Why wouldn't it?  According to all of the books, she was showing all signs of readiness.    Second, I refused to let my child be the one sporting pull-ups.  They are so tacky.  What parent puts their child in a pull up?  Really people.  Grow a pair and get your child potty trained in three days.  No, we were going to do this and do it right.  Away with the diapers!  No pull ups in our house hold!  Panties....er, underwear....all the way!

So The Squirrel woke up from her nap, we went naked from the waist down just like I'd read and did a little show and tell with T-Rex.  I showed her how he tinkled in the potty (with a syringe and some water), how he pooped in the potty (with mini chocolate chips), how he flushed and washed his hands, how he got a mini-marshmellow for a successful trip on the potty and how he got a sticker on the sticker chart.  I also showed her what would happen when he had an accident - how we would run back and forth from the accident spot to the potty chanting "No tinkle on the floor, we tinkle on the potty!" ten times and how he would help clean up the mess, just like I'd read.  It seemed to click.  She had two little tinkles on the floor and then she understood what it was coming out of her.  She started running to the potty.  We had success people!  We were still waiting for a BM but I just knew that would come in the next 24 hours.  We also had everything set out for playing on the hardwood floors for three days of entertainment.  Legos, a huge cardboard train from Uncle LJ to color, a tinkle tea party, dinosaurs, crayons, markers, coloring books.  I even documented each step so I could appropriately brag about our success here on the blog and, of course, be pinned all over Pinterest as an example of how to successfully potty train your child.  I could just imagine the praise as it was poured down on me for my perfect mothering.  

Day Two - The Squirrel woke up and peed all over her chair at breakfast.  Next she peed all over her chair in time out (one of my cloth covered dining room chairs, mind you).  And then she peed all over her carpet in her room.  Okay, so we were having a little set back.  But we corrected the action, didn't freak out when the accidents happened and just had the girl sit on the potty after each accident and then help clean up the tinkle.  By lunch, she was sucking down apple juice and water like it was no body's business and having success again.  Perfect.  We could just edit this little morning episode out of my stupendous parenting blog post and move on.  However, Jared and I were quickly realizing that the girl was needing to make a "movement" but was squeezing it in with all her might.  Okay, little hiccup but we could fix that.  I had little toddler suppositories so I inserted one of those suckers and we spent the next hour sitting on the potty waiting for that movement.  By that time, it was creeping past nap time and the girl was basically falling asleep on the toilet so we threw padding and covers all over her bed in case the suppository kicked in during her nap and tucked her in for a snooze.  She woke up from her nap, had plenty of success with the urine but zero with the other stuff.  By that night, so we were starting to panic a little. 

Day Three a.k.a. Total Chaos - The Squirrel woke up and kept peeing everywhere but the toilet.  Wait a minute.  All of the other moms said Day Three would be easy peasy.  My child genius should not be peeing on the floor.  It had to be the doo doo situation throwing her all off.  Well, we could fix that...again...but no, for real, this time I would fix it.  I sent Jared off to the pharmacy for a little Pedia-Lax.  The directions said it would cause a stirring in 6-12 hours so we gave the girl a dose and went outside with our potty in tow for a little fresh air.  We were ALL getting stir crazy.  So about 5 minutes into playing, Jared and I both looked away for about 3 seconds, looked back and the Squirrel had snuck off behind the grill and was clearly doing her business.  6-12 hours my foot!  It had been about 10 minutes!  We grabbed her, threw down her pants, stuck her on the Elmo potty but it was too late.  It was EVERYWHERE.  And it was 38 degrees outside.  So after some code word cussing by her parents (are we the only ones that code word cuss when the kids are around?), the poor girl got cleaned up in the freezing cold.  It wasn't until I went in to wash out her clothes in the sink that I looked in the mirror and I saw it.....THERE WAS POOP IN MY HAIR!  Yes, I might have shed a tear or two.  I might have exclaimed to Jared that this was the absolute hardest thing I had ever done as a parent!!!  Um, listen here sister - your child was in the NICU for 9 weeks.  You went home without her.  She's gone through surgery.  You had your appendix taken out while you were pregnant with baby #2.  You have a second child that still isn't sleeping through the night at 9 months.  Potty training is NOT the hardest thing you have ever done as a parent.  Get a grip!

Day Four - Okay, so I will be the expert on the Four Day Method.  New concept!  I'll write a book!  I'll be famous!  Perfect.  Day Four was just about as bad as Day Three with another no pooping day.

Day Five - Last ditch effort.  This will click today, this will click today, this will click today.  By the end of the day, I had cleaned poop out of two pair of Thomas the Train underwear and was waving a white flag.  On went the Pull-Ups and online I went to find out how people potty train that aren't using the Three Day Method.  

Then I found it on Kindle - Stress Free Potty Training by Sara Au and Peter Stavinoah.  I read it from cover to cover that night and everything clicked - for me.  Basically, my child is an Internalizing Child.  And I know this.  She takes time to warm up to new situations, she is in no way shape or form a dare devil, she has a definite comfort zone and doesn't like to step a toe outside of that, I have to prep her for each day by telling her what the day will consist of.  And here I was trying to toss the poor child into a new routine with the snap of my fingers.  I'm an idiot.  

So bottom line, we backed WAY off. We put away the timer that was buzzing every 15 minutes to tell us to stick her on the potty.  We threw away the marshmellows - I think I was also throwing sugar highs into the mix.  We just let the girl start going at her own pace.  And guess what, she might be in a pull up but its working.  We've now had three successful BMs on the potty and today was the first day that she peed on the toilet every time she had to go!  Now, I certainly don't think we're out of the woods here and we certainly aren't ready to sport our boy underwear 24 hours a day, but Harps is adjusting to this new routine in her own time and she'll get the hang of it eventually.  

So there you have it.  My first experience in potty training.  And knowing Cito, he'll put me through a whole different experience when its his turn.  Maybe I'll get my shiny parent trophy his time around!

And now I leave you with all of my "teaching pictures" from Day One and Two and then ones since then that I just found humerous.  Oh, and as you might notice, she decided on Day One that she no longer liked the Elmo potty so we ended up with a potty seat and a stool.  Harris, on the other hand, now loves to chew on the Elmo potty.  So that's special.

Getting a marshmellow from Mommy's Potty Training Apron
A potty tea party

This sweet boy was so patient being stuck inside for five days
Triceratops has to tinkle too
We spend a lot of time without pants on now around our house per my new potty gurus
Proud of my girl for all of her hard work!


amy said...

oh my goodness, this is the funniest shit ( pun intended) i've read in a long time!!! thank you for the laugh. potty training was my biggest fear as well and i hated it with a huge passion!! my first daughter trained pretty easily thankfully...my second daughter was trained at preschool, SCORE!!!

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