AKA, potty training. I’ve recently heard that some people don’t like to use the phrase “potty training.” To that I say, why the heck not? Is crap mastery better? I’m really not sure, but either way I think Gunnar is getting there!
This is my last post entirely dedicated to crap mastery. I know this may distress some of you and might even cause you to go into a little depression not being able to read about all the gory details of pee and poo, but let’s just say it’s for the best.
We had another long morning, but things are finally getting back to “normal” in our house. I’ve felt out of sorts for the whole week as this potty thing has really taken over my whole life. It’s all I focus on. I keep wondering when the literal crap is going to hit the proverbial fan. Is he going to pee? When is it going to happen? Will he tell me in time? If not, what’s going to get peed on? Does he have to go now? Did he forget? Should I remind him? If I ask him if he needs to go, will he even tell me the truth? I sincerely doubt it.
The last two days have revealed a truth about my son: he doesn’t really go potty in the morning. Both yesterday and today I was on pins and needles in the morning waiting for him to have to go. But he just didn’t. I put him on the potty and nothing happened. Both days he went pee right around or during lunch time. This leads me to conclude that I need to RELAX. He’ll do it when he needs to.
We ate lunch today around 11:15am. He had some peas. That was all he wanted. During the middle of his pea eating, he looked up and said, “Poo! Poo!” I took him and set him on the pot and he peed right away. Then he sat there talking and singing to himself for another 5 or 10 minutes. He finally called out for me to come get him. He had peed and pooped! Woohoo! I think he’s really getting this thing down! I got him a sticker, a balloon, and a helicopter. (Apparently Matchbox also makes helicopters and includes them in their five packs.) He was so excited and played with the helicopter for another few minutes till it was time for a nap.
I put him down and waited to hear the sound of silence.
No such luck.
On any normal day, this would be completely fine. I’d just leave him up there to talk and sing and play in his crib. The kid needs his alone time. And so does Mama.
However, today we have a doctor appointment for Gunnar in the afternoon. If he doesn’t sleep, we’re going to have a crankypants and possibly a peepeepants and maybe even a poopoopants on our hands. Bad news for mama. I don’t want to put him in a diaper for his appointment, so I think we’re going to have to use the plastic training pants and hope for the best.
(I wrote the above stuff during Gunnar’s “nap” time, here’s how the rest of our day went…)
All right, made it to and from the doctor with two kids and all their junk. 🙂 I put Gunnar in his plastic lined training pants for his appointment and crossed my fingers, hoping that if he did pee it wouldn’t overflow out of them. When we got to the office I put him on the toilet. He didn’t go. When we were leaving the office I put him on the toilet. I was worried now because I thought he’d probably end up going in the car on the way home. And if that’s not bad enough, I wasn’t even driving my car, I was borrowing Joel & Ket’s car! So I sped all the way home, ran Gunnar inside, and plopped him on the toilet. Still nothing. Why wasn’t he peeing?
It was right about this time that I remembered I hadn’t given him any juice today. Normally I don’t give Gunnar any juice at all, but I wanted him to have to go pee a lot this week, so I gave him juice every day to make him go. But today I cut him off. So it appears that my kid doesn’t actually go very often unless he’s pumped full of juice. Lucky me!
I got Vivvi, who was now screaming hysterically, upstairs and into bed, and I set Gunnar on the toilet again so I could nurse Vivvi to sleep. While I was nursing her I heard a tinkle or two, and I did my best whisper cheer for him. Woohoo Gunnar!
Then we went downstairs and talked with Nana Bonnie & Papa Les on Skype. Fun! And Gunnar played and played and played.
I fed him some baked cod, grapes, and yogurt for dinner. During the middle of it, he said, “Poo! Poo!” So I picked him up, and as I was setting him on the toilet I noticed I was suddenly wet. Apparently he’d started going pee in his chair, peed on the way to the toilet, and then peed some more on the toilet. Just perfect.
After that I decided it was bed time so I took him upstairs and rocked him for a while. I love those cuddle times at the end of the day, when all is right with the world.
I’d like to thank J for being a great support during this time I’ve gotten to get out and run my stress off at night and he’s stayed in with the kids. I’d also like to thank Vivvi for going through what I can only suppose is a growth spurt this week. She slept a TON, which left me with only one kid to worry about. And lastly I’d like to thank Gunnar for learning this stuff quickly. Sure, we’ve still got a little ways to go before we’re accident free and a long ways to go before we’re without diapers at nap time and night time, but I’m ok with that.
Stats for the day…
Just a few things for the record books and words of advice for moms who are thinking about potty training…
(I am not the be all or end all of potty training, this is just what I found while working with my own kid, so take it or leave it.)
1. If you think your kid might be ready, DO IT. Don’t wait. (Of course, if you have a vacation in the near future or some sort of stressful life event, maybe wait till after that, but don’t wait too long!) I know I’m just a one man study in potty training a toddler, but it has been pretty easy, and I think it’s because Gunnar knew he needed to do what Mama asked of him. No reasoning. No excuses. Just do it.
2. If you have a boy, get something with a pee guard. It’s well worth it. What I ended up purchasing is this seat. I like it because it has handles, it’s totally portable, and it has a pee guard. In hindsight, however, I probably would have purchased something like this from Ikea. He can squat on it and it opens up everything down there. It’s also short enough that he could probably get on and off it himself. In fact, I may still yet purchase one, come on, it’s $5.
3. Don’t push your kid too hard. I just left Gunnar on the seat and gave him some privacy and he did his own thing in his own time. Some kids just need a little space.
4. Reward your kid for a job well done. I used stickers, balloons, balls, cars, and lots and lots and lots of praise. All of these things are relatively cheap. Some people use food rewards, which can also work. I liked using the stickers, however, because they last. They’re something he can look at and focus on when he’s going potty, whereas food just goes right into the belly and is forgotten about a few minutes later. Also, I don’t personally want to use food because J and I have both struggled with weight issues our whole lives. Enough said about that.
5. Choose a week when you won’t be going anywhere. We had an appointment today, but I figured it would be ok since it was at the end of the week. But seriously, you don’t want to have the stress on you or your kid if he has an accident in the middle of all the kids playing at the park. Those already trained five and six year olds will have a heyday pointing and laughing. Jerks.
6. Make your kid wear underwear, especially if you have a boy. I know there’s that method out there that tells you to let your kid run naked around the house. I’m telling you, if you have a boy, DON’T DO IT. Boys think it’s cool when they figure out they can pee on things. When they find this out, they don’t want to pee on the toilet, they want to pee on the carpet, on the fridge, on the front door, on the cat, and, heaven forbid, on their little sister. Put undies on the kid. He really really REALLY won’t like how it feels to pee in those.
All right, that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed my five day series on Crap Mastery. I promise my next post will not be about pee. Or poop. But I may still mention it from time to time.