Sunday, June 22, 2014

Adventures in Potty Training With Walt

I kept putting off potty training with Walt for one reason or another.  He wasn't ready last May when he turned 2, so I said, "We'll just wait until after we have this baby (Harry) in August."  Then, we had the craziness of newborn life coupled with Jane starting preschool.  Once all of that was calming down, postpartum depression reared its ugly head in November.  When I was coming out of the postpartum depression fog in March, we had subcontractors galore at the house to get it ready for listing.  Then, it was the craziness of listing the house, showings, selling, and moving.

What a year!  

Now that we've been in Lincoln for a month and life is settling down, Walt seems ready, and we're finally in a place to tackle potty training consistently.  Yay!  

Overall, after one week in, I'd say we're off to a great start.  This is actually my first time being the primary potty trainer because Philip's mom potty trained Jane last year while we were out of town!  I know, I scored big time in the mother-in-law department, huh?  We love you, Mimi!    

The big lessons from this week were:
  • The kid doesn't drink enough, and I need to push fluids
  • We need to buy training pants.  Regular undies = puddles.  Pull-ups = not caring about being wet.
  • I am not above bribery.  
  • Bribery works better when your kid isn't plotting to end potty training once he gets what he wants.

To help motivate Walt, I took a page out of Mimi's potty training playbook.  To get Jane to use the potty, she hit up the dollar section at Target and bought several "potty prizes."  When Jane successfully used the potty, she got to pick out a tissue-wrapped potty prize.  I packed up the kids first thing Monday morning so that we could pick up some "potty prizes" for Walt.  Jane got a tiny little something for being Walt's "potty training coach," too.   

Reading Potty Animals, the equally entertaining and informative picture book about what not to do when using the potty

Walt is all about anything having to do with Cars these days, so some of his potty prizes were little matchbox-size cars from the movie.  I made the mistake of not wrapping the potty prizes in tissue paper for him to pick randomly from a box.  I just had them out on display.  In between visits to the potty, Walt would come over to the counter to covet the potty presents.  "Mama, I just wanna look at them."  I didn't know it then, but he was plotting.

A few days into training, we had a major breakthrough.  It involved #2.  The kid was so enthralled with his bathroom reading that he didn't even know what had happened.  When I went to check on him, he said there was no action.  "I'm gonna keep trying.  I want Mr. King!"  (That's a turquoise car from Cars.)  I started with my, "Good try, buddy" speech when I looked in the potty and saw the big achievement.  He was as shocked as I was.  

When it came to picking out his potty prize, he instantly chose the car, Mr. King. 

So proud of himself and excited to get Mr. King
I said, "Give me a thumbs up!" and he gave me a #1.  I told Philip it would have been more appropriate if  he held up two fingers.  Potty training humor...
Right after I took the victory pictures of Walt with Mr. King, the little stinker said, "Mama, I don't need to go on the potty and get toys."  Oh dear.  I should have wrapped the potty prizes in tissue paper so that he had to guess which one had Mr. King!  

Fortunately, the little guy changed his tune the next time the timer went off, and he went right back to enjoying his bathroom reading.  

At a MOPS meeting two years ago, a mom said, "You know, college applications don't ask how old your child was when he potty trained."  I keep that in mind when I find myself getting frustrated with the process.  He'll get it in his own time.  Tomorrow marks one week of potty training.  I'm still accepting any and all prayers!  We can do this!   

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