Well, we are doing this. And by this, I mean potty training.
I find potty training to be one of the more stressful aspects of parenting, right up there with sleep training and discipline. Oh, and getting my toddler to eat. Oh, and figuring out whether Emma has an ear infection or is simply teething. Oh, and [insert current parenting woe here]. Okay, so maybe it's all hard in different ways, but potty training is definitely not for amateurs.
And actually, Will has been pretty easy on me thus far. But we are only on day #2 and I wouldn't call us trained. Yes, I did put us. To me, potty training is just as much about training M and me as it is about Will. We have all enjoyed the "carefree" days of diapers. I will miss the days of running out of the house without stopping to potty. The accident that Will had yesterday was more my fault than his, as I left him in his chair at breakfast too long while I put Emma down for a nap and threw a load of laundry in. This whole potty training thing is a new way of thinking that will take me some getting used to.
Today, we remained accident free. I would say the difference was more in me than in him, in that I was more diligent about making him go to the bathroom whether he wanted to or not. I have mentioned before his need for privacy when going #2. So, today, there were a couple of times when he got awfully quiet and I was able to intervene and get him on the toilet before he actually did his business. He fought me a bit both times (tears included), but I was able to calm him down and then give him his space to do what he needed to do. And he did it beautifully, I might add (I actually gave consideration to taking pictures, but ultimately decided against it, aren't you glad?).
So, here is what hasn't worked (so far) in potty training:
1) Waiting for him to tell me he has to go. It has only happened once. Usually, by the time he tells me that he has to go, his underwear are soaking wet and I need to bust out the lysol and carpet cleaner.
2) Pull-ups. Those bastards. It's like the swim diaper (I need to post about my dislike of the swim diaper and my confusion as to why they are even required in pools). Useless.
What has worked:
1) At first, Will thought underwear were like diapers: disposable and unlimited. We had two accidents before 10 AM yesterday and I was ready to throw in the towel. Sensing my frustration, he said, "Don't worry Mommy, I'll just get another underwears." Um, no. I pulled out four pairs of underwear and told him that was all the underwear we have (I lied. Sue me. I was trying for visual affect.) and if he soiled all of those, there would be none left.
2) Making him go. As in dragging him to the potty when I know he has to go and making him go. I am not sure this would work with all children, but it seems to work with him. When I know he has to go (ex: he is hiding in my closet - his favorite spot to poo - and I can smell the beginning of the end), I take him to the potty. He protests and cries, but I still make him sit on the potty. I stay with him until he calms down and then leave him to his efforts. It worked twice today.
3) Praise, praise, praise, praise. Oh, and bribery. Trust me when I tell you that no Oscar Winner has ever given a more dramatic, emotion-laden performance in their lives than the reaction Will has gotten for his efforts these past few days. I have stopped only short of cart wheels and if I wasn't afraid of injuring myself, I would have done that, too. And we have a bucket of special presents (cheap, dollar store toys, stickers, coloring books, bubbles, window clings, animal crackers, etc.) in a bucket that he gets to pick from when he goes #2. #1 earns him 4 jelly beans or 4 m&ms. His choice.
Day three tomorrow.
Wish me luck.