A blog for my writerly ramblings, my rambly writings, and all things in between.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Potty Training Boot Camp: I See the Light!

Well, I've been hesitant to post on here just because it seems that whenever I get positive, things go down the toilet- or rather, don't go down the toilet? But anyway, I thought I'd at least give you an update.

Two weeks ago I was feeling pretty down about the whole potty training experience, but then Chad came home with an idea from one of his customers (I feel so touched that he shares our potty training woes with clients) that sounded like it just might work for our little princess. He said we put her in underwear, and when she has an accident, we don't change her- we let her sit in it and she is exiled to the kitchen where she can't soil anything. This idea appealed to me for several reasons:

1. The potty training had turned into a game for her where she was reveling in the attention she got from her accidents, and she held all the cards. This way, the accidents got her very little attention- the opposite, really, as she would be placed apart from everyone and there would be no immediate reward of one-on-one time spent changing and lecturing her.

2. No more shelling out the big bucks for Pull-Ups that were constantly getting soiled.

3. I don't have to constantly keep changing her and washing dirty clothes- saves me some time and energy.

4. We are employing natural consequences, which I tend to utilize and support in most of my other disciplinary techniques- if she chooses to have an accident, then she cannot enjoy the comforts that the rest of us potty-trained people enjoy. Simple.

Well, I continued to remind her to use the restroom, but I didn't make her. Her first accident came right before we were going to sit down on the couch in the living room and read stories. I told her I was sorry, but she was wet so she was going to have to sit in the kitchen by herself while we read stories. It felt harsh, but I knew it was the only chance for her to get it. Boy was she mad! My son and I didn't hear the end of it during the entire half hour we read- she screamed, she cried, she had a fit, but she stayed in the kitchen. It was naptime shortly thereafter, at which point I changed her into a diaper to sleep, but when she woke up and I reminded her to go potty, you'd better believe she didn't whine or complain about it.

Last week she also went #2 on the potty without me trying to talk her into it. She was sitting there and said she needed to, and she did! She's been doing fantastic with that part. We've had a few more wetting accidents, and every time she's miserable at her kitchen-bound fate. Whenever I ask her if she needs to go and she says no, I say, "Okay, it's your choice. Just remember that if you get your panties wet then you will have to sit in the kitchen all by yourself." She'll usually at least reconsider.

My most joyful moment was this afternoon. I had asked her several times if she needed to go and she had said no, so I was steeling myself for another kitchen scene. But then, as she was sitting watching tv right by me, she suddenly put her hand down and said, "Oh! Mommy, I need to go potty!" I said, "Well GO!" So she jumped right up and ran into the bathroom and went. It was a first, and I gave her an extra treat for saying it herself instead of me reminding her.

So that is the status for now. I am happy because it is all beginning to lose its sense of drama, and it's becoming somewhat more mundane. One good thing about doing this now is that with me being pregnant and her being 3, our bladders are about the same size so I don't mind the frequent bathroom breaks when we're out, and I usually know about the right time to remind her to go. I think she's also finally recognizing the pleasure of not having yucky diapers- we put her in a diaper to go to bed at night and she's come in a couple of times an hour or two after we put her down to tell us that her diaper is wet and she needs a new one. Would be better if she actually realized before she went in the diaper and used the potty, but at least we're making progress.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for more positive progress!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Aaaand....10 steps back.

I'm starting to want to give up again, people! The last time I wrote, we were trying the big-girl underwear. That lasted about 4 hours, until I forgot to remind her to go and she went in her pants while we were playing hide-and-seek. So I decided we had jumped the gun on the big-girl undies and put her in a pull-up. Which was stinky about an hour after that. Seriously.

So I kept up with the pull-ups and the constant reminding to use the potty (amid lots of "I don't want to!") and it's been hit and miss. Today rather than making her go I've just been saying, "Do you have to go potty?" and she has said no every time (even though it's a time I'm sure she does) and so I've been letting her wet in her pull-up (because she has every time) and we've been taking stickers off the chart.

By the way, she doesn't seem to care much about the chart either. She doesn't care about any of it. I really feel like I'm back at square one here! Any advice for a bedraggled mommy??

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day 8

There is the sweet smell of success in the air, people! (just so you know, that's the smell of anything that doesn't smell like human excrement) We had a great breakthrough on Sunday that I needed to share for anyone else who might be struggling with the um, "Number Two" problem.

I had been really frustrated b/c as long as I was reminding Princess to go, she was staying pretty dry. However, when it came to number 2, she would not go on the potty, no matter how much I threatened/bribed/begged her to. She would use the potty, then 5 minutes later I'd smell something.

So anyway, on Sunday she was going #1 on the potty when I heard her "toot." Suddenly, I had an idea. "That was a great toot!" I said. "Can you toot like that again?" She grinned and scrunched up her face and did it again. We proceeded to have a grand time as she continued her little one-girl symphony, but then....well, let's just say it led to more substantial results. We celebrated her accomplishment with great triumph and she was very proud of herself. I did the same thing with her last night and it worked just perfectly.

Princess stayed dry and clean all day Sunday and all day yesterday, so today she is in- gulp!- big girl underwear! I was especially impressed with her yesterday because we were on the road for 7 hours on the way to my mom's house. We only stopped 3 times for potty breaks.

The other little incentive I decided to do for Princess was a "Stay-Dry Chart". I created a sticker chart shaped like an ice cream cone, and whenever she goes potty and is still dry, I let her put a sticker on the chart. If she's not dry, then we take a sticker off. When the chart is filled, then I take her out for ice cream- just the two of us. She is very excited by the idea, and she loves stickers.

Anyway, we seem to be making progress. The only thing I'd like to see is her telling me she has to go, but maybe I'm just reminding her too often. I guess I'm afraid to not remind her- I think maybe I'll give it a few more days and then try a day of letting her tell me and see how it goes.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that today will be a success with her wearing underwear- we'll see! I'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day 5

This is for you, Richelle! 

Here's what's going well so far this week:

1. Only about 1 wet pull-up per day- she has managed to stay pretty dry as long as I'm vigilant about reminding her to go

2. We have stayed positive about it

3. She is getting the hang of the steps involved- removing her clothes, wiping, flushing, etc.

We still need to work on:

1. Going #2 in the potty. She seems to be saving this for when we put her down for bed at night and she has on a diaper. But the current bribe is that as soon as she does go in the potty, I will take her out for ice cream- just her and Mommy. Whenever I have to change a stinker, I just say, "Oh, bummer. Looks like we won't get to go out for ice cream this time. But I just know that you'll remember to go on the potty tomorrow so we can go get ice cream!"

2. Her initiating using the potty. So far it's all me, but at least she's aware enough not to go in her pull-up.

The saga continues... 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Commercials That Irritate Me

First is the KFC commercial, in which the cute little lady states, "How do I know all this? Because I'm the chef here" (donning a cute little chef hat as she opens the door to KFC) "- there's one of us in every KFC." 

Okay, 2 issues:

1. Are we supposed to be impressed that there's a chef in every KFC? Let me rephrase that. Are we supposed to be impressed that there is a chef in a restaurant? What is the world coming to?

2. There's only one chef in every KFC? What's everybody else doing? It must take forever to get food there if there's only one person back there doing all the cooking.

Next commercial: the one with the strange people traveling through the cartoon world "singing" a "song" in a robotic monotone voice. I have never even bothered to listen long enough to figure out what they're trying to sell. More than 3 seconds of that is too long. Whenever I see it I frantically grab at the remote and change the channel to anything- ANYTHING- to make it stop. If I didn't I fear I may just bash in my tv. It's the only time that watching QVC is a relief.

Finally, the Dunkin Donuts commercial with the tv brainwashing the zombie children with its blue magnetic beam. Luckily, Father comes to save the day with doughnuts. That's right- can't get your lazy couch potato children away from the tv? Bribe them with doughnuts. Lots and lots of doughnuts. There's a great plan.

Done! Expect more commercial bashing on here in the future- I love advertising assassination. ;-)