Potty Training Dooty

I’ve learned something very important in the last two days- parents have no shame.  Particularly, potty training parents have no shame…none…absolutely zero. It is impossible to have any qualms when you are cleaning urine off a carpet or cheering riotously for a kid who just peed (sort of) into a potty chair. Oh, and by cheering, I mean so embarrassingly over the top that I’m glad my husband isn’t here to see it. I can honestly say I never envisioned doing this in my life, let alone, dare I say, have fun with it.

It all started when my niece, who is three months younger than my son, started potty training several months ago. The mother in me panicked and I thought, “My kid is behind and destined to be that ‘smelly kid’ having accidents on the school bus.”  However, I also dreaded the whole potty training ordeal and I rationalized that he shouldn’t start with a new sibling coming, but we all know that was just procrastination. So, despite my nagging urge to delay it more, I decided it was time to potty train after the 4th of July.

My sister-in-law and mother of the gifted trainee mentioned above, told me about the 3 Day Potty Training Program. As I read through it I started to get excited, I could totally do three days of potty boot camp and be done! Essentially all I had to do, according to the author, was to put my son in underwear and stay near him so I could see when he started to urinate. When he started I was to run him to the bathroom and put him on the potty. Even if he didn’t ‘do the dooty’ I should praise him heavily and sometime within 3 days of this it would just ‘click’ and he’ll begin holding it for the potty. The writer suggested not having another child to take care of, but with my husband out of town, I figured my 4 month old would probably get hungry, so ignoring him completely wasn’t really an option.  So I cleared my schedule, pre-mixed a ton of bottles for the baby and away we went.

We started at 9 a.m. with a pair of undies. We restarted 20 minutes later with a fresh pair of undies.  Once more at 10 a.m. with another pair of undies. At 10:30 my rational brain finally kicked in (while I was scrubbing you know what from my carpet) and I decided enough was enough, undies just weren’t cutting it. I don’t know about the author of that potty training plan, but from even 2 feet away I couldn’t see his underwear getting wet until it was far too late.  Maybe she has special ‘hypercolor’ undies for her kids….hmm, invention idea! (And bonus points if you are old enough to remember hypercolor)

Anyways, in the past when women told me about potty training, several had said they let their kid run around pant-less and just dealt with the mess. I used to think it sounded downright gross until I realized I was still cleaning up messes AND now adding to the laundry load. Plus, there was no way Ry would learn like this. So off went the undies, (closed went the curtains) and we started over yet again, our way.

About 30 minutes in we had our first ‘event’. Ry started to pee, got up and ran to the bathroom. He tried to finish in the pot but there was nothing left to do. Still, I thought this was tremendous (insert insane cheering here) and rewarded him anyways, especially since he apologized for the mess. Gotta love that. Two more times went by like this before naptime. I went to my Facebook ‘family’ for advice and got a lot of promises that he would get it figured out eventually. (Trust me; I was keeping them overly updated)

After naptime it was much of the same but instead of having nothing left for the potty, he was splitting it half and half. (Very fair of him I thought). This continued until bedtime, including a successful if not small #2. I was so proud!

This morning came and I thought okay- today’s goal, getting to the potty before it happens. Again the diaper came off at 9 a.m. and I prepped my scrub brush. To my utter amazement, not too long had passed and I heard him run to the bathroom. When I got in there he had used the potty and although left some overspray on the floor, he had no ‘mess’ to show me in the carpet. It turns out he was doing better when I wasn’t ‘hovering’. I was shocked and happy, but cautiously optimistic. Another three or four ‘events’ went by with no mess and I had dropped the cautious part of my optimism and decided to up the goal of the day to getting into undies.

It turns out my son liked that idea, I guess even exhibitionists get sick of being naked ALL the time, and happily slipped them on. However, within 20 minutes when he had to go, he tried to get to the potty but the undies wouldn’t come down and my bathroom floor looked like a golden slip and slide. So much for the underwear. He wouldn’t even think of putting on another pair. Back to the internet for a little research and I found out I needed training pants, not underwear, and apparently there is an open secret that they are very different. The lady with the ‘3 Day Potty Training’ warned against training pants but I will say on the record, unless your child is capable of easily getting undressed and dressed with tight spandex waistbands-get the training pants.  I guess I’ll be doing the ‘pant-pulling’ duty until the hubby gets home and I can go to the store. I don’t mind, I figure I’m saving a few diapers a day.

I will add that this latter issue has helped because before, Ry would run to the bathroom on his own without telling me. He’s a little independent so I was cool with this…okay, who wouldn’t be happy they weren’t drug into the bathroom every 20 minutes by a panicking toddler.  Anyways, now that he is wearing these impossible undies, he is telling me he has to go. Maybe it’s just me, but I think this will come in handy when we go out of the house and potty chairs aren’t a few steps away.

In the end, I think that is what the 3 Day Potty Training program was all about, getting them to know when they had to go and being able to hold it in until mom and dad could help. I figure in this regard the writer was right. However, I don’t know any parents who have 3 days to devote entirely to this, right down to not showering…yes, you read that right, or sleeping next to their kid’s bed to see if and when they pee at night.  (yup, she said that too)  I forgot to ask my sister-in-law if she did that.

What I do know is that it turns out that kids really need to work on this themselves and all we can do is be there, armed with a lot of patience, and ready to shamelessly wipe up any accidents or butts that need it.

6 thoughts on “Potty Training Dooty

  1. How old is your son? My daughter is 3, and potty training her has been a nightmare! We had to buy her a leapster to only play on the toilet just to keep her on there. She’ll go in it if she’s on there, but has no initiative to go there on her own. *sigh*

  2. Parenting sure has changed. Sounds to me like too big a deal is being made of this. Get a potty chair and some kids books. Have the child sit on the chair and look at books every 30 minutes or so, you might need to read to them while they sit. When they go while on the chair give some praise…don’t over do it. They will figure it out, you’ll clean up a few messes. We put the potty chair in front of the sometimes TV too. My son took longer than my daughter, which I’ve heard is common.

  3. When I did potty training I had the child help clean. It might not have been the best job but it reinforces that if you make a mess you help with the clean up. I would also wait for overnight, its so much harder when they are asleep. First thing in the morning you should take, a hopefully dry, diaper off and take them to the potty. If they can’t hold it for long periods then they may not be ready, even if they are 3 years old. Forcing something on the child will only make the process longer.

  4. Thanks for the comments:
    My son is 29 months, so not quite two and a half. We tried sitting him on the potty at regular intervals for a certain amount of time but he is very energetic and just couldn’t sit happily for long, even with books and flashcards. He was ready to learn, he just couldn’t sit there. He really was happiest when I let him do it this way and learn for himself. That’s the way he learns best though, and he responds really well to positive reinforcement but every kid is different. By the end of last night we had only one accident and he had completly forgot about his ‘rewards’ (gummy snacks). Once he starts having a dry diaper in the morning, we’ll work on the rest. Today we went to the store and bought a potty seat for the big toilet- you’ve never seen a more excited kid! :-) Oh, and he did help me clean up- he hates messes! LOL

  5. Random Update: So I made the trip to the store with my boys to get Ry some training pants and guess what, the leg bands are too small for his muscular thighs (yes, muscle, not fat, you’d have to see it to believe it!)…I guess I’m going back tonight or tomorrow. Fortunately he has gotten ‘okay’ and pulling down his regular undies in the mean time. He’s such a trooper.

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