Thursday, February 20, 2014

Potty Training, Round 2

I've been saying for the past six weeks that we need to start potty training Isla.  But I have been dragging my feet, because I don't like potty training.  At all.  I could probably make a really long list of reasons why, but here is reason #1:  it messes with my schedule and my freedom.  Even if Isla catches on to potty training in just a couple of days like Audrey did, there is still a long road until she will be totally self sufficient in the bathroom.  And a long road until she will be able to "hold" it until I am ready to take her to the bathroom.  Which means every time she has to go, I have to stop what I am doing and take her immediately.  I know, I know...this is very selfish on my part.  But it's the truth.  I would rather change a diaper any day than deal with the immediacy and consistency demanded by a newly potty trained child.

But, it has to be done sometime.  Why not start today?  We were stuck at home today because Audrey has strep throat.  Audrey was feeling back to normal today, but she couldn't go anywhere until she had been on antibiotics for 24 hours.  So we had the whole day today at home, plus a pretty open weekend.  It seemed like as good a time as any to start.  Except I just didn't want to do it!  (said in my most whiny and obnoxious voice)

I documented Audrey's whole potty training experience in great detail (beginning here).  It was fun to go back and read through that whole process to mentally prepare myself to do it all over again.

I am going with the same strategy for Isla's potty training.  Cut diapers cold turkey.  Wear panties all the time, except at bedtime when she will wear a pull up.  Then give her extra drinks so she has the urge to go more frequently and diligently take her to the potty every 15-20 minutes.

I made a chart so she could put on stickers to mark her progress:  one sticker for every time she sat on the potty, plus one sticker for every time she pooped or peed on the potty.

Here are today's stats.  Sat on the potty: 22 times.  Peed on the potty:  3 times.  Pooped on the potty:  0 times.  Accidents:  3.

Not too shabby for day one!  Early in the day, Isla actually peed on the potty, and I was very impressed.  Isla did NOT like when she went pee in her panties.  She cried and acted scared all three times.  By this afternoon, she stopped having accidents.  But she also stopped going pee.  Looking at her, you could tell that she REALLY needed to go.  But she refused to go in the potty.  And she refused to go in her panties.  After almost two hours of this, I put a diaper on her, thinking she would go in the diaper.  But she still wouldn't go!  Finally she told me she wanted to go on the potty again, and finally she peed on the potty!  So, at least for this afternoon, she had figured out how to hold it.  Now she needs to figure out how to let it go at the right time!  By the end of the day, she was telling me when she needed to go.  Except when we got to the potty, she wouldn't go.

Audrey adds an interesting dynamic to the potty training process.  As a classic oldest child, she loves to be a helper.  She wanted to be in the bathroom watching (and usually touching me) every time Isla tried to go.  She wanted to get books and read books and get stickers and pass out the stickers.  She wanted to tell Isla when to go and how to go and what to do.  It was all amusing at first, but after spending nearly ALL day in our tiny bathroom with both girls, I was really pulling out my hair by the end of the day. 

Isla showed extreme patience in sitting on the potty.  She would easily sit for 15-20 minutes at a time.  We read books and sang songs and read more books and sang more songs, all while Isla just sat there.  I would ask if she wanted to be done, and she would say, "No."  Then I would ask if she needed to pee, and she would say, "Yes."  And then I asked if the pee was ready to come out, and she would say, "Almost."  And we would continue to sit there.  We must have had this conversation 100 times today.  She was much more patient than I was. 

Daniel should be around for most of the day tomorrow and Saturday, and I am more than willing to let him assist in this process.   Or just take over completely!!


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