Monday, April 6, 2015

What we've been up to -OR- How NOT to potty train your toddler

Man. Life with toddlers is HARD!   At least once a week, I have an amazing idea for a blog post, and before I sit down to write it, a cookie must be gotten, a bottom must be wiped, or a dispute must be settled.  Notice the musts, because nothing is ever leisurely when a toddler needs it.  If you've ever attempted to potty train a 2 year old, you know what I mean.

Speaking of potty training, did I mention that it is awful??  One of Dante's seven levels of hell is most assuredly completely devoted to potty-training.  Since the littles are scheduled to start preschool in the fall, we have been thinking a LOT about how and when to start the process.  They must be toilet trained to enter the program and we put down a non-refundable deposit to hold their place.  You do the math.   

Several weeks ago, we decided that we were done with diapers.  Armed with cute training pants (no Pull-ups here, thankyouverymuch!), full sippy cups, stickers, jelly beans, and a timer, we woke up at 7:30 and tackled bladder control like a BOSS!  Until 7:35 when we had our first accident.  No problem- just change the undies and move on, right?  6 accidents later, we had run out of training pants and the washer wasn't finished cleaning the first 5 pair!  There was not one upholstered surface in our living room that was dry.  

Every 15 minutes, the timer would ding and we would dutifully place Jack and Molly on their potties. Molly would grin and say, "I doin' it Mommy!" while doing absolutely nothing.  Conversely, Jack would squeeze out the teeniest little sprinkle and demand his just reward.  It got to the point that Jack would hear the bell and start tinkling in his pants!  Pavlovian response training at its no-so-finest. Like good parents, we soldiered on. Paul made an emergency run to WalMart to pick up extra pants, and I religiously set our timer for 15 minutes so we could sit on the potty.  Finally, blessed nap-time arrived, we slapped the kids in diapers and put them to bed.

Two hours later, we were recharged and rejuvenated.  We heard the peaceful babbling of angel children and rushed to their room to begin the potty adventure again!  Jack saw me and immediately started crying, saying "No, Mama.  No more potty, please?  Pretty please?".  What on earth had we done to these poor babies?!  As it turns out, children are pretty adept at sensing their parents' stress level.  So, we did what any educated, level-headed Mom and Dad would have done.  We changed them into dry diapers and decided to try again another day.

I am happy to announce that now, with no prompting on our part, Jack asks to poo-poo on the potty several times a day, and is almost always successful, hemmhorroids-be-damned.  He hasn't caught on with the tee-tee part yet, but I'm sure it's coming.  Molly still sits on her potty and blatantly lies to us about what she is (or is not) doing.  I'm fervently praying that she comes around, because adult diapers are even more expensive that toddler ones!