I really want it to work this time. He's been going on the potty off and on since our failure back in August. He got more interested again a few weeks before Christmas, but I didn't want to take a potty training child on a plane or to other people's homes for two weeks. So we just took him when he asked, and like the first time, it was mostly about getting stickers. But I know he understands the process, it's just a matter of body awareness and stubbornness. So I thought we'd try again when we returned home. Last Friday morning when he woke up, I asked if he wanted to go sit on the potty to pee. He replied with an emphatic "No." See, stubborn. So much for trying. I mean, you can't force them to sit on the potty, right? But he was still in the midst of his post-holiday attitude. You know, after 2 weeks of grandmas and lots of presents, you feel like you rule the world. Hopefully things are back to normal now, and he'll be more willing to try. Plus, I found a secret weapon:
Finding an incentive worked really well when we got rid of the binky, so I'm hoping it might help things along here too. When we were in Target yesterday, we were perusing the clearance toys. He zeroed in on this one. I let him hold it while we shopped, and then before we went to check out, I told him that this toy would be a present for him after he learned to use the potty and keep his pants dry. He kept saying "Open at home," our standard mantra whenever he gets something at the store, so he doesn't rip it open right then and there. So I repeated, "after you learn to use the potty" repeatedly, until he said it back to me.
After he woke up from his nap, I asked if he needed to pee on the potty, and he did. So he got a sticker on his newly updated sticker chart. Excitedly, he asked, "Open box?" So I had to explain to him again that he had to fill his sticker chart (2 weeks worth) before he got the new toy, because he had to show that he could keep his pants dry. Major tantrum ensues. I guess he didn't get it after all. Finally, after much screaming on his part, and explaining on mine, I think he finally sort of got it. The box is on top of the refrigerator, where he can see it as an incentive, though I'm thinking of just putting it away so he isn't completely tortured by it. It does feel slightly cruel.
This morning when he woke up, I asked if he wanted to wear underwear so he could practice peeing and pooping on the potty, and he agreed, and went on the potty before we got dressed. Hooray! The rest of the morning, we had a combination of successes and accidents, 3 stickers, and 6 wet training pants. The underwear we bought for the last attempt don't fit him any more, so I'm going to have to go get more of those and more training pants.
Right now he's off with Daddy for a Boy's Day Out, and back in diapers while they're gone. I've decided I'm not going to be as hard core this time as I was the last. I'm not spending 3 days locked in our apartment staring at his crotch. If we need to go out, I'll put him in pull-ups or diapers, whichever feels appropriate at the time, and then he'll be in underwear or training pants at home. Last time things got too stressful, for all of us. This time it's a little different. He knows what to do, we've been "practicing" for months. He just has to learn to read his body's signals better, which is hard to do when you play as intently as he does. Plus, he's a little bit stubborn. I have no idea where he gets that trait! We have nine months until he starts preschool and has to be out of diapers completely. Hopefully, it won't take that long!