After we got rid of the pacifiers, I mentioned that my next goal was to get Thing 1 potty trained. I mean, he turned 3 in December and really my goal was to not have a four year old in diapers. I think there was a couple of factors in waiting so late to do it. One was that when John turned 2—which I guess is the age people usually start—I had a 3 month old. I just wasn’t interested at the time. And then we moved, and then I thought I’ll just wait ‘til he’s 3… I think another factor is that I just wasn’t really sure how to go about explaining to a little boy what he needed to do. Potty training seemed really hard, and I wanted someone else to come and do it for me.
We began way back in March. It was super exciting. We bought underwear, we celebrated, we were all stoked. And it. was. awful. We worked at it for a few days, but it was just pretty clear that Thing 1 was getting more frustrated by the minute. And it wasn’t just like of-course-there-are-accidents-in-the-first-few-days type of frustration. I think he kind of just felt assaulted by the whole thing. So we took a step back, went back to training pants, and spent a couple of months discussing “going potty in the potty”.
In June we tackled it again. It kind of came about when we were buying a package of pull ups and William said, “This is it. We’re not spending any more money on these.” I think one of the differences this time around was that we didn’t blindside Thing 1 with it. I talked with him about it every time I pulled another pull up from that package. “After this one there are only 7 left, and then we’ll have to use underwear that you need to keep dry.” He felt a bit more prepared this time. And in the first three days? Oh, there were tons of accidents. Especially the first day. But this time around Thing 1 really seemed like he wanted to do well. He was way more engaged and less angry about the process. Day 2 was better than Day 1. Day 3 even more so. A week later and he was peeing in the potty all the time.
And yes, I’m totally going to talk about poop now. Because this was much, much harder to conquer. He simply did NOT want to poop in the potty. The thing is, he knew he shouldn’t go in his underwear either, so he was just holding it and holding it. He was going 2 or 3 days at a time without pooping, and then he’d come to a point when he couldn’t hold it any more, and he’d poop his pants. (Usually when hiding from us. Because he thought then we wouldn’t notice? We did. It was gross. But we clothed diapered, so whatever.) I thought that if he could just poop in the potty once and see that it was no big deal, we’d be home free. I was wrong. We tried lost of different tricks to coax him into pooping in the potty consistently, but we mostly just had to deal with poopy accidents for several weeks. And then finally he started just heading the bathroom with the announcement that he needed to poop. And we haven’t had any accidents in over a week now. I think we might be home free for real. I also fully expect that, since I just said that, we will have some kind of poopy accident right away.
Funny thing though, promising him a cookie after he pooped in the potty never did entice him to do it. But after he finally did do it, the cookie became an important part of the process. He still requests a cookie every time he does the deed. I don’t really mind. I’ll give him one every time for the next two years. I’m just so pleased to be done potty training him.
Anyway, it is AWESOME having only one child in diapers. I can hardly wait to get Thing 2 potty trained. But, my next goal is to get Thing 2 sleeping in Thing 1’s room (and then it will just be the Things’ room) and not in my bed.