I found myself at a point where I wanted to pull my hair out, kick a baby seal, and shoot my neighbor’s inflatable pool with a BB gun. I spent nearly two hours sitting on the bathroom floor asking, pleading, and demanding. I took increasingly deeper breaths and closed my eyes, desperately trying not to rage. Potty training was not going well. As a result, we took a break from it. This was four months ago.
Recently, Sarah and I have been having talks with Tyler about diapers, being a big boy, and where he needs to pee and poop. He’s been very agreeable. He knows he should pee in the potty and not in the diaper. He knows that he needs to tell mommy or daddy when he needs to use the potty. He knows that it will make daddy very, very happy if he would quit soiling his diapers.
“Tyler, where do we pee and poop?”
“In da potty.”
“Yes, and what happens when you need to go pee or poop?”
“Tell mommy daddy, I use a potty.”
“Gooooood job, buddy. Now, Tyler, there’s no pee in your diaper right now. Do you need to use the potty?”
“Hmmm. No fank you. Maybe ‘morrow.”
Listen, you little brat! I know that your diaper has been dry for three hours. I also know that you sucked down a cup of apple juice about an hour ago. Your bladder is roughly the size of a golf ball, at best. Why don’t you do us all a favor a sit your plump little butt on the potty, okay? See, one of my duties as your father is to challenge you. This is how you learn and grow and develop the cajones to try new, and sometimes scary, things. So, pretty please, with sugar on top, piss in the plastic bucket.
But I didn’t say that, did I? Nope. “Well, I think you do need to use the potty. We will sit on the potty in 3 minutes.”
Before starting up again with potty training, Sarah and I came up with a reward system. One sticker for every time we have success on the potty. After three stickers are rewarded, Tyler gets a prize (to be determined). Once the ball gets rolling, we’ll start giving prizes after six stickers, then ten stickers. Then, we start to faze out the rewards and hope the habit is formed.
At the last couple family outings, we used my backpack in lieu of a diaper bag. It’s worked out well, and Tyler has developed an interest in my backpack. At his request, I put the backpack on Tyler. He promptly lost his balance and fell backwards with the weight. I asked Tyler if he would like his very own, special “Tyler backpack,” and boy did he! That is how we decided on his first reward for getting three stickers.
It’s working! We’re having success! As a matter of fact, he’s already gotten his second reward as well (a total of six stickers)… a pony ride at the zoo.
Progress wasn’t going so well at first. We’d sit Tyler on the potty (crying, most times) and tell him to push. We’d sit on the floor near him and wait, constantly prodding him to push more. It worked a couple times, but we usually ended up sitting there for an inordinate amount of time. Tyler would whine “I all done,” and we’d just give up for that session. It was during one of these “I all done” moments that Sarah grew impatient and walked out of the bathroom, telling Tyler, “You need to make your pee come out. Please tell me when you do.”
Less than three minutes later, in an adorable sing-song voice, Tyler said “I doin’ it.”
And he was.
I wondered if our constant prodding and encouragement was placing too much pressure on Tyler. The last few times we sat him on the potty, we told him to tell us when he was all done and walked out of the room. Much to our delight, this appears to be working. He’s even dropped a couple turd-bombs in there as well.
It’s been three days, and things are going great. He doesn’t tell us that he needs to use the potty yet. When we tell him it’s time to try, though, he sits down and pushes out the yellow delight right away. The next “prize”, which he will be receiving later today after having received four additional stickers, will be to watch a DVD and eat popcorn.
Everyone, keep your fingers crossed for us. For better or worse, we’re jumping on the potty wagon and can’t wait to cruise out of diaper-town… just so we can cruise back in this coming February.
And, to those of you that have been to our house (and who watched the video), did you see that they paved our access road??!?!?! FINALLY!!! So cool.