Sunday, March 29, 2009

Progress report.

I just wanted to share a quick update on our potty training situation. While I'm not a huge fan of writing about pee and poop, I know from personal experience that there comes a time when the subject is absolutely fascinating. When you're thick in the throes of potty training (or contemplating taking the leap), there is nothing more interesting in the world.

Potty finds a way to work itself into even the most unrelated conversations. And not just with other parents. Oh, no. Potty doesn't discriminate. Anyone within earshot is subject to a play-by-play of recent highs and lows. It's not our fault. Potty takes over our brains and turns us into crazy, potty obsessed people who can't help but saying, "Do you have to go?" every time we open our mouths.

It's not pretty.

But, it happens. Everyone with a child will someday be a potty zombie just like me. Sorry. There's just no way to get around it.

That is why this potty update is so exciting. It is much more of a we did it! post than a here's how it's going update. Hopefully you will never have to hear me talk about potty ever again.

And, with that, I introduce Liam's big bribe: Baby Mouse.

Cuter than I remembered but... are those human hands?

No, we didn't go three days without an accident; it had only been two days since I struck that deal. But, something so amazing happened, I couldn't help but throw my bare-bummed potty genius into the car and race off to the bookstore to adopt a new friend.

Reunited and it feels so good.

Saturday got off to a little bit of a rocky start. We were planning to go to the library to see the Nashville Ballet perform Ferdinand the Bull but I wanted to be sure Liam peed before we left the house so we would have a lower chance of a public accident (he would most likely be sitting on my lap, after all). So he sat on the potty and we waited. And waited. And waited. The closer we got to our estimated time of departure, the less patient I became. No amount of bribing him or running the water or counting down from five to one or sitting on the big potty next to him seemed to work. Nothing I could say or do was going to change the fact that he just didn't have to go.

But I had made the mistake of saying, "We can't go to the ballet until you pee in the potty." (A low point for sure and something I am definitely not proud of. Talk about pressure!) So as much as I wanted to go see Ferdinand, I couldn't go back on my word. No pee, no ballet. Besides, we had been sitting around waiting for the golden moment for so long, our ETD had long since come and gone and we had missed the beginning of the show.

Worse than that, I had become a big old grumpy pants, letting the strain of potty training (and my ever-fluctuating hormones) get the best of me. Fortunately, it was Saturday so I could slap off with Bill and take a little time to regroup and get back on my game.

While I was in time-out, Liam got to the point where he really did have to pee. Woo hoo! After a potty party* and a treat we realized we had just enough time to make the second showing of the ballet (we were supposed to go to Kindermusik but decided to skip it just this once). We rushed off diaper-free and stayed dry and happy throughout the show and all the way home.

By the time Liam's nap rolled around, I was ready for a rest myself. I got him all set with a Pull-Up (he wears one at nap time and bedtime now - it just seems like the reasonable thing to do) and brought the potty chair into his room just in case he had to go. Bill left to run some errands and I curled up on the couch to watch Gray's Anatomy and feel sorry for myself for no reason at all (hey, it happens).

A few minutes later, I heard Liam calling me from his room. I went in to see what he needed and found him sitting on his potty, beaming up at me. "I peed!" Sure enough, his Pull-Up was completely dry and he had peed in the potty! We celebrated and I somehow managed to convince him that just because he was a really good boy did not mean his nap was over.

I went back to the couch and settled in for what I hoped would be a nice long stretch of alone time. But not ten minutes later I heard Liam's door open. I peeked my head around the corner and saw him shuffling down the hall with his pants and Pull-Up around his ankles.

"Liam, did you pee again?"

"No, Mama. I pooped!"

We ran into his room and there in the potty was his very first big boy poop! This time around I didn't even try to convince him to go back down for a nap. We just hopped in the car and went off to get Baby Mouse. I think you would agree that, three days without an accident or not, he totally deserved a special treat.

It's been pretty much smooth sailing ever since. Last night when Bill put Liam to bed, he got up twice to pee before he fell asleep (we will have to tackle the dilly-dallying potty excuse at some point but not right now - one thing at a time!). This morning we woke up to Liam calling, "Dada! I peed!" from his room. Bill went in to get him and Liam was sitting on the pee filled potty and his Pull-Up was completely dry.

In 4 days we have gone from totally diaper dependent to, dare I say it?, potty trained. Yes, we will still be asking do you need to go? many times a day and celebrating each and every success but it definitely feels like the hardest part is behind us.


*Potty Party: After Liam successfully pees or poops in the potty, we all rush in and dance around like fools while his two greeting cards that play music blast an awkward mash-up of Celebration by Kool and the Gang and I'm So Excited by The Pointer Sisters (or hip hop as he calls it). Then he ceremoniously dumps his pee in the big toilet all by himself and we have a dance parade out to the kitchen to choose a treat (usually 3 jelly beans for going potty and 1 extra for being super special). I suspect the dance party is his most favorite bribe of all.

PS - I'm so sorry I mislead you by saying this would be a quick update. To be fair, I also said I was completely obsessed and excited about potty and couldn't be held responsible for my one-track train of thought. You should have known a quick update would actually be more like a never ending monologue about all things pee and poop. Still, not my finest moment.


Multi-tasking Mama said...

We are in the EXACT same place. Isn't the hint of wiping-butt-freedom almost to much to handle?

I think our boys are almost the exact same age, mine was born 2/1/06.

No Mommy Brain said...

yes! mine was born 2/5/06. i'm guessing 3 years, 1-1/2 months is the perfect time for potty training.

LClaire said...

yeah!!! What a victory! I'm so happy for you all :)

Anna said...

so exciting! our potty training has been seriously derailed by a nasty stomach bug. ugh! very disappointing (and gross) :(