The end of the day yesterday gave me great hope for this morning.
That flame of hope was quickly snuffed out.
He just wasn’t going again. And he didn’t want to be on the potty. After two accidents, I decided it was time for more immersion therapy. So we sat on the toilet for probably about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. (Let me interject here that this is not as torturous as it sounds. Once he gets over the fear, which takes about 5 minutes, he’s totally fine with sitting on the potty and watching videos and playing with his toys.)
Finally he decided he couldn’t hold his pee in any longer, so he started to let it out. This made him cry and scream for a few seconds… until he looked down and actually saw what was happening. Then he thought it was pretty cool. He even ran his fingers through his pee stream. Nice. Such a typical boy.
He was rewarded with a sticker and a balloon, along with lots and lots of praise and cheering from mama.
I put on new undies and let him off the pot to run around a play for a while. Again, I reminded him every couple of minutes to “tell mom when you need to go peepee or poopoo.”
After a little while he ran up to me and gave me the look. I ran him into the bathroom and he peed on the potty!! I was so proud! He was rewarded with another balloon and another sticker. I put his clean undies back on and let him play.
The next time he had to go he ran into the bathroom. I ran in after him and plopped him on the potty and he went again! Woohoo! We were finally getting it down! This time he got another sticker to add to his growing collection. He’s pretty excited about those stickers.
Right before nap time I was reminding him again about telling mom if he needs to go pee or poo and he started going all over the floor. But I scooped him up and ran him to the bathroom so he could finish on the pot, and we still celebrated with a sticker and lots of praise from mama. He clapped for himself too. He likes watching his pee go into the pot, then dumping the little pot into the big toilet and flushing it away.
I put a diaper on him for today’s nap time. I figure that I pumped him so full of juice that there’s no way he’s going to be able to hold it in for the full nap time. Well, he pooped in it half way through nap time. Bummer. I really wanted him to get that out on the potty. But I know it’ll eventually happen. One step at a time.
My plan is that I’ll diaper him for nap and night time through this week, so we can at least get the basics down. Then next week I’ll just use the training pants for nap time, but a diaper still for night time. Then when he’s ready, I’ll take away the night time diaper.
So back to the story…
He didn’t nap at all. Just jumped around in his crib, sang to himself, and whined. As with most kids, when Gunnar doesn’t nap, he usually turns into a hyper-crazed disobedient pile of whines. But today was a little different. He was still hyper and a little disobedient, but I was expecting for him to throw the whole potty thing out the window. But he didn’t! He was excited to go on the potty!
In fact, for the rest of the afternoon he went pee on the potty. He didn’t have a single accident until dinner time, and that’s pretty understandable because he was locked in his chair and preoccupied with delicious food. He wore the same undies the whole time. I was so proud! And he earned more stickers for his chart. He loved that part!
When the day was done, Gunnar had earned TEN stickers for going pee on the potty! And he only had a couple of accidents!
Now for a few things I have discovered while potty training my kiddo:
1. Potty training is a waiting game. It feels more like an exercise in the development of my patience than a lesson in teaching Gunnar how to use the potty. Most of the day is occupied by sitting and waiting and trying to entertain my restless kiddo. It’s akin to a 16 year old waiting in line at the DMV. You know something great is coming, but it’s taking forty forevers. And you have to deal with cranky people the whole time you’re there.
2. Gunnar kinda likes a little privacy every once in a while. I discovered this when I stepped out of the bathroom after waiting for a few minutes for him to pee. I left him by himself on the potty so I could grab a couple of things, and sure enough a few seconds later I heard a “tinkle tinkle tinkle!” I rushed back in and there he was, so proud of himself!
3. He’ll poop when he wants. My whole plan was to poop train first because I’ve heard that when you poop train, peeing pretty much follows automatically. Made sense to me so I thought I’d do it. Obviously, Gunnar did not agree. And honestly that’s fine. If he saves it for his diapers at night, there’s nothing I can do. He’ll eventually figure it out.
4. Ya gotta figure out what motivates the kid. For Gunnar, it’s stickers. Balls and balloons help too, but he really wants to earn another sticker. It’s fantastic.
5. I’m a cautious believer that potty training earlier is the way to go for most kids. I’ve heard it was easier, and I’m believing it to be true as of right now. He can’t talk his way out of it, and he knows that if mama wants him to stay on the toilet, he’s gonna have to stay on the toilet. Also, he’s motivated by smiley face stickers. Come on. That’s awesome.
All right, enough for tonight. I’ve gotta go enjoy the cupcake that J brought home for me, along with another lavender soak in the tub.