Can anyone out there relate? For the past year, many of my friends have heard me utter that potty training is the bane of my parenting existence. Ok, a bit overly dramatic, yes! But, seriously potty training hasn’t been an easy road at our house! No potty training in one-day magic here!! Here’s some back story…
Big Brother definitely wasn’t ready at 2. As we got closer to 3 there were more signs that he was, but we were making BIG changes to his world…
1. We moved 1 month before he turned 3 (not across country or anything…just a few miles away. But, still, a new place, new room, etc.).; 2. We pulled him from daycare 2 weeks later when I started maternity leave; and the biggie…3. Little Brother was born the day after his 3rd birthday.
So, I was worried about trying to get him trained, only to have him regress after all those changes. Not to mention, I was very pregnant and rather stressed about all those changes too. So, we decided to wait. Mistake? No way to know for sure, but things weren’t easy! Last summer, we started really pushing the issue and there were messes–some, like toilet paper strewn throughout the house were more pleasant to clean up than others! But, finally, things seemed to click by October…there were stickers, a potty chart, new big boy undies and a new toy! The “potty” accidents were fewer and farther between, with one BIG exception…
Ugh!! Big Brother would NOT go poop in the potty! Instead, he would just go in his underwear! That’s where the “bane of my existence” part came in! Bleck! One day, we went through 7 pairs of underwear having little poopy accidents all day long. It then became a vicious cycle…he knew that no one was happy about him going in his underwear, so it seems like he would try not to go (and he’s not a very “regular” kid to begin with). That of course, would make it harder to go and so he would have these little accidents, leading up to the “big one”. If it was hard to go and he wasn’t comfortable on the toilet, he didn’t want to go there. So, he’d go where he was comfortable. And, this has been going on ALL YEAR! Finally at his 4-year well-check (April), we talked to his pediatrician about everything. And, then we were giving him Miralax. We saw some things get better, but not the going in the underwear issue. It seemed like no amount of talking, cajoling, ignoring, stressing, bribing, etc. would make any difference. There have been tears of frustration, complete loss of patience, thoughts of going back to diapers, thoughts that something must actually be wrong with him–especially when friends with kids 15+ months younger were seemingly having NO issues. Not my best parenting moments!
I was reminded by many older (wiser) moms & grandmas that things would happen when he’s ready; that it’s ok–it wouldn’t last forever; that you don’t see kids in elementary school wearing diapers because they get it and he will too. Sometimes though, it was hard to see past the stinky Buzz Lightyear underwear and take heart in those wise words. It wasn’t clicking…or he wasn’t ready…or he was exercising some control. We’ll never know for sure what the issue(s) was. But, what I do know is those older, wiser moms were right! Patience is key (even though I lost mine more times than I care to count).
Then, finally (on vacation no less), we caught him at the right time and he pooped in the potty! Then, almost a week later, again. And, we celebrated and cheered and he got a special new toy! It was all things “poopy” after that. We set a timer to go try throughout the day, and he willingly obliged. We listened to “Every Dinosaur Poops” from Dinosaur Train. He wanted to make a poopy chart–complete with drawing poop every time he went (ah, life with boys! ) and so we did! He loved it (finally)!
So, if you’re going through the potty training woes while it seems like everyone around you has their child trained in a weekend, I promise you that you will eventually get there! Be patient (I know it’s ridiculously hard sometimes), try everything you can, keep plugging along, praise/reward often, and know that you will eventually get there (even if it means 10 million loads of little stinky undies until then)!
What is YOUR experience with potty training? Woes? Tips, tricks, or advice? Please share in the comments!