Friday, September 7, 2012

Potty All The Time

So much has gone on so I don't even know where to begin. I think I'm going to start with potty training since that happened before Labor Day and it was pretty much the most noteworthy thing we had going on.

I was sort of half joking when I'd say to people that E might go to college in diapers. He's three and a half and literally had no problem sitting in his own poop. And he'd lie about it too. Parents, you know your own kid's smells. If I was blindfolded and had to sniff a bunch of toddler butts, I'd know my own kid. From twenty feet away. Yeah, gross, I know. But I said this was going to be about potty training. If that was going to gross you out, you should've closed out your screen at that sentence. Anyway....

He was going into the 3's class at school and while technically it's not a rule that they HAVE to be potty trained, hello, it was time. I didn't want him to be the only one in the class. But I just didn't know if he was ready. I mean, I had friends and acquaintances telling me stuff like their son is pee trained but not poop or the opposite. That they've been doing it for six, nine, twelve months, carrying jars in the car, etc. Honestly, I think I've mentioned I'm lazy. That all sounded like A LOT of work. Because then people told me I can't force it, that when he's ready he's ready and it shouldn't take more than a day to a couple of days. THAT sounded more like what I was down for vs this long arduous process lasting months. Hey- it's fine if someone wants to go that route. One person I know did it really early and while it took months, he was done probably by age two or a little after.

Also, I have to be totally honest...I didn't mind diapers. I'm on the go ALL THE TIME. ALL. I'm pretty sure before E went to school last year he thought all lunches were eaten in the car. He thinks I have a secret food bank in the front seat. If I don't have food or drink for him at will he thinks I'm lying. And the thought of having to stop places or leave a full cart of groceries did not enthrall me. So I wasn't pushing it. Not because I was sentimental, wanting to keep him a "baby"...just because I don't want to stop for bodily fluids and...stuff.

E has NEVER woken dry, and most of the moms of boys I know who trained before E said their boys WERE waking dry. E had a ten pound diaper every morning. He still does (more on that later). So I didn't know what that meant in terms of readiness in general.

So many people recommended that three day bootcamp potty training. I was scared shitless (pun intended) for a few reasons. You're supposed to follow the book to the letter. That means one of the first things is to make a ritual with the child of throwing all the diapers away. No safety net. All of them. Alrighty. Then, you're pretty much trapped in your house for three days. No phone, no internet, no reading, etc. Because you have to focus on your kid and knowing their "tells", like in poker, for when they have to go to the bathroom. Well, I don't have the attention span for that. I just don't.

B decided we were doing this. He rarely has strong opinions about matters concerning E. He mostly leaves it up to me and follows my lead. But he really wanted this done and he said he'd stay home if I'd go to work. Um, hell yeah. Dad wants to take over potty training while I go sell lampshades. I'm in.

The first day went well. I think B said he peed on the floor like 2-3 times. He realized that E's accidents happen when he's playing. He feels like he doesn't want to stop playing. If he stops to pee, he may not be allowed to play again. Almost like someone that eats excessively because they feel like there isn't going to be enough. So B had to drill it in his head that accidents take longer to clean, E would have to help clean & he'd have to have his clothes changed, so if he just says he has to go to the bathroom, he can go right back to playing quickly. Basically the core of this method is major repetition.

I tried to do the night training at the same time like the book said, but that was a big fat epic fail. E sleeps like a rock. I tried to wake him to pee an hour after I put him to sleep like the book said and he would NOT WAKE UP. I basically put him on the toilet sleeping and he didn't/couldn't/wouldn't pee. So I just put him back in the bed. I had put that Ultimate Training Sheet on and he woke up in a puddle of piss. He didn't wake or care. When I tried to wake him and tell him he was laying in wetness he still wouldn't move. I put his hand in it so he'd feel it. Still didn't care. So I caved and put the pull-ups on for night after the first day. We're calling them "sleep underwear" and he's accepted that.

Day #2, I think he had one pee accident. He was doing fine with the poop from the beginning. B said he was a little scared the first time he did it but after that he was fine. I was nervous about this because I'd heard all kinds of stories about girls AND boys both asking for pull ups to poop in even if they were pee trained already. I don't think E really knew what a pull-up was so that didn't occur to him. We'd never used pull-ups at home. Sometimes at camp or school they'd put one on if they didn't have a diaper to use but I never called them that and I just changed them like I would a diaper. Now he knows pull-ups as sleep underwear and thinks they're just for sleep so that's that with those.

Day #3, B took E out and about a little bit. They did some errands. B bought these portable disposable urinal things. Someone told me about these. They're really cool. I don't think I'd need them for a regular day out where I could get to a bathroom but it would be good at a park or some other outdoor place. I don't know what you do for poop in those situations but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it....

After the three day we were pretty confident that he got it so we went about our business like usual. No accidents since. Only thing- we've been in almost every public bathroom in Bergen County. Places I didn't even know have bathrooms- they do. E told me he had to poop in CVS. I had to get in their bathroom. The employee said ok then took her sweet time getting us in there too. Of course the door had a code on it. Whatever could possibly add any more time on, that's what happened. Then he went and started yelling "I MADE POOPY AND PEE PEE ON THE POTTY!". I'm sure every patron in CVS needed to hear that.

The book said not to use the little potty anymore if you don't have to use it. B said from day one that E was fine going on the regular one so unless you need it for some reason, it's not necessary. But a friend recommended the Potette Plus, which has come in handy. It's a seat that has legs that fold under. It's the same size as the portable potty seats you see all the time, but these legs come out to make it steady on a big toilet seat or click into place to be legs that make the potty seat free standing. That way if your kid had to poop and you were not near a toilet, you could set it up in your trunk, on a sidewalk (?), or wherever without needing an actual toilet. There are liners for it that have a square of something to absorb pee so you're not walking around with sloshing piss. We went to Hoboken on Sunday and we actually had to use it. We were at the end of that pier with the grass park and he said he had to go. No way would we have made it to a bathroom in time. Or we actually just don't know yet how long we have between him saying he has to go and then going.

Basically I'm carrying around a backpack of potty paraphernalia. Whatever works.

So the point of all this potty talk is that the three day bootcamp method works if you follow it. There is no way it would have if we didn't really go for it and tried it half-assed. The biggest thing- You HAVE to throw those diapers away so you don't have them as a crutch. Pick the parent that has the best attention span and just do it. B did a stellar job- he now considers himself the Potty Whisperer. He thinks he can train any kid. I don't care if he can or can't- he trained ours and that's all that matters. I really don't think I could've done it.

Travel John Disposable urinals:

Potette Plus 2 in 1:

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