Monday, August 16, 2010

Potty Training, Day 2

What I've learned so far:
  1. Diapers are easy, and underpants are hard. Aren't diapers just so easy? Sure, they stink up the diaper pail (ours has been sitting outside on the balcony for the past year), and cost too much, but boy, are they easy. You can sit and watch tv, play with toys, go and make breakfast, talk on the phone, and just hang out, without giving your son's bodily functions a second thought. Get a whiff of something, pull out a new one, slap it on, and you're good to go! Underpants are hard. I've never stared at my son's penis so much. I'm either looking for leaks on his underpants or watching him on the potty to see if he actually pees instead of just sits. I swear, he's starting to get a complex. I'm waiting to hear, "Mooooooommeeeeee, stop looking at it!"
  2.  He was more ready for this milestone than we gave him credit for. This has been true of all the big ones, really. I agonized over giving up the bottle, so sure he would hate me forever and never sleep well again. I was wrong. He barely noticed. Same with switching to whole milk, giving up the pacifier, and more recently, moving to the big boy bed. With every milestone, he's taken it all in stride, while I was filled with anxiety. He is definitely more ready to grow up than I am for him to do it.
  3. I can actually appreciate living in this corporate apartment. While I am quick to clean up any accidents as soon as I can, there is some comfort in knowing that this is not my carpet or my furniture that is getting soaked.
And now, a drum roll for the big victory of the day: Oliver woke up with a dry diaper!!! Hooray!!!

One of the methods I studied said when we start potty training, we shouldn't make any exceptions for naps or bedtime. That we should use underpants then too, and deal with the consequences, since that's how they learn. Well, Oliver has never woken up with a dry diaper overnight, and only a few times at naps. So I wrote that off as too hard core for us, and put him in diapers for naps and bedtime. Turns out, he could have been in underpants last night! When he woke up, we snuggled for a few minutes, then he started walking to the door. I asked him if we could change his pants before we went downstairs, and he just kept walking into his bathroom where Dad was brushing his teeth, and asked to pee. He filled that potty up! Hooray, we have bladder control!!!!

The morning went well. He peed twice in a row on the potty without any accidents. Then I got on the phone. My mistake. He was busy watching YouTube videos, which he can now point and click to change them on his own (!), and I was chatting away on the couch, away from the computer so I could hear. A few minutes later I walked over to check on him, and he was sitting in a puddle, on the (rented!) dining room chair. Ran him to the potty, where he peed some more. This kid drinks too much, I swear. I've never seen so much pee come out in a 2 hour period. Cleaned up that mess, and the rest of the morning we only had 2 little wet spots on his underpants from dribbling, and no more accidents. Linsey and Annabelle came over for a while, and there was lots of obsession with the potty by both kids, but he only peed on the potty once while they were here and no more after that. I guess he got it all out. Seriously, from 10:30 to 2:00, he did not pee. Aren't you impressed? And when I went to put him down for a nap, he said he didn't need to go. So was I brave and put him in underpants for his nap? Heck no! I'm not crazy! The kid hasn't peed in 3.5 hours! Something's got to come out soon! So you bet I slapped that diaper right on.

 You know I had to get an underpants shot today. Here he is hanging out with his favorite girl.

He woke up from his nap with a wet diaper, and while we sat upstairs playing for the next hour, I left it on him. I'd say, "Let's put your underpants on," and he'd reply with an emphatic "No." I definitely got the feeling that he was getting tired of all this. Finally, we got them on and went downstairs. A little bit later, he was showing some signs that he might need to pee, so we went in to sit on the potty. Nothing. But he wanted a sticker anyway. Very badly. So he had a big tantrum in the kitchen, near the cabinet where I keep the stickers. Big tantrum. So Marty and I just repeated that he'd get a sticker when he actually peed or pooped on the potty. Tantrum continued, so we just tried ignoring it. Didn't I learn my lesson yesterday? Never ignore a tantrum during potty training!!! Marty went into the kitchen, and sure enough, there was a big pile of pee on the laminate floor. Hey, better than on the carpet! I can't decide if he was so upset that he lost control of his bodily functions, or if he was so mad at us he decided to pee on the floor in retaliation. I'm sure it was the first, but there's a tiny part of me that wonders if it was the latter.

Things were pretty uneventful for a while until after dinner. I desperately wanted a shower, and was finally getting a chance to run upstairs to get one while he and Marty played. Unfortunately, Oliver's in a phase where he only wants Mommy, so he got upset. I went anyway because he usually gets over it in a few minutes. He peed on the tablecloth we keep on the floor around and under his high chair. Hey, better than on the carpet! Marty said he took him to the potty, where he then also pooped, only to miss the chair and hit the floor instead. I guess I picked the perfect time for a shower!

So overall, not as many successes today, but not near as many accidents either. I think that's progress. No, I was not brave enough to try underpants for bedtime. We'll stick with diapers until I know it's not a fluke.

I'm starting to question the whole sticker as a reward thing. Maybe because stickers are still such a novelty to him, he's too obsessed to understand that they are a reward. I actually thought that would work to our advantage. But the more I think about it, I'm pretty sure he does understand, but because he's two, he wants it anyway and will try throwing a tantrum until he gets his way. I do think the sticker is motivating, so I'm not sure what else to try. I did not want to do M&Ms or jellybeans or a food item like some books recommend. I just don't think it's wise to use food as a reward like that. Oh well, I certainly can't take the sticker motivation away now, because he'd see that as punishment, which we don't want him to associate with potty training.

Tomorrow we'll be out a lot in the morning, so not as much focused attention on the potty training, but I think that will be good for both of us. We need a break; this is intense!

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