After a little thought, I decided that I want to write about this potty experience in as much detail as I can. I apologize to you readers who don’t necessarily want to hear about potty training for four days in a row. But, since having my second son I am realizing that I really would like to remember a few eventful times in each of their lives so that I can at least reference them in the future. Potty training is such a memorable event, that will definitely occur in each of their lives, and I know that the knowledge I gain may even be a resource to other moms in the future. So here it goes.
Jameson “started” potty training around 19mos. He was at the age where it was very important to him to please us and do anything we thought was fun. I took advantage of this, knowing that the word NO was quickly going to be his favorite. All of his signs for BM’s were very evident and at fairly regular times in the day. So I made it a bit of a game, which included prizes, and before I knew it Jameson was almost completely going poo in the potty! At the end of December we traveled to California for Christmas and in the first few days, his great new habit carried over. But, alas, it did not survive the different houses, the fun to be had, the new friends to play with and, most likely, my unwillingness to be diligent to take him to go on the potty. When we returned home I was even more tired, being 8mos prego, and Jameson was even more strong willed about not going, so we gave up.
David and I decided that the time had come to train Jameson. His poopy diapers were disgusting and far too much to handle. We were beginning to resent diaper changes and Jameson for that matter… for approximately 2min after each change 😉 He was also starting to fight us more about being changed, a battle that we didn’t think we should continue to fight and build up hardness in his heart. We chose Memorial Day weekend because David would be able to be home Saturday- Tuesday… I am a complete wuss and was not going to try and do this alone, with Ike on my hip as well!
After gleaning as much information as I could from experienced friends, without actually reading any books… lazy… David and I came up with a game plan. Jameson and I would start Friday after his nap. When he woke up we watched some potty cartoon youtube videos, started drinking lots of juice and got very excited about wearing underwear… we opted to just use the ones handed down to us, we didn’t buy any special ones, though there are some Thomas the Train in the stash which are his favorites… And we “started” which is code for: prepare to clean up messes because the kid has no idea what is going on. In the first hour we had poopy underwear and six puddles around the house! I was completely taken back by how much he had gone! I couldn’t believe that we were going to make it another hour… I was DONE cleaning up pee and sprinkling baking soda over the wet spots. I was done changing undies, and I was also noticing that we may even run out of undies if he kept up that pace! I had decided to take him every 15min… the kid would seriously go in the 14th minute… twice! So, I decided to go every 10min… when the 9th min rolled around he went again! I was so discouraged! But I remembered the encouragement of many friends and tried to stay optimistic. Finally, David got home. He surveyed the scene. 6 white spots around the living room floor. 1 large pile of wet underwear and clean up towels. He took a deep breath and dove right in, asking what the routine was and how he could help… Thank You, Lord for such a servant husband!
Let me stop the story and say that potty training was not met with smiles and well wishes from Jameson. He fought me completely. He did not want to sit on the potty at all. When I said it was time to go try, he would cry and swing at me. But I was firm and made him sit there. His reluctance was not fear, but instead obstinacy. Battles of obstinance must be won by the parents because the child is not in charge and does not know what is best for him.
Lo and Behold, we had some success! Finally, some tangible encouragement. Twice Jameson started to go, I noticed and shouted “Stop!” He stopped and was able to finish on the potty! And then, as an exclamation point to end the day, David took Jameson to go on schedule and he went! Just sat down, peed, and then said “All Done!” We were so proud! And Jameson was also excited to get some raisins! We praised him greatly for his accomplishment. For nighttime we put him in a pull-up… and we thoroughly enjoyed our break from the chaos!