I have three kiddos. They are as different in personality from each other as is possible. My boy girl twins are a couple of months beyond their 6th birthday. Potty training for them couldn't have been more different. At 28 months my daughter decided she wanted to use the potty. She spent most of that summer running around half naked and by fall she was wearing a pullup to bed and daytime trained 100%. Her twin brother didn't even consider using a toilet until he was almost 4 and it took lots of bribes, incentives and coercion to make it happen at all. After a few months he was perfectly willing to pee on the potty but wouldn't have anything to do with using it to poop. He was almost five before that happened regularly. To be fair he had some food sensitivities and we battled with chronic constipation but mostly it was just his personality.
I thought it was mostly a boy/girl difference so when our youngest began creeping up on 2 years old I didn't think much about potty training. I figured it would be a while before he was at all interested but I was determined not to let any window of opportunity pass me by like I did with his big brother.
Well, one evening about 6 weeks ago the twins were playing in the tub together and Chance wanted to get in too. The minute his toe touched the water he started tinkling. I told him to stop and he did....much to my amazement. I stood him in front of the toilet standing on my feet so he was tall enough and he peed in the potty. The next day we went out and bought underwear. I was determined to do this without disposable training pants as I truly felt that they aided and abetted Christian's desire to NEVER potty train. We tried all in one training pants, we tried underpants with plastic liners over the top, nothing kept him from leaking when he peed. This child drinks a ton and there just wasn't enough absorbency. I made a decision to do bottomless potty training even though it was winter and our hard floors tend to be cold, especially in the mornings. I figured he communicated well enough to let me know if he was too cold. We decided that he would be naked or in underpants at home and in disposable training pants when we left the house for the first couple of weeks. It worked out great. He then moved to underwear when we left the house. Six weeks later he is almost completely accident free only wearing training pants when he is sleeping. I figure with as many fluids as this little man drinks it will be a while before he is consistently dry, even at naptime. Sleep time in not something I am worried about. I figure we went from using about 160 diapers a month to using 30-40 pairs of training pants. Big time savings. Often he wakes up dry from nap and can wear the same ones to bed at night.
We bought a very basic potty. It is a little frog. It doesn't have any gadgets, it doesn't make noises, it doesn't light up. The best part of the potty is he sits on it and gets down to business instead of playing with gadgets. He will pee and poop on the potty if he is out of the house or if he is playing upstairs. He doesn't like standing on a footstool because it doesn't feel secure to him and his is only an inch or two short for all but handicap toilets so he stands on my feet or daddy's feet. If we hold his hands he will use a regular toilet seat to poop as well. It is an amazing sense of freedom.
The point of this post is to share the interesting things you are willing to do when your toddler is successfully potty training. About two weeks into this quest Chance and I left early to get the big kids from school. We went for a walk. While I was pushing the stroller the the cemetery that neighbors the school (no joke) Chance looked at me and with urgency in his voice said "Mommy go pee!" At this point we were about 3 blocks from home, only a block from school but you have to show ID and sign in when walking in their door and he wasn't good at holding yet. I looked around in a bit of a panic, coming to the realization that if I let him pee himself then we would most likely have a setback in addition to the need to clean the stroller. I spotted the old oak tree in the northwest corner of the cemetery. No one was around, plots were spaced a distance away and I, with no hesitation at all, pulled my little man out of the stroller stood him on my feet and told him to pee on the tree. Much to my amazement he did exactly that. I knew we were on the road to success.
So today, we spent the day on the great Mickey and Minnie Mouse quest. My parents took us to Walt Disney World in November and every since Chance has been Mickey obsessed. Just this week he decided that Mickey and Minnie are indeed a pair and has been asking for a "Mimmie". My mom took pity on him this morning and decided that he needed a Minnie Mouse. We left the house and headed to Wal-mart first not a Mickey and Minnie in the place. Off to Target we go to be disappointed yet again. Babies 'r Us failed us as well. We took a break and at lunch at Mimi's cafe (we were on a Mimmie quest after all) and then headed to Toys 'r Us because BRU assured us that TRU carried the plush dolls. However, when we arrived there were none to be found.
Geographically we were now across the street from THE MALL (evil music plays in the background). At this point Chance was just wiped from being out and about and it was quickly approaching nap time so my mom stayed in the car with him and I ran inside to the Disney Store. Finally! PAYDIRT! Ten minutes later I trotted out to the car triumphant with nine inch Mickey and Minnie in hand. Fifteen minutes after we got on the road to home (a thirty minute drive) he gave it up and crashed. When we arrived at Grandy and Poppy's house I carefully unbuckled his carseat, slid his limbs free and lifted him out of the car. I took one step toward the house, the wind kicked up and Chance woke up crying. This is not a child who wakes up happy. He looked at me and said "go home". So we headed to my car, when he said "go pee", I turned to take him in the house and he cried "go home". My parents live out in the country so I looked at the boy and and asked him "do you want to pee here?" His reply was a resounding "yes". We dropped his drawers and he proceeded to pee on the tire of my car! There are moments in parenting when you just don't push the buttons of a tired two-year-old.
So, for today those are our Adventures in Potty Training. I am sure that I will have more interesting tales before the spring and summer are out.
And for good measure here is daddy's favorite potty training moment. He was so proud to see his youngest "reading" on the throne.
Of course the marker tattoos are home done thanks to the 6-year-old twins