Friday, March 30, 2007

Once Upon a Potty

Despite the fact that I am greedily hoarding my Pampers Points to Grow in hopes of getting the Elmo's World 3 DVD set, I think it is time to start potty training Isaac. I had not even thought about entering this phase of life with him until after his second birthday, but I think the child is ready. Yes, this might be the most insane thing I have ever done since I have a new baby on the way but Tobe and I are starting to become a bit concerned about the poor boy's kidneys and bladder (However, we do know he has kidneys and a bladder since Isaac was submitted to an entire x-ray and scan of his abdomen after he began vomiting stomach bile at the Emergency Children's clinic when he was three months old and they informed us his appendix might be on the wrong side---um, it's not and we now know that Isaac simply throws up until there is nothing left in his little stomach). Our concern (which is more amazement than concern) stems from the fact that Isaac typically has a completely dry diaper from the time I change him at 7:30am until nap time at 12:30. He wakes up with a wet diaper at 3:30, so has gone sometime during his nap. Usually he has a dry diaper again from the time he gets up from his nap until bath time at 7pm. Obviously the boy has figured out how to hold in the liquids (he is drinking quite a bit during the day so it is not a dehydration issue) and likes his privacy in doing his business.

So here is my question--what potty training techniques worked for you? Did you do the potty seat that fits on the toilet or did you do the individual toddler potty chair (If you happened to be of the school of thought where the potty sits out in the living room, please don't tell me. For whatever reason, I just can't go there....)?

Isaac understands the concept of using the bathroom in the toilet (thanks to the fact that I have to go about every 10 minutes and he feels the need to follow me into the bathroom and politely ask "Doors, Mommy?" This means, "Would you like for me to close the door to the bathroom and proceed to stand here and make sure you use the restroom successfully?" Then he eagerly digs into his stash of Curious George Band-Aids....). Last night at bath time as we were having a lesson on how to take off pants (I can't bend over anymore, people, so my child must fend for himself these days. Yesterday we also had a lesson in how to pick up Mommy's keys in the parking lot of the post office...), Isaac informed me that he had to "Pee-pee." He usually says this at bath time and we have tried putting him on the toilet a few times. This has not been successful because the child has no hips or bottom to speak of and has to be held over the seat. Anyway, last night he kept saying "PeePee, Daddy" repeatedly and then raced off to find Tobe. We aren't sure why he wanted Tobe, but we are pretty confident that we should give this potty training thing a try. Please share your tips, advice, warnings, or prescription for the anti-anxiety drugs I might need if we really attempt to tackle this feat with a newborn baby..... All will be appreciated!

New Isaac sayings:
"Hold Dat" (when he wants to hold something that is considered to be "Contraband" such as Mommy's wallet)
"I-ik" (when asked what his name is)
"Hip-po" (Name for his stuffed Rhino--I think I accidentally caused that confusion)
He can tell you that the Red Light means "stop" (complete with hand motions) and the green light means "go"
Yesterday, he had a sippy cup of juice on the coffee table. He walked up to the table to get a drink, but first gave his stuffed tiger a drink out of the cup. Priceless. Tiger also joined us for breakfast and lunch and had his own bowl and cup of food.
In the middle of the night last night as I tossed and turned my conscience started to nag at me. I worried that the tongue and cheek nature of my last post might offend people. Although I am nearing the end of the pregnancy with a bit of a grumpy Gus attitude and at times want nothing more than this baby to be on the outside rather than kicking my ribs, please understand how incredibly gracious and blessed I am to have a routine and a healthy pregnancy (my hands have not even turned Smurf blue this time like they did while pregnant with Isaac). I do not take pregnancy, healthy babies, or the miracle of life for granted. I have stood by too many friends who struggle with fertility issues, who have lost children, who have endured scary times of bedrest, and who have cried many tears in the early days of their child's life in fear of losing a baby. Although I gripe about what the man at Lowes might have said to me (or become easily annoyed at the lady at the park yesterday who snidely told me that I must be quite "ambitious" for having children so close together), I am quite grateful for 40 weeks of a healthy pregnancy, for the chance to wear hideous maternity clothes, and for extended hours of labor that result in a precious baby boy who calls himself "I-ik."


Ashley said...

Good luck potty training. You will have to post tips.

I love that Isaac monitors your bathroom duties as well.

We are hoarding our pampers points too. Too bad you can't exchange it for cash or gift cards.

Amy said...

I think the key is consistency. We had a few practice runs in "big girl panties" (I'd tell her we were "practicing" being a big girl) and that allowed me to put her back in diapers if I couldn't hack it. I was still in my first trimester and sick a lot. Then, I decided there was no turning back, but I didn't tell her that. We just kept changing undies until she figured it out. After each accident we'd talk about what she felt right before she went so she'd know what her body cues are. Oh, have at least 10 pairs of undies on hand for that first day alone:-) And we let her carry around a watered down juice cup for a couple days so we'd get quicker results.

We bought a simple kid potty that had a seat that could also be used on the toilet. The base also functions as a stool. I have to admit, the potty stayed in the living room for less than 1 week. Then I moved it into the less obvious hallway, then bathroom, then dismantled it for use on the "big potty". We have hardwoods throughout the house, so cleanup wasn't as bad as it could have been. As much as it seems gross, keeping it in the LR allowed us to get to the potty quickly enough that she "made it" in time to tinkle for a treat. We used the gummy fruit snacks with Vitamin C (cop-out I know). 1 for pee-pee and 2 for #2. She really latched on to that since that was the only candy she was allowed to get.

I am sure you know that the first day will be pretty frustrating, but it will be worth it. And always be prepared for setbacks and regressing. It's just part of learning.

Good luck with it!

Amy C said...

Sounds like he really might be ready. I would get him a little seat that fits over the big seat for the guest bath. That is what I did with my oldest.

She only had a couple of accidents. We used pull ups in, because she didn't want to make the picture disappear, but when it got wet she would have to wear a diaper.

Reverse psycology goes a long way. We just never made a big deal of accidents, just of the cool new "big girl/boy pants" you got to wear when you woke up every morning! Even cooler were the ones she got to pick out when there were no longer any acccidents!

The Binkley Family said...

I don't know how much Tobe would go for this, but one thing that helped a lot was for Zach to go in the bathroom with daddy when he was going. We used both the little potty (which he got to pick out himself) and then the seat on the toilet later. I much prefer the seat on the toilet because the clean-up is not as bad. My biggest piece of advice is not to sweat it. It will happen. It may take weeks, or months, but it will happen!

Jennifer said...

Wow, potty training was almost the death of me. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Every child is different but feel blessed to have a BOY and first child at that that is already showing signs. Mine didn't for the longest time. I tried it all and in the end it just finally came down to when HE was ready, not when I was ready. I used the small seat that sits on the toilet. I'm not a big fan of cleaning out those other ones. Good luck!!

kate m. said...

Good luck! I can't wait to hear what works for you with Isaac. We are SO not ready to go there! Jackson usually uses my bathroom time as an opportunity to pull things out of a cabinet or off a shelf while I am immobilized.

Kelli said...

Even after potty training two boys, I have no good tips. I wish I could have sent them off to potty training camp! Even at almost 3, Matthew had the skinniest little hips and fell in the potty tons of times. We used a potty seat with him. Ethan didn't like that, so he just learned to stand up and pee like a big boy, which I am still regretting since I consistently clean pee off the baseboards, walls and basket of magazines next to the toilet(if you are at my house anytime soon avoid the hall bathroom and NEVER pick up any reading materials to read.)

Anyone who knows you would know you meant nothing by your other post. I laughed and remembered all the ridiculous things people say and still say about children! Pregnancy, birth and children are all amazing blessings, but definitely not without funny annoyances and crazy times!