Friday, April 6, 2012

Potty Wars Revisited

In February, we made the ultimate decision to start potty training Sophie. Two years after finally getting Mason potty trained, here we are again. Hoping for the same, if not better results.

It was a Friday. I wasn't 100% ready, but we were just about out of diapers and I wanted to start the day with pull-ups rather than switch partway through the day. I kept a journal of dates, times and details of our day to day activities in addition to when and where, and how often she used the potty. Whether she peed in her pull-up or in the potty, I wrote it down. Here is a peek into the first week of our attempt to start this whole process over again.

Day one:
Not very successful today. Ate breakfast, dropped Mason off at school, arrived at Target and had her sit on the potty. She was scared at first but then I sang some songs and we played I-spy. But nothing. We did some shopping, about 30 min. later she pooped in her pull-up. Came home, packed lunch, picked up Mason from school and headed out to a play date. I couldn't get Sophie to stop a moment to sit on the potty again. By the time we sat down for lunch, she already peed. The rest of the day went like this with absolutely no success, and what appeared to be a complete lack in interest.

Day two:
Fred gets up with the kids. When I get up I have Sophie sit on the potty. Again, she is less than enthusiastic. We sit there for about 20min. reading books and playing with toys, but nothing. A few minutes later she asks to sit on the potty but I discover she already peed in her pull-up. About two hours later we have success in the little Baby Bjorn potty! Only moments later to find she peed in her pull-up. She continues this until after her nap, when she manages to pee in the little potty again. Then again in the little potty an hour later. Off and on success the rest of the day.

Day three:
Managed to stay dry till lunch. Stayed dry through her entire nap. When she awoke, sat her on potty and she peed. Yes!

Day four:
It's been a huge battle just to get her to sit on the potty, much less actually urinate in it. I find myself getting frustrated and yelling at her which I know is not helping and in reality gets me the exact opposite results.

Day five:
Started a new strategy. Set timer for 30 min. intervals, having her sit on the potty for 5-10min. each time. But we seem to just miss the mark by a few seconds, every time. It becomes apparent that she prefers the little potty. Maybe it's that she can do it all herself, or that she can conveniently watch her shows while sitting there. Whatever the reason, she is more comfortable using the little potty. While I fear this is adding one more step to the potty training process, I'll do whatever it takes to get her to be successful.

Day six:
She starts to recognize when she poops by telling me just after she does it. A good sign, and a hopeful step forward.

Day seven:
No success.

Day eight:
Today I notice something interesting. After feeling so frustrated about her being disinterested in sitting on the potty, I struggle to stay positive. The September deadline is looming ahead of me and I am having similar feelings of fear in not having my child potty trained in time for preschool. All she wants to do is play and refuses to listen to my pleas for her to just sit on the potty. I will put on My Little Pony for you to watch, just please sit on the potty. She is too focused on play and now won't even stop to put her pull-up back on. At my wits end, I finally just gave up and let her sit, naked, on the floor playing. After a while she jumps up saying, "I pee pee in the potty," and runs to sit on her little potty. Sure enough, she does. Aha. Maybe she does understand that feeling after all.

I eventually stopped recording, in detail, our potty training attempts. I thought, if I could record when she peed and pooped, I could figure out a schedule and then try to time her sitting on the potty at those times in order to get success. That plan didn't work out so well. I was doing everything like I had before. I have been encouraging, having her watch Elmo's Potty Time over and over, reading books about going potty, instituting the earning of stones (1 for peeing, 2 for pooping in the potty. Once she reaches 10 she gets to pick from the earning bin.), even showing over the top excitement when she is successful, and downplaying when not. After day eight, I was telling myself that she was getting it, but then days went by where it was a fight just to talk about sitting on the potty. Sophie and I were both hitting our limits. Potty training was becoming one huge power struggle and I didn't want to turn this whole experience into something negative. Forcing her to sit on the potty was not going to get the results I so desperately desired. So she came out victorious most of the time and I began questioning if we made the right call. Maybe she just wasn't ready?

I could swear it wasn't this hard with Mason. Whoever said potty training girls was easier, never met my daughter.
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