Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Still Working on That Big Boy Thing

My attempts to potty train Hank opened with his declaration that the big boy underwear I got him was "evil and bad." We have made a little progress since then, with Hank using the toilet for number one regularly, whenever we're at home. I've been sitting him up on the big potty whenever he says he needs to go, and then helping him get down. But yesterday morning, while I was up in my room getting dressed and Hank had gone downstairs ahead of me, I heard the downstairs toilet flush. A flushing toilet is not a good sound to hear when there is an unsupervised toddler anywhere near it. Like, what did he put in there? I went down to investigate, and Hank appeared, unencumbered by pants, and said, "I took off my diaper and peepeed in the potty!" And he had. Since that time, he insists on being in the bathroom by himself, and standing up to pee, just like a dude. He doesn't want me to watch him, which is too bad, 'cause it's totally adorable. But he doesn't know I can stand around the corner and see him in the mirror. After a successful tinkle, I let him pick a skittle out of a glass mug I have up in the cabinet. Probably he will continue to need candy after peeing when he's in college. I hope this doesn't cause a problem.

Number Two continues to elude us. I have heard reports that he has used the toilet for #2 a couple of times, once for Laura and once for my mother-in-law, but I have seen no evidence of this. He steadfastly asserts that he CANNOT poop in the potty and indeed, that big boys do NOT do that. This is in spite of my putting him on the toilet when I know he has to go. A bigger bribe, like the promise of a little chocolate rabbit or his own iPod does not move him, so to speak. So it has been two days since he had a BM, because he's not wearing his diaper at home most of the time. I think we're in a standoff. I even tried letting him sit on a potty chair in the sunroom, of all places. Sometimes I know he has to go because he'll say, "Put my diaper on!" No dice, bud. I just know he can do this, but he'll wait me out until I have to diaper him for a nap or something, I predict.

So, what have you guys done at this point? Anyone have a really determined kid like this? My friend Pretty Neighbor told me about her trick. She said that with her daughter, she put her in a pull-up, and started by letting her go in the diaper while sitting on the potty. Just to get her used to going in the bathroom. Then, and my mind just doesn't work like this, she cut the back out of the pull-up, so the kid still felt covered, but the #2 went into the potty. Then she was okay with having no diaper at all. It worked for them. I just don't tend to go to these tricks, because so far, we've been pretty straightforward with our kids about these things rather than engage in all kinds of parental judo. But maybe I'm just not talented in parental judo. Any input is appreciated.

20 comments:

Jenni said...

since we haven';t gotten to this stage yet, i have no idea. but i do know that when he does finally poop, it is mot going to be pretty. not that poop is ever pretty, but hanks next bm is going to be one for the books.

Cassie said...

Parental judo... I love it!

Ocean wouldn't poop in the potty at first either so we made a big production out of dumping his diaper poops into the potty, waving goodbye and flushing them.

Once he was comfortable with that idea we resorted to good old fashioned bribes. We asked him what he wanted and he said roller skates (?!) so I made a potty chart and every time he pooped in the potty he got a sticker on the chart. After filling up the chart he got his roller skates.

I don't know if it would work for Hank though. He seems a bit above all that sort of bartering nonsense.

Michele said...

Sorry, I can't help you with this one. It has been so long I can't remember what we did or I've blocked it out of my head. Probably, the second thing.

good luck on whichever tact you take.

Ginny Marie said...

I let Lily pick out a toy from a catalog (it was a Dora doll) and then I told her when she pooped in the potty 10 times, we would buy the toy. I wrote the numbers 1-10 right on the catalog page, and we covered the numbers with a sticker every time she pooped. She carried the picture around with her, and I think she even slept with it! She earned her doll pretty quickly after the first sticker!

Drama Queen Jenner said...

Sorry, no parental judo here, whatsoever. I was lucky in two respects with the 3-y-o: she's naturally a follower and daycare did most of the work. She followed me on evenings and weekends and followed the kids at daycare during the day. Bribes wouldn't have worked on her. I just watched for the signs and rushed her in to the potty. She got used to it pretty quickly.

The Dental Maven said...

Weird as this may sound, we told my son he could have the lego spaceshuttle, which is rated for like 75 year olds, when he finally pooped in the toilet. We had it in the box waiting and he saw it every day. He wanted that sucker sooooo bad he finally overcame his distaste for the toilet.

fraught said...

Yeah. Megan wouldn't go there, either. For about 6 months, as I recall. She'd demand the diaper; when I declined, she'd hold it for enough days that I became concerned she was going to constipate herself for life, at which point I would cave. Nothing in the way of bribes ever worked for us, though not for lack of imagination on my part.

Eventually, she went, though with great angst in play. (And carried out the little potty insert so as to display it to her best friend, and BF's mother, oh was I proud.)

Looking back, I can't say that I'd do anything other than to wait it out. I hear the John Rosemond route leads to success but I couldn't ever get comfortable with it. Good luck!

Amy said...

These are some great ideas! Does Hank have any little dude friends who poop on the potty? You could always use good old fashioned peer pressure!

Just stay the course, he will do "it" eventually. Nate was like this for a long time, he would sneak one whenever I had to put a diaper on him for whatever reason. Eventually, though, he had to go urgently while already on the potty and it just, uh, came out. He was a few months over three before I even started though!

Hang in there! He's making progress. Potty training is definitely a continuum!

Christine said...

parental judo...freaking hilarious! I call it "gymnastics..." Same concept, and I don't go for it either.

(Biiig sigghhh)

I just went through this with our youngest. He is 3.5 and just now trained. We tried a lot of tricks, but I was not willing to go to the lengths of cutting things in order for him to get it. My boy just seemed too smart to fall for anything.

We did use chocolate kisses, which worked a little. At least it got him on the potty. Then, dare I say I got a tip from Jon and Kate Plus 8? It was so simple. She told one of the kids to "put poop in that potty." It made it sound so much more doable...instead of saying "go poop" it was more active. So I'd say, "put a little poop in the potty and you can get up..." and that seemed to make more sense to him.

All that said...he resisted bigtime. So we just waited and he got it finally, after four months of trying. Ugh. It was brutal and frustrating and I feel for you having to go through it.

Just remember you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him pee in it...

Christine said...

P.S. My boy held it for almost three days once. I nearly called the doc then he finally did in the potty. I practically did a cartwheel in the bathroom for him.

Beth said...

Oh wow...I hoped I wasn't going to be the only really mean mom, and I know I don't *have* to out myself by commenting...

But with our son when it became obvious, and I mean totally obvious, that he *could* poop in the potty and was choosing not to...we made it a matter of discipline. We told him that he was a big boy, he needed to decide to do the big boy thing, and if he didn't then he would be punished the same way he would for any other deliberate disobedience.

He tested us on it one time, very deliberately and defiantly, and seemed almost relieved to "do the time" for the "crime". After that he cheerfully took to the potty, and went on to feel pretty smug and self-righteous about his maturity in all things potty-related.

Wiping properly is another matter, but I have every hope that he'll master it before he's married.

Amy said...

Beth--we did the same for ours, once we knew he could. In that he had a few times, and then started sneaking off and going in his underwear. Blech! So I'll join you on the mean mom side! :)

Casey said...

I've got nothing for you on this one. My kid decided on his own that he was ready to potty train and demanded the potty last week. Now, he'll pee on it if I prompt him but no poop. I hate potty training. That pull ups idea isn't half bad though.

bsouth said...

Hmm, not sure I can really help. The girl was fairly amenable to the whole thing once we'd got across what it was we wanted of her. I did start by using pull ups in lieu of knickers so that it didn't matter if there were accidents.

Let us know how you get on - I have a feeling that potty training the boy might be a different story!

Michele Renee said...

Is it a blessing or a curse that I have a husband who is so involved with every step of parenting? He saw that our first son was using the potty for #1 before he got into the bath and told me he thinks he is ready for us to be active about it. I said, "But all the books and other moms say that for boys they are at least age 3 for this"!! I am sure it could have gone on longer, but he is motivated for Dad. All it took is one weekend for all of us to stay at home....have 25 pairs of underwear, explain that wet underwear is uncomfortable but we understand and we will change it often, and never use a diaper at night after the weekend of commitment. We made the bed with two sets of sheets and a shower curtain in between so for any accidents to make it easy for everyone when he would wake up and tell us he soiled his bed. It helped BIG TIME that it just happened that he had very soft #2's that weekend so there was no straining. Becky, buy a couple boxes of Fig Newtons!

Bex said...

i love talking about pee pee and poopy.

my first born wouldn't use the potty chair. he started going right away when i put the toddler sized adapter on the regular toilet. also, he responded better to being in trouble when he made mess (not an accident, but an "i knew i was supposed to hit the potty but i went on the couch on purpose" kind of way. this was a tip from my friends from sri lanka who potty train at 18 months. not every child will respond well to the sri lankan method. ours did though.

my youngest is not faring as well. he is not yet three so we have a little time.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Err, umm, give him a Dr. Pepper baba and brace yourself.

Seriously, I'd have him go in the bathroom with your husband EVERY time your husband goes in there. It's the Daddy Emulation Method.

Becky said...

Thanks for the ideas, guys! I am toying with the idea of some kind of sticker chart. I hadn't thought that Hank would really get that enough to be motivated by it, but maybe I'm underestimating him. Actually, I think I could get my husband to do anything for the Lego space shuttle.

And fig newtons, check. Actually, yesterday he broke his poop strike, in his diaper, and as predicted, it was epic. Sigh.

I think I might also just lighten up on it for a little while. He is doing so great with the peepee side of things, maybe it will just take a little longer.

But Christine, I love that Kate Gosselin tip! "Put some poop in that potty" does sound more manageable somehow!

Beth said...

I had to come back and see if I'd won an award for Cruel Mom of the Decade. :) Glad to see I'm not the only mean mom.

Seriously, I really came back because I thought of one other thing we did that might have actually been what tipped him over the edge to success. We put his little step stool (the one he used to reach the sink) under his feet and told him he could prop his feet up there if it made the pooping easier.

I think he was in the habit of pooping standing up and the whole thing felt different sitting down.

Sara said...

I don't remember much either, except that grandma was a huge help on the last one. She'd definitely go lots better for her grandma than for me.
And a friend who is in the midst of training right now had a similar situation with her daughter. She took her to the pediatrician because of her constipation worries, where the doctor said, in front of her daughter, that the most important thing for mom to do was to make sure her daughter was comfortable. Not to worry about using the potty. So now her 3 year old tells her 'Doctor So-n-so said I didn't have to use the potty.' Now she's going to have to take a special trip to the doctor to undo that damage!
I'm wishing you good luck!