Tuesday, July 24, 2012

on potty training

Potty training is a doozy no?

I know I've said multiple times during this phase of parenting that if one is ever feeling a bit too big for their britches, they should attempt potty training a toddler. There is pretty much nothing on this planet quite as humbling.

True story.

As seems to be the case with most toddlers (at least from what I gather from Twitter and blogs), BG started going though cycles of being really interested in the potty and then losing interest back around 18 months old. It may have even been before then, not sure. But they were always phases.

However, as each phase came, we entertained it; letting her sit on the potty when she wanted, buying her a potty of her own and setting it up before she was two, and answering any questions she might have had about what went down in the oh so fun bathroom.

I heard over and over that this was something you couldn't push, so we decided to do just that. She was going to lead this little adventure.

At the beginning of June, she was showing big time readiness that it was time to get serious about all of this. But we had so many trips planned and would be out of town so much that truthfully, I wasn't up for the task. So I tried to put it off some. I kept her in diapers while we traveled to the beach and to Charleston and other places, but we also packed her little potty and stopped when she said she needed to stop for multiple potty breaks.

I can't even tell you all the random places we stopped and set up that potty. There was the time we pulled into an abandoned farm/slaughter house thing, or the time we were hanging out in some random driveway praying no one would shoot us or our naked toddler hanging on the tailgate, or the time time I sat on the dash while she did her business in the passengers seat. Good times. All in the name of potty training.

She was getting it. Her teacher told me to start sending her in Pull-ups to school to help the process, so we did.

And then we backslid.

I honestly think BG thought of those things as diapers and for some reason, she went back to just going in them even more than she had been doing in diapers. I was frustrated because we were flying through Pull-ups and they are not cheap. So I made the decision it was time to switch to "big girl pants".

*I should insert here that most of our issues were with peeing in the potty. She's been telling us she needed to, ahem, poop in the potty for months. She doesn't like a dirty diaper, but a wet one, doesn't phase her. I realize this is completely backwards, but it's how she works. Back to my story*

The weekend of June 23rd, I decided to buckle down and potty train. I went and bought tons of stickers, M & M's, and made a fun little potty chart for her to earn prizes for successful trips. I was totally ready to spend the weekend at home and have a potty trained toddler by Monday.


She fought me every inch of the way. She would cry when I tried to make her sit on the potty, she'd tell me "no!" when I asked her if she needed to go, and then she'd promptly pee on the floor. After she peed on literally the only rug we have in the house, I could feel my frustration hit epic levels so when I literally landed on my back in a puddle of pee in the kitchen, I was done.

We marched right into her room, both of us sobbing, and strapped a diaper back on. Not so fun.

It was not my best moment, but I was out of my mind frustrated. Give me a dog. I can potty train a dog. But you can't rub a child's nose on the carpet as punishment and you also can't throw them in a crate and allow them only to come out to pee (well not legally).

I was back at square one.

The following Friday, I got a text from BG's teacher with a video of BG telling me (with her teacher's prompting) that she didn't want diapers anymore. Only big girl pants (I loathe the word p*anties). To which I promptly replied that Miss B was more than welcome to come to my house for the weekend and train her.

So that was that. I decided to take BG's excitement in those videos and run.

Saturday morning, we woke up, put on our big girl pants, and she promptly peed on the floor in my room. But we just talked about why we didn't pee in our pants, put on dry ones, and went on about our day.

And there were no more accidents.

Her potty chart was quickly filling up and she was excited about it. I should say though, that the whole take them every 15 minutes thing did not work for us. Asking her that often made her frustrated and mad so I quit and only asked her every half hour or so. If she told me she didn't have to go, I let it go. If she did have to go, she went.
potty chart

The next morning, we went to church, her in big girl pants. She had zero accidents and received a special lunch afterwards. I was on cloud nine.

We haven't been in a diaper since. She naps in her big girl pants at school and has only had one accident while sleeping there and one at home. She's only had two accidents awake at school and both involved her not being able to get her shorts down fast enough (send her in dresses Mom). The accidents at home have been related to us not getting her there fast enough, or being in the car with nowhere to stop. She now will go on her own if we don't come fast enough. In the potty I mean.

The transition has been easier than I could have ever imagined. We went to Savannah the week after we made the switch and as nervous as I was, we only had one accident. It was in the car after she drank way too much at dinner. I can handle that.

My only advice with potty training is the exact same advice I was given; let the little one lead. Honestly, BG just up and decided she was done with diapers and she was done. We haven't looked back since. She sleeps in a diaper at night and that's it. Most of the time she wakes up dry, but sometimes she doesn't and that's okay. She gets up in the morning and immediately puts on big girl pants. She knows diapers are just for sleeping and she's still supposed to holler for us if she needs to get up at night and go. And she totally will do that.

This whole thing really brought out my bad side because I don't handle frustration well, but in the end, it was ridiculous easy. She did all the work. I just had to supply the M & M's and the big girl pants. My part was simple.

I'm so proud of my girl. She hit this head on and tackled it. It also makes me sad to see that little butt running around in big girl pants. She's definitely not a baby anymore. Sad...


Britt said...

YAY for potty training!!!!!

K said...

Potty training is the worst! I worked in day care, so when we were potty training it was like 20 kids at a time. It was a nightmare! Glad she is doing so well! That's awesome!

A.B. said...

Are you ready to come to Texas? I've got a boy with your name alllll over him!

Erica said...

My daughter trained very similarly.

Good job BG (and mama)!

the workaholic momma said...

YAY!!!! That is awesome:) We are in the phases stage right now with Addie but are trying to be patient and let her tell us!! Thanks so much for sharing your adventure...its always nice to hear how people manage to get their kiddos potty trained and stay sane:)

Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

While you're swinging through Texas for your potty training tour, please feel free to swing by Austin. Please?

But seriously, thank you for posting this. This confirms my belief & my pediatrician's advice to wait until MP gives clear signs that he is ready, which he absolutely, unequivocally has not. It strains my inner Type A Minus at types to wait on this, but sounds like fighting the stubborn just isn't worth it or effective.


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