What I learned today:
- It is as equally hard as it is important not to get upset over accidents. I know that you aren't supposed to make potty training a battle, but there are moments that are so incredibly frustrating that it is insanely hard to hold yourself back. But you've got to do it. You've got to put on a smiley face, say "It's okay," and just move forward. As hard as I try to be relaxed about it, I came close to losing it on a few occasions.
- It doesn't seem to matter if I put on training pants, Pull Ups, a diaper, or underwear. At least, it doesn't matter much to him. Most of the time, he still asked to go potty, no matter what he was wearing. A diaper didn't seem to be an excuse to avoid the potty, in fact, his accidents happened while wearing underpants. His diapers stayed dry. I find it interesting, because depending on what method you read about, they are usually quite adamant, saying they must wear underpants, or training pants, or nothing at all.
- I have a hard time staying sane if he doesn't take a nap. This freaks me out for the next milestone: dropping the last nap. I don't want to even think about it.
Then we went upstairs to get ready to go out for the morning. We had our usual battle over getting dressed, so I left his room to go brush my teeth and get ready. Before I left, I asked if he needed to pee or poop. "No." I didn't want to leave him alone anywhere in fear of an accident, but usually he follows me and we brush our teeth together. When he didn't appear by the time I got my toothbrush in my mouth, I walked back to his room to check on him. Uh-oh. He was standing behind the recliner, in the corner by his bookcase, with that look on his face. Sure enough, he was peeing. Unfortunately, his fabric box of foam blocks were sort of underneath him, and he peed on them, along with the carpet. Arrrrgh!!!! I had just asked, 30 seconds ago, and he told me he didn't have to pee! This was one of those intensely frustrating moments I mentioned above. I had just asked! But I took a breath, and said "accidents happen," and steered him to the bathroom to sit on the potty in case he wasn't finished. The foam blocks got a bath (and actually dried without soaking up anything), but the cute fabric box with it's cardboard lining had to get tossed.
After that, I happily put a diaper on him to go out. I had considered the Pull Up, but this was unknown territory. We hadn't left the house yet since this started. So yes, I played it safe. I'm not in the mood to clean pee out of a car seat, ok? We went to My Gym. Oliver surprised me about halfway through the class, when he looked at me and said "pee potty." I was sure he would be too distracted to think about it, plus, he had a diaper on. That didn't seem to matter, which was awesome. We used their wonderful bathroom, equipped with step stool and potty seat and everything needed for toddlers. Then back out to play. I was in shock, but oh, so proud of him!
Then on to the grocery store and back home for lunch. One more pee in the potty, and no further incidents. I put him in a diaper for nap time, after asking if he needed to pee or poop before we went upstairs. "No." I ran and got a quick shower, and about 10 minutes after I got out, I hear him trying the door (which we keep a safety latch on). I figured he was just fighting the nap, and I'd let him cry it out as typically happens a few times a week. In the back of my mind I wondered, what if he has to pee or poop? But I though, eh, he has a diaper on, no big deal. He wasn't crying, but I kept hearing noises, banging, something sliding. I started wondering if he was actually playing instead of napping, which I'd actually welcome. He never does that. We'd love it if he'd play in his room when he woke up instead of waking us up too early. Or playing quietly instead of naptime if he isn't tired, so mommy gets a break. Anyway, there was something different about these noises, and I got worried. So I went upstairs and listened at the door. I hear a faint "Mommy" cry that didn't sound normal. So I went in, and he wasn't there. Then his closet door opens, and out pops his head and he says, "Mommy, poop closet." Ohhhhhhh. So that's what that noise was about, he was sliding open his closet door, and going in there to poop, when he couldn't get out of his room to go to the potty. Uh-oh. Then he pointed at the floor, and said, "Poop there," thinking he had actually pooped on the floor. Again, he didn't realize it was in his diaper!! Does this kid have no feeling in his butt or what? There was a big turd in there, how could he not feel that? Thankfully, I didn't have to clean a closet floor of poop though! So I sat him on the potty and he actually pooped a little more. I guess that's a sign that he's aware of his bodily functions now, huh? I'm not sure what we'll do about the door. We keep it closed to keep him in there for safety at night, and to enforce naptime during the day.
All that excitement meant no nap for Oliver, because he was wide awake now. No break for the mommy either, ugh. We played for a while, and then I called my mom for sympathy. Oliver sat on the potty and talked to her too, though he didn't actually pee. No, he saved that for 2 minutes after the photos below were taken, when he peed on the carpet in the living room. Yes, I was distracted on the phone. But we had just been in the bathroom a few minutes ago!!! My frustration level hits the roof. I'm mad at myself for not paying attention. I'm mad at him for not going when we were in there. I'm trying really hard not to show it. Thankfully, Marty got home a few minutes later and took him to the pool to go swimming. Mommy got a break. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Telling Nee-Nee all about it. Note the sticker chart above him.
Look at that face!
The rest of the evening was uneventful, and in fact pretty successful. I think he peed in the potty 2 or 3 times, the only accidents were little dribbles on his underpants. He got a diaper for bedtime again. If he wakes up dry again tomorrow morning, we'll move to Pull Ups for bed.
My biggest frustration is when I ask him if he needs to use the potty, and he says no, and then has an accident minutes/seconds later. But I wonder how much of that is just him learning his body. At that second, it was a no, and maybe 2 seconds later it turns into a yes. Still, I think we're getting the hang of things. We have to accept that there will still be accidents and regardless of the hype, potty training is an ongoing process, not a 3 day event. I was scared to start potty training. I really wanted to put it off, but he was showing signs, and I know I had to take advantage of that. Yes, it's hard, but it's not as horrible as I thought it would be. I'm not sure what I imagined, but I think whole rooms sprayed with pee and smeared with poop were somewhere in the picture. I think the emotional toll is the hardest. It's just one more sign that my little guy is growing up. I'm conflicted. I can't decide if I want it to slow down or speed up!!