Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Potty Training Was a Little Rough This Time Around

My 2-year-old has been ready to potty train for a while.

He can tell when he has to pee.

He knows the whole sequence of pants down, go, pants up, dump, flush, and wash hands from watching his older brother.

He even occasionally uses the potty himself when the mood strikes him.

I thought since he was so close already, plus I'd already been through it with his 5 older siblings, potty training my 2-year-old was going to be one of the easiest things I'd ever done.

This just in: I'm an idiot.

We swear by a one-day potty bootcamp method, so we circled last Tuesday on the calendar and planned on having one more member of the Evans family enjoying complete control over his bodily functions by that evening.

What actually happened that evening is that he squatted over his dad's work shoes and peed in them.

'Badly' does not even begin to cover how boot camp went.

At one point I was actually thrilled when he peed on the hardwood floor instead of the carpet, so I guess you could say things weren't going well.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
I had even made plans for Thursday thinking he'd be trained. I was so naive.

I didn't realize this when he was in diapers, but the kid has a bladder that would make Fort Knox jealous.

When your potty training strategy depends on pumping him full of liquids so he gets to practice going to the bathroom all morning, that's a problem.

"Time to sit on the potty!" I'd say after he'd had almost a full quart (!) of juice, and he would but nothing happened.

After discussing how awesome the potty was over a mid-morning snack and then again over a floor puzzle of ocean creatures, I'd ask "Do you have to pee now?"

"No," he'd reply, casually flipping the page in a Sandra Boynton book with one ankle crossed over his other leg, giving off a faint GQ model vibe — if GQ models sat around in Lightning McQueen undies and had ridiculously large bellies from chugging 32 fluid ounces of white grape juice.

After two hours, he sneaked upstairs and peed on his sisters' carpet.

By the end of our one-day potty training boot camp, we only had a 50% success rate, and even then he wasn't initiating trips to the potty on his own.

Wednesday was even worse. Our success rate collapsed to 0%. At one point I realized I was actually thrilled when he peed on the hardwood floor instead of the carpet, A.K.A. things were not going well.

During his waking hours I sprayed 409 Pet Stain Remover on the rug and dreamed about running away to join the circus, and while he was napping I Googled "potty training hell" hoping that reading the misfortunes of those worse off would prevent me from actually running away to join the circus.

(The stories here and here helped, but I still felt pretty sorry for myself.)

I was so close to giving up that I didn't even mention potty training in my 7 Quick Takes Friday recap, even though I'd spent the better part of my week grossly exaggerating how cool mommy and daddy think the potty is (and watching my toddler urinate on the carpet regardless.)

Believe me, I'm not a quitter. But I seriously considered quitting this so-called potty training, which was beginning to look a lot like just me doing extra laundry.

At one point I was actually thrilled when he peed on the hardwood floor instead of the carpet, so I guess you could say things weren't going well.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Yay for removing and washing all the couch cushions! Hip hip hooray!

What if we just went back to diapers? Pretended this whole thing never happened? Tom Cruise did it with the couch-jumping incident on Oprah and his career recovered. It was an option.

But no, I decided after WAY too much deliberation that the 2-year-old was ready and this thing was going to happen. He just didn't get a chance to really nail it during boot camp so we were going to start over and do it one more time.

And it went better.

A little.

On Friday, we took a successfully dry trip to the grocery store. We ran into an acquaintance there and during our conversation I gestured to my son and mentioned that "this was our first trip out of the house in underwear," not realizing until afterward I should've clarified that I did NOT actually mean for both of us.

On Saturday, we went to the library and didn't even need the three extra outfits I'd packed in my purse in a fit of paranoia beforehand.

Even though the lack of accidents was mostly due to his iron bladder rather than any particular commitment to depositing anything in a toilet, I rejoiced.

On Sunday he made it through two hours of nursery at church, and by Monday he was actually getting himself to the potty on his own when nature called, more often than not.

And on Tuesday, one week after beginning this adventure, he had his first accident-free day.

I'm not sure where I'm going with all this. 

Maybe I want you to know I can be stubborn, even more stubborn than a stubborn 2-year-old.

Maybe I want to encourage you not to give up when the crap is figuratively or literally hitting the fan, the floor, and your husband's work shoes.

Maybe I just want you to suffer through each painful detail as I had to do. I'm not above that.

Whatever it is, though, I think we're on the road to a fully-trained child.

And because the 2-year-old is our youngest, I'm left with a package of diapers that will probably never get used up (though he still wears them at night) and, ironically, really missing that ridiculously poofy diaper bum I used to see waddling through the house.

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8 comments:

  1. Oh man. My near 2 year old is going to have to wait until next summer to be potty trained {even though he asks to use the bathroom during sacrament meeting with the rest of the kids.) Summer is when my 10 year old will be home all day to train him and if he doesn't master it, we'll wait until Christmas break 2019. He likes her best and she owes me. And I don't wanna.

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    1. I'm impressed! Good luck to all of you. I feel like hiring out her services as a potty trainer could make a LOT of money if she turns out to be good at it...

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  2. Good job persevering! Your timing is really interesting because my husband has just started talking about wanting to potty train our 2 year old. I've been planning to pick up the book that you recommend from the library, and my husband (who never gets books from the library) actually requested that I put another book on hold so that he can read and learn. I don't know how soon we'll attempt this all since we're still in a bit of a "survival mode" with our one-month-old, but our 2 year old has been showing signs that he's probably ready (or almost ready), so we'll see!

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    1. Good luck! The boot camp method isn't for the weak of heart, but all things considered I think I prefer one miserable day of talking about nothing but the potty to 6- or 12-months of cleaning up accidents.

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  3. Underestimating due to past experience is always a hazard in parenting. Our most difficult was Jenny. Yup,#5. When I was so sure I had the whole process figured out. I think your thoughts are a good metaphor for much in life. You just have to keep trying and eventually or will work. So boring that the answer is just hang in there isn't it?

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    1. I was so smart when I only had two kids. The more I had, the more they disproved my perfect theories about parenting...

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  4. This is hilarious! And I feel your pain. I’ve only potty trained one child so far but don’t look forward to the second... our house has SO much carpet so it’s super obnoxious!

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  5. I had a similar experience. Number one was easy number two was difficult! Hoping number three isn't too bad. Any thoughts on cleaning the urine smell from mattresses?

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