I shared our story in a comment with who knows how many strangers on her post - and decided that I should share with my friends too, because in reality - potty training almost sent me to therapy too!
When I quit work in April to be home, I thought, "OK, let's tackle this potty training thing. It'll be a breeze, nowhere to go to, nowhere to be". Yeah, only if your trainee is on the same page. Mine was not.
Sweet Noah turned 3 on June 6th. This was the day he became a "big boy". We took down his crib and replaced it with a super cool "cars bed", as he calls it. That first morning, I cried a little, he didn't need me to get him out of bed anymore.
We have been talking and talking and talking about going potty for probably a year – I felt like a broken record. You would think that the smallest one in the family would want to be just like all the big people. Nope – apparently babies want to stay babies forever, well my baby anyway :) He didn’t care about it – wanted to wear a diaper all his life, I’m sure (and why not really?). He didn’t want treats – would not be bribed with anything. Any time he would say he wanted a new car or “fill-in-the-blank”, I’d say "sure, if you go potty we’ll buy it" – and he’d say, “nah, I don’t want it anymore”.
3 weeks ago today, I changed his diaper after breakfast – and decided that this was it, no more, I put undies on him (I’ve done this before and it didn’t phase him, somehow this felt different from the beginning). We went to get sissy at school at 3pm, still dry. I’m inwardly terrified that I will be utterly embarrassed – after all, the kid hasn’t peed in 6+ hours. And I made the decision too fast – parent/teacher conferences were that night, my dad was keeping the kids, so I could have my 15 minutes of fame in peace. However, I wanted to spare my dad the mess, so on goes a pull-up. I pick them up, of course its wet. OK, well, small step back, I hoped my lack of planning didn't ruin the whole mission.
Underwear go back on after baths.
Friday morning, he wakes up dry. Friday is my grocery day. That morning it was chilly here in Cinci, so I dressed him in jeans and a sweatshirt. I’m a nervous wreck my groceries will get drenched, but we do it, for the sake of consistency. Keep in mind, he has not EVER peed in the pot. Ever. We get home, he is dry!
I bring in the first load of groceries and he’s standing in the middle of the kitchen floor in a huge puddle of pee screaming. I made him clean up the mess on the floor, and told him he was going to have to wait until I got the groceries unloaded and put away. I took my sweet time. He stood in the same spot, crying the whole time. I knew he was miserable in those strategically placed soaking wet jeans, but i was secretly hoping this would be it. I got him all cleaned up and changed, knowing it would be a long time before he needed to go again.
After sissy got home from school, and after their snack – I started keeping a full cup of water on the table for him, and reminding him to drink it. All the while, I set the timer and we visited the bathroom every five minutes. 32 minutes in, (I’m in the middle of browning pork chops - truly unbelieving we will not end this day in undies), he pees a little in his pants – but stops and tells me he needs to go! And finishes in the pot! We were so excited, we called everyone we knew. All he could think about was when are we going to Target and get a watch!
He was happy to pack up the diapers, the pull ups and the swimmers for another sweet baby (not mine!).
We had 2 instances of wetting the bed at night, close enough together that it made me wonder if we needed to do pull ups at night. But the last time was almost 2 weeks ago. I can handle that.
He pooped brilliantly that first day, but struggled a little to get the hang of it, but I think he's got it now. After a string of several accidents in a row, he finally hopped himself on the pot and went. We went to Target and he picked out a couple Cars 2 cars. He's had them taken away a few times for accidents, but so far this week, those cars have been his!
I’m so relieved! And so proud!
In retrospect, (while infinitely frustrating knowing your the only one with an over 3 kid that still wears diapers) I'm glad we didn't push him. I'm glad I tried and frustratingly failed several times before success this time, because he needed to understand for himself that it was time. Our children grow up too fast as it is to force them into things they aren't ready for. They WILL do all they are supposed to in their time. We trick them into not wanting to be "babies", when secretly we want them to stay a baby. And why?