Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Come On Ride the Train

There comes a time in every parent’s life when he or she must consider the inevitable.  Potty training is the inevitable.  It must happen.  And unless you’re one of those nuts who claims to practice elimination communication, you get very excited at the thought of not having to change diapers anymore.  However, your heart stops and you have an anxiety attack at the thought of prompting that eventuality.  Why?  This is the process of taking a child who has never known anything but relieving himself in his pants and prompting him to all of a sudden do it somewhere completely independent of himself.  And to top that off, that place makes a very loud noise when you’re done, or, if you’re at Wal-Mart, sometime in the middle of the act itself.

There are books, blogs, videos and probably a lot more resources to help you potty train your youngling.  From what I understand there is also a dance and a DVD that goes with it.  I’m only going by hearsay on that one as if there is a specific choreography to flag someone as to needing to go I don’t want to know.  Wouldn’t it be a better use of your effort to teach the kid to poop where he’s supposed to instead of teaching him some 16-step terpsichorean dance step?  Just a thought.

Currently, I have one child trained and two not so much.  Connor was potty trained within about two weeks of starting it.  That’s not to say there weren’t some pitfalls and interesting places that were chosen to be just as good as the toilet.  I say it took two weeks.  It actually took two weeks from the time I instituted the policy.  He had been going numero uno in the potty for a while, but simply wouldn’t stay for a twosie.

I took to the internet for help.  I read on a blog about another blog who had helped her potty train her own child.  To my shame, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of this blog or its owner.  I feel so bad about that.  At any rate, what she suggested was a sticker chart.  Once the sticker chart was full, your child would receive a formerly agreed upon prize.  I knew nothing about sticker charts so I just made my own out of a piece of paper, a ruler, and a pen.  Now I know that there are websites almost solely dedicated to these things.  Oh, well, mine was free.

I bought some foil star stickers and laid out the plan to Connor.  Every time he successfully used the potty he would get a star on his chart.  After it was full, some 16-20 stars later he could have a pet fish.  That was our accord.  I really didn’t think it would work, to be honest.  I figured Connor would be too smart and willful to let a little something like a blue star sticker to conform him.  Turns out, he wasn’t.  I could not believe just how excited he was to earn those stars.  He was so excited, in fact, that he completely forgot about what the end result to filling the chart meant.  So I didn’t feel the need to remind him.  He finished his chart, was potty trained, and never got a fish.  To be fair, he also never asked about it.

Leading up to the institution of the sticker chart were numerous incidents out o’ potty.  I don’t want to call them accidents because they weren’t.  You don’t intentionally remove your pants to poop in the doorway and call it an accident.  Then not only did you defecate in the hallway, you lied.  One faux pas at a time please.

The only incident that I feel compelled to note, or even remember, happened one evening just inside the doorway to Connor’s room.  I don’t know how he managed to do this, but it seems as if he just decided to mount the wall for this particular deuce.  I didn’t see it happen so the sheer mechanics of it are mind boggling.  (For the record, this is kind of gross, but you are reading a post about pooping in the potty so you really should have seen this coming.)  It was a normal elimination as far as one goes except it was partly propped on the wall.  I had to get Dave to verify what I was seeing.  The phrase ‘chocolate banana’ may have been mentioned.  To this day, I have no clue how he did this, but it is the only time I distinctly remember.  It was kind of weird.

We didn’t buy any fancy potties that sing when you flush them or use them or however that works.  We did buy the little potty seat with the yellow ducks on it that sits on top of the regular potty.  I just think that having to transition from a little potty on the floor to a big one is too much.  Start on the big one, just adjust the size so they don’t fall in.  Nobody likes a wet tushie.

PeePaw even made him a potty stool so he could reach better.  It was blue and had a picture of a tow truck on it with Connor’s name.

I don’t think Sully is ready to potty train yet.  Dirty diapers still just don’t seem to phase him.  I will probably give it a try with Lily soon since she is a girl and a few months away from being two.  The only interest she has shown in any potty is splashing in the water and tossing things into it.  I don’t believe a sticker chart would register with her this early.  Maybe if I gave her new shoes.

I know this, though I really, really hope to have at least one of the diapered kids trained by next February.  Because that’s when we add a new size diaper to the pile.  Newborn.  Three kids in diapers.  Ever done it?  I have.  If pressed, I’ll do it again.    The only thing is you can’t have a regular diaper bag.  You need a diaper duffel bag.

Anyone training their kid or thinking about it?

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