Folks, I have a Potty 1822 Situation here = Potty 911 times two! I apologize upfront for the long post…but if you can spare some thoughts on this endeavor, I sure would appreciate it!
There have been several instances in which I’ve been reminded that the girls will do things on their own schedule. It’s much easier on them – and much less stressful for ME! – if I can chill out and follow their cues.
Based on this experience to date, I had been planning to “go with the flow” with regards to potty training.
I planned to look for signs the girls were interested in the potty, then make it available to them, and expect that in time they would more or less be trained. I didn’t have any “goals” in mind, like having them trained by the time they were two, or two and a half…I figured they would do it when they were ready.
[One parenting book I read talks about children having control over two aspects of their lives…what goes into their bodies, and what comes out. I feel like we’ve done a great job to date not allowing any “power struggles” over food, and I hope to avoid any power struggles over the potty, too. My goal is for the girls not to have any negative associations with the potty. I don’t want to make it “fun” per se, but – like my approach with food – I hope to be somewhat matter-of-fact.]
Exactly a month ago (when the girls were just shy of 27 months old), Baby A told me one morning she wanted to sit on the potty and make stinkies. I was quite surprised, as I hadn’t been talking much about the potty, or making any kind of suggestions to them.
I complied with her request…and to my delight, she performed beautifully! I praised her, and asked her sister if she wanted to try. Baby B sat on the potty that morning as well, although she didn’t have any successes to report.
From then on, I let the girls sit on the potty whenever they asked. Some days that might have amounted to twice; some days, six or eight times; and some days, not at all. I would remind the girls when they made stinkies in their diapers that I’d like for them to try to tell Mommy before they needed to go, so I could take them to the potty, but I always kept an upbeat, matter-of-fact tone.
I didn’t feel like we were making much progress for about three weeks, but I rationalized that the girls were becoming comfortable with the potty experience, and that they were learning about their bodies. I did not institute any type of reward system. I continued to praise the girls for their efforts, and when they had success they got to flush the potty, which they seemed to think was totally awesome. :)
Over the past week, though, I’ve really begun to struggle...
At times, Baby A in particular will ask to sit on the potty over and over and over again. She might sit for five seconds, tell me she’s done…and ask to repeat the process two minutes later. She seems to be having fewer successes, at least as a percentage of her trips to the bathroom.
I think I need to be careful not to tell her she can’t go potty, but I want to be careful not to turn it into a game (which is certainly how it feels at times).
Many times it feels like Baby A is using the potty as a way to garner one-on-one time with Mommy. I had been using a potty ring on the toilet (vehemently hoping to avoid buying a potty chair). The bathroom is removed from the den / playroom, where the girls spend most of their time, so a trip to the potty means leaving the den…with Mommy…and leaving behind her Sissy.
Baby A has also started to pull her diaper off when she tells me she needs to go potty. Along with the psychological aspects of complying with her request to potty, I don’t want to risk a mess of her running around diaper-less.
I gave in on Saturday and bought a potty chair. I put it in the kitchen, immediately next to the den. That eliminates the “trip” to the bathroom…and I hope will take some of the novelty out of going potty. Of course Sunday was the worst day to date, as both girls were anxious to use the new potty chair every three minutes.
- The girls are interested in the potty, and they seem to have an understanding of what to do there. They’ve had numerous successes – albeit sporadic ones – to date.
- I don’t feel like they’re making progress, though, and their potty trips seem to be becoming a game.
I might like to take a break from things and try again in a month or so (what the books say to do if you try to start training without success), but I didn’t really initiate the training in the first place. I am concerned with telling them “no, you can’t go potty”. And within the past few days, they’re stripping down when they want to go.
I don’t feel like “taking a break” is a real option.
My gut is that I need to implement a more stringent training plan...the girls know what the potty is about, and now I have set the rules about using it.
That’s definitely not what I had planned, but I’m losing steam…fast…these gazillion trips to the potty are wearing me out physically and mentally (seemingly with little to show for it).
Thoughts??? Ideas??? Anybody wanna meet me for a drink…or come babysit for a few days???