Saturday, November 29, 2008

Potty Training v. 1.0

So we (and honestly, that's mostly me, JR was along for the ride) decided to attempt to potty train Grasshopper this weekend. He has been making noises about wanting to go on the potty for a while now, and has even been known to ask to sit on the one at his school so we thought, "Meh, maybe he's ready..."

So I went out and bought this How to Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day! book and we both read it cover to cover. The basic premise is that you have a Potty Party for your child and give him a doll that pees (we bought Grasshopper the Potty Scotty doll, who I believe will be making appearances in my nightmares) that he will teach how to use the potty. We used tons of crepe paper streamers to decorate while he slept off Thanksgiving dinner Thursday night and I bought different sorts of candies (most of which he'd never had because, well, we feed him a lot better than we do ourselves) to make a treat tray (reward system, don'tcha know) and put up reward charts in the bathroom, one for Grasshopper, and one for Potty Scotty. We were ready!

The next morning, we presented Grasshopper with his gift, and he thought that Potty Scotty was great, and enjoyed being the boss and telling him to pee on the potty and not his Big Boy underwear. He really thought that the treats he got after Potty Scotty used the potty or kept his pants dry were exceptional. He would come to us every 30 seconds or so to say that "Cotty dry, need treat!" Things progressed according to plan until about the third time we made Scotty pee on the potty and Grasshopper figured out how it worked. He no longer bought into Scotty's "accidents" after that! Also, he kept saying that he wanted to go on the potty, not Scotty. So we figured, okay, lets just fast-forward to the part of the Potty Party where Grasshopper starts training cause Potty Scotty has apparently just completed his 1.5 hours of usefulness!

We got out Grasshopper's wrapped box of Big Boy underwear and let him open it. He was really excited and couldn't wait to try them on, especially the ones with Lightning McQueen on the butt. JR and I were in stitches because Grasshopper knew he was back there and kept turning in circles trying to see him!

We spent the next 5 years (okay maybe 5 hours, but it felt like 5 years) in the bathroom putting on various song and dance routines to try to keep Grasshopper on his potty long enough to pee. Old MacDonald had an exotic animal farm by the time we were done (Grasshopper kept shouting out all sorts of animals for us and when he'd exhausted farm animals he moved on to zoo critters), and then we moved on to performing some songs in a round just to keep things fresh. There's no room for dignity in potty training. None. at. all.

Grasshopper was very generous with his praise and told me what a big girl I was for peeing on the potty. I'm just waiting for him to start telling that to random strangers in the check-out line.

So by the end of the day Grasshopper managed to have 11 pairs of wet undies, and 4 successful pees in the potty. Not bad for his first time! JR and I were exhausted and told Grasshopper that it was bedtime and that the Potty Party was over, but that tomorrow we would keep practicing and that he would still get to put stickers on his chart and choose a treat when he went on the potty. We put him in a pull-up and sent him to bed.

I have to tell you that my husband was the pinnacle of patience throughout this entire fiasco, and did a much better job than me of staying upbeat and positive for Grasshopper. He really ought to get a trophy, but I'm guessing that not hanging out in the bathroom listening to me butcher Old MacDonald anymore is going to have to be present enough.

So this morning, Grasshopper got up, and asked about the Potty Party. We told him again that the party was over, but that we were still going to be peeing on the potty. He did not like this idea and refused to go anywhere near the potty. Then he peed on the living room floor. We put him in a new pair of underwear and attempted to keep things rolling. Grasshopper, however, had other ideas. Apparently once the Potty Party was over, he felt that spending time on the potty should be over too. He peed his pants again and started whining for a diaper.

"But sweetie!" we cried, "Don't you like being a Big Boy and going on the potty?"

"Nooooo!" howled Grasshopper, "Want diaper!"

Then he flung himself to the floor and thrashed.

"Don't you want to keep wearing your Big Boy Lightning McQueen underwear?" we wheedled.

"No, I baby, want DIAPER!"

We had visions of continuing to push the potty training on him and it scarring him for life, so we gave in. I hope that it was the right decision, it felt like it at the time, and still feels like the right thing now as I reflect back. Maybe we'll try again when we're all suitably recovered. You know, in a decade or two.

Until then, does anyone know what sound a kangaroo makes? We need to be prepared.


Anonymous said...

Nothing, and I mean nothing, could convince my son (now 17) to potty train. He was 3+ (second child if that means anything) and really wanted to go to pre-school. There was a rule of "no diapers" at the school we wanted to send him so at three he understood "big boy underpants and no accidents" or no school. He never once had an accident after that (even at night).
Best of luck to you on your adventure, and it IS an adventure!!

erdooley said...

It took us a year to potty train C! Good luck. All kids are different. I'm the last person to ask for advice, that's for sure. We started when she was 2 1/2 because she seemed "interested." But the novelty wore off quickly. She was too young, but some kids are really ready at that age. If I knew then what I know now....

monkey girl said...

Honestly, just depends on the little munchkin. My oldest was 2 and just one day said she done with the diaper. No accidents, nothing.
However, my youngest wasn't the least bit interested. Wouldn't even sit on the potty til she was nearly 3! Was still wearing overnight pull-ups til 5. Many many accidents. Literally thought I'd be changing her diaper at 18. When she was ready, it happened overnight. You're right, not to push. The harder you push the more the kids dig in their heals. Don't worry, you won't be changing his diaper when he's 13.

Nan said...

We're in the throes of this now, but have taken a slightly different approach - stickers as rewards, but keeping the diapers for a while. He gets a sticker (Cars - gotta love 'em) every time he has a dry diaper, and every time he pees or poops. So far lots of stickers, but still wet diapers. Not sure which is better - gradual or cold turkey...but I'm not ready for pee on my rugs yet!