I studied the 3 day potty training bootcamp and come Monday morning, I was armed with 18 pairs of undies, a potty seat on our big toilet upstairs and a little Lightening McQueen potty downstairs, plenty of wipes and some M&Ms for bribery (not recommended in the program.) The whole theory was that you had to follow your child around, like be within inches of them all day, learning their "signs" so that if and when an accident started happening, you would be there to whisk them off to the potty, saying, "remember to tell Mommy if you have to pee." The belief is that you don't ask if they have to use the potty, you don't put them on the potty when you think they have to go, you just keep following them around all day saying, "Remember to tell Mommy if you have to use the potty." And theoretically they will start telling you......
Day 1, Monday
Ryder woke up and we took off his diaper, put his big boy undies on and made a big deal of having him "throw away" all of his diapers. We didn't really throw them away, I am not going to waste perfectly good diapers, plus maybe Peanut will need them one day.
He was pumped to be a "big boy" and I had a hug smile plastered all over my face, ready to be nothing but positive, saying, "Remember to tell Mommy if you have to pee or poop." Negativity and saying "no" were forbidden by the program.
Ryder, Peanut and I came downstairs. I put my super patient, sleepy Peanut on her tummy time mat (on her back, she hates tummy time) and I proceeded to focus on Ryder with an intensity that I could tell was going to be exhausting and impossible to keep up for the next 72 hours!
He went through a stage of saying, "pee, Mommy" then we'd make a big production, run to the bathroom. Once we'd get there he'd say, "no pee!" and laugh and laugh....I was hoping this was all part of the process. Meanwhile we played trucks, did puzzles, played more trucks and tried to find things to do IN the house. The program strongly advises against going outside as it's too hard for kids to stop playing outside to remember to tell you if they have to pee. I was going batty. I hate being inside all day. I hate not leaving my house all day and I am not used to playing with Ryder all day. Even he was getting tired of my hovering. He is used to playing independently, something he does very well, this intensity was getting to both of us!
Every time he started peeing on the floor, I'd grab him, rush to the potty, get him to sit and he'd stop peeing. We'd leave the bathroom, with clean undies on and he'd promptly finish peeing as soon as we got back to the livingroom!! We both climbed into our own beds at naptime, happy for the alone time and a chance to relax!! His nap was dry!! Yay, Ryder! One of our only big successes!
The rest of the day, was a lot more of the same as the morning. Trying to find things to do inside, while staring at Ryder's crotch, trying to convince him to remind me when he had to pee...unsuccessfully. The program did say to expect LOTS of accidents, it was all part of the learning....by the time he was in bed, we'd been through 11 pairs of undies (2 poops) and we'd made it to the potty 4 times. I was exhausted. He was exhausted. WE all slept like babies, except the baby, who had been pretty much ignored all day....she chose night to get some attention. :)
Day 2: Tuesday
Dry night!! Yippee!! The sun was shining, but ofcorse we couldn't go outside! UGH!! WE peed as soon as he got out of bed..in the potty but only because I told him he had to!
I knew he'd have a poop in the morning, he always does..but I missed him actually pooping. I caught him just after, so we ran to bathroom and I set him on the potty. We took off his undies, he hated seeing the poopy ginch, it grossed him out. I then proceeded to clean everything up with wipes, which I threw into the toilet...guess what happened when I flushed?? Yep, major overflow. Wipes, arn't flushable. Oooops. Now he was really freaked out!! Damn it!
I managed to get him refocused on his trucks, who he decided had to poop. We spent an hour running back and forth to the potty to let the trucks poop....Finally, I caught him peeing in time to race him to the potty.He sat up there, peed and tooted. When I lifted him off, we were both surprised to find that he had actually pooped...on the toilet. Literally, ON the toilet. I had him sitting so far back on the seat (he has trouble actually peeing IN the potty. It usually goes everywhere but IN, so even if we make it to the potty, I'm cleaning pee of the floor.) His poop was all over the back of the seat and his butt..another gross experience for both of us. But I cleaned it all up, putting the wipes in the trash can, with a giant FAKE smile plastered all over my face. Yay, you pooped on the potty!! On the potty!! Yipee!!!! Remember to tell me if you have to pee or poop!!
We have one rug on the main floor, by the front door. Where do you think Ryder wanted to play? At the front door ofcorse!! I hovered hoping to catch things before they ended up all over the rug...ofcorse I missed it!! Damn it...big smile, "Remember to tell Mommy next time before you have to pee...." For lack of things to do and because the program insists you feed them as much liquid and fibre as possible to up the learning opportunities, we made popsicles out of juice and mini bran muffins.
We played with water, washing trucks, having tea parties, anything to promote "learning opportunies." He peed, on the floor, on the kitchen chair, on the front door rug, in the kitchen, living room and entry way. He peed a lot of places, rarely on the potty. He never told me first, I kept reminding him with, I'll admit a fading fake smile, to "tell Mommy if yo have to pee...."
Eventually, he got tired of me dragging him to the potty. He started refusing to even sit. He'd arch his back, yell, scream and be miserable. He would never finish peeing until he was in clean undies, back playing. Finally out of desperation, I asked him if he wanted to go outside and pee on the rocks. I told him he could stand up and just let 'er rip!! He did! He peed standing up and he was pumped. Out of ideas to get him back to the potty. I put some cheerios in it and told him he could pee standing up and try to hit them. It worked...once! Then I started to panic. What if he did like that better? How would I ever get him to sit to poop?? Ahhh!! I needen't have worried, he only did it ONCE!
I'll admit I couldn't wait for him to go to bed so I could relax and stop stalking him!!!
After he was tucked into bed, I turned on the video baby monitor and to my horror, I could see that he was drinking water! Ooops!! Rookie mistake on my part leaving it there! I ran back upstairs to remove the cup from his room and to see if he had to pee one more time. Ofcorse he did not. Ofcorse at 4:30am I woke to this: Mommy, I peed in mine bed!!" So, "wet night."
I had an epiphany though. All this time, I'd been saying, "Tell Mommy if you have to pee" but I never actually gave him the words to say.. I needed to make this clear tomorrow.
AFter the 4:30am sheet change, he woke up dry.
By now I knew he was going to poop in the morning, so I was on edge waiting...just waiting for his face to distort that little bit, for him to pause in his playing, for him to look up at me, for anything....it happened but it was too fast for me! We raced to the potty, but his undies were already full. By now I was getting used to this. Poop, I've decided is gonna take a while...
I explained to him that if he had to go pee, he should say, "potty potty." I explained that if he started peeing in his undies, he should try to stop and say, "potty potty." Then we spent hours, I'm not exaggerating, hours, playing with two small stuffies. A horse and a lion. These two animals hung on Peanut's tummy time mat and I had given the lion a voice, talking to Peanut. For some reason, Ryder really took to this and always wanted to "tell Lion something." So I capitalized on this. I started having Lion say, "potty potty!" and we'd make a big production running him to the potty. We'd have him sit on the potty, I'd have him say, "Ryder can you please turn on the fan, I think I have to poop." I'd make farting and grunting noises worthy of an academy award and I'd have Ryder "wipe" Lion's butt. They'd high five, and Ryder would give him one of the bribery cookies. Eventually, Ryder got the horse into it and before I knew it, one of the stuffies had to "potty potty" every 3 minutes. This was great practice, I hoped!!! Sometimes I'd have Lion ask if Ryder wanted to try too, but he rarely did. Even when we played trucks or watched Dora on TV, I'd have Lion call out "potty potty" to interrupt things to show Ryder that we will stop whatever we are doing to go pee!! He bought in and we did this all day long.
Ryder it turns out seems to be a bit of a camel, rarely having to pee. This made me nervous all day, just waiting and waiting for him to have to go. I was going batty. I had decided not to push sooo many liquids, it was just too intense and I think his belly was getting upset. So I fed him regular amounts of food and liquid and he just never seemed to have to pee. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I tried to insist that he "try" this is advised against in the program, but I couldn't take the suspense anymore. Big mistake! Ryder refused, he cried, he wailed, he rolled on the floor, I couldn't get him to stop and I didn't want to send him to his room (our usual "time out" practice as I was scared he'd pee all over his carpet.) So I let him roll around out of control, naked on the floor (he refused to put his undies back on.) I told him I wasn't going to play with him again until he stopped yelling at me. I went upstairs, put some laundry away, brought Peanut up to her crib. Came down to see if he was done yelling, he wasn't "go away Mommy." I went back upstairs, took the opportunity to pee myself, then went back down. Ryder took one look at me, stood up, stark naked, turned off the tears and said, "Potty potty!" I couldn't effing believe it!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't hesitate though, I grabbed his hand, ran with him to the potty and he peed! He peed!! It was glorious!! I was sooo excited!!! I couldnt' wait for him to have to go again, to see if he would tell me!! We had a big potty party and I called Marty and asked him to bring home ice cream for this huge acheivement!! I stalked him the rest of the day, waiting and waiting for a pee. Nothing! Eventually, I turned on Dora so I could make supper. I was on the phone with my sister when Ryder stood up from his show, walked over to me, opened his eyes wide and I said, "potty?" he nodded. We ran!!! Successish! Right? I mean he never actually said Potty, but he was communicating with me! After that Marty came home, he had ice cream and didn't have to pee again until right before his tubby, but we always make him pee before that. We also always make him pee before bed, so he never had another chance to tell me.
Through all of this, Peanut has been a PATIENT, sweet angel, just waiting for her turn to get some love!
Dry night! Yippee!! He peed when he woke up cause that's what we make him do. He pooped after breakfast, but I kinda caught it and he finished in the potty...well either he finished or some poop fell out of his butt crack, either way, SOME poop was in the potty, so I call that successish. He did not have to pee bad enough to say anything again all day. I made him pee at nap, and again before he could watch Dora and again before tubby and bed. Otherwise, I let him go outside (we were both sooo ready for sunshine) and I let him play independently without me stalking him too badly. No accidents, besides the poop, which I am ok with as it is wayyyyy better than changing his poopy diaper while he kicks the crap out of me, but still no "potty potty."
I have no idea if it has clicked yet or not!
At the end of 4 days, here is what I do know:
He can hold his pee
He knows he shouldn't just pee on the floor or in his undies, otherwise why would he hold it?
He knows he's supposed to say, Potty potty
He still isn't quite ready to poop on potty though we are getting closer.
Friday is Day 5, we will be going camping with our friends who are potty training. This could be a very messy camping trip...or it could be a life changing one!!
Kiss your babies, count your blessings and delight in the cuteness of toddlers in tighty whities!!!