Friday, February 17, 2012

Commence potty training

Last week Chester turned two and this week I decided to give the potty a try.  It is admitedly on the early side, as WebMD tells me that boys start potty training between 22 and 30 months, and are fully potty trained on average by 38 months.  Pete tried at 24 months, but didn't really succeed until 30 months, so he was fully average.  Chester has been asking to sit on the potty for months, but has no concept of the feeling or timing of holding or peeing, so I thought it would be a good time to try the three-day potty training method.  With only three days invested,if there's no progress we can quit and revisit the situation again in a few months. 

The concept is that your pump your child full of fluids because more peeing equals more opportunities to pee on the potty and give positive reinforcement.  Then they run around in undies only, so that they notice the pee and associate it with a wet yucky feeling in their underpants.  You watch very carefully and the minute they start peeing you whisk them away to the potty to finish peeing.  Any amount of pee ends up in the potty and they get rewarded with very excited clapping and dancing, and in our family, CANDY!  Then you put on clean undies, clean up the puddle and drink more to repeat the cycle.  At no time do you put a diaper or pull up back on, this is do or die for three days straight. 

The original instructions don't mention it, but I think it's extremely helpful for you to be drinking too.  And not juice.  Be sure to stock up on your favorite alcoholic beverage because you won't be leaving the house for several days.  Unfortunately for my sanity, I'm trying to lose a few pounds to fit in a dress for a semi-formal event in two weeks, so beer is off my list of stress relief options.   

A wise mother once told me to skip the potty chair and the potty seat and go straight to the real potty facing backwards.  Then you can use any potty, anywhere, which can be a big stumbling block for toddlers leaving the house.  It also helps when they are learning to poop on the potty.  Besides those two obvious benefits, those little potty chairs don't sufficiently block little boys from peeing straight out into the middle of the room.  Sitting backwards ensures all they hit is the toilet lid.  There are even times (and this is more than I ever wanted to know about raising boys) that the pee will go straight up.  Pete learned this the hard way, leaning over to see if he was peeing yet, only to get squirted straight in his face.  Oh my!

We started Chester's potty adventure Thursday after nap, with white grape juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, chocolate milk and Valentines Day candy from the clearance shelf.  It worked pretty much immediately, and we had quite a few puddles.  Thank God for hardwood floors!  The encouraging part was seeing his face as he felt and recognized the pee,which is something Pete didn't have the first time I tried the three day method with him.  By bedtime, we had actual progress, with several intentional pees on the potty. 

I do use diapers at night because I feel there's no point in torturing them, or me, with waking up every hour until they've demonstrated the ablity to take a nap without wetting the bed.  After dinner, he took one last potty trip, put on a diaper and jammies and headed to bed.  That's when disaster struck.  Drinking juice and milk all afternoon did a number on his digestive tract and he had a liquid poosplosion sometime in the middle of the night.  I smiled a little while Ryan had to deal with the cleanup, as I was in the middle of feeding Marek.

This morning was much more successful.  We had a few full-on accidents, but mostly Chester would get his undies a little wet and run himself to the potty to finish peeing.  A few times he even sat on the potty at my request, and peed on demand.  I think we're doing great but I also don't want to think about another day like this, with the rug rolled up, watching Veggie Tales and playing cars on the bare wood floor, chugging heavily diluted juice and licking ice cubes all in the name of learning to pee in the potty.  I pray for patience (for me) for enlightenment (for Chester) and for the strength to see this through so we can have just one baby in diapers.  If we can get Chester fully potty trained, we'll actually be gaining two sets of diapers, because with one in diapers, I'll go back to our cloth diaper stash.  I've been slightly overwhelmed just trying to live life with three boys under four and I haven't gone back to our cloth diapers since Marek's birth.  

If there was any doubt that God has a sense of humor, late last night after Chester's poosplosion, Marek gave a very loud poosplosion as well.  After he filled up his diaper, I turned on the light, and started changing him.  For convenience, I keep a diaper changing kit with wipes, diaper and changing mat (actually it's just an old prefold diaper) on my bedside table so I can change his diaper without even moving from my warm and cozy bed.  I was about halfway through changing him when he gave another loud poosplosion and it shot across the changing mat, splattering all over me.  I'm pretty sure I heard Ryan chuckle in his sleep as I swore and started to clean up.  Now today I have to finish cleaning the house during naptime for another showing, and the bed sheets, my jammies and the newly soiled twenty pairs of undies in the bathroom laundry will be a struggle to finish before 2:15pm!  Guess I better stop blogging and head for the basement. 

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