Thursday, 29 May 2008

What are your secrets?

This morning James and Colin came bounding down the stairs: Colin in only his diaper and James toting the portable toilet.

"Colin wants to sit on the bathroom," James announced, plopping the toilet next to the table in the kitchen. Excited, Colin pealed off his diaper and sat on his glorious throne. Complete with his own sound effects, he proceeded to "go to the bathroom" five or six times, making a flushing noise and action between each effort. (Flushing is the only reason he wants to use the toilet).

And then James promptly left for work, leaving me with a naked 2 1/2 year old and a hungry 6 month old. As I continued convincing Caleb that applesauce has some worthwhile taste, Colin jumped up from the toilet and disappeared around the corner.

It was seconds. Only seconds. I took the spoon from Caleb and dashed after Colin, but it was seconds too late. There he was, peeing all over the jolly jumper and the carpet. He finished up as I came around the corner. He looked up sheepishly and then ran back to the toilet, and pronounced "I just have to go to the bathroom."

I grabbed a cloth and the baking soda and started the clean up. When I finished, Colin came around the corner and pointed at the white paste soaking up the mess:

"Oh no! Cleo (the cat) spit up!"
"No, honey. That's where you went pee on the floor. Mommy is cleaning up the pee. Remember, you only pee in the toilet, okay?"
"Oh no! Cleo spit up!"

Well, the worst was done. I had barely come out of the shower and hadn't even planned my day yet, but I guess toilet training is now on the agenda.

(A brief pause in my writing just occurred. Colin came back in and announced he had to go to the bathroom again. He once again peeled off his own diaper, but this time he had already gone. In his diaper. And it was a lot messier than a little pee! Then he sat on the newly mopped kitchen floor and left his mess there. Then I chased him around the circle loop of our downstairs floor. He still isn't wearing a diaper. Sigh. It's our first 20+ degree day of the year, and I wasn't planning on spending this inside!)

What are your secrets, you moms of toilet-trained tots?


Anonymous said...

Mine isn't trained, obviously, but I have trained quite a few!! At the daycare where I used to work, kids needed to be trained by 2.5 in order to move to the next class, so there was quite a bit of active training done. This is what we do (take it for what it's worth, and acknowledge, obviously, that every child is different).
At 2, they started sitting on the potty at every diaper change, whether they were training or not. If they peed, they got a sticker on their hand (if they started training, or peeing consistantly, they got a sign on the wall on which stickers were placed as rewarded). Once they started having dry diapers, and consistant pees in the potty, or once they were a month away from being promoted (some kids have no interest in training until you give them a nudge), the diapers were removed, except during sleep time. IT IS IMPORTANT TO DO AN ALL OR NOTHING THING WITH DIAPERS. Don't put a diaper on him sometimes, and sometimes not, it confuses them. You're better to just deal with the accidents. Same with pull-ups, they're not as effective. It's messier, but faster, in our experience, to do it in underwear except for sleeping. If he has an accident, have him change his own clothes, to the best of his ability. Don't punish or shame him, just remind him (as you did) where he needs to pee, and make it as unappealing as possible to be wet (again, why it's best not to use pull-ups, because being wet is uncomfortable and undesirable). If you want to teach him to sit to pee, make sure he pushes his penis down, or he will pee on the wall or his shoes, not in the potty :). If you want him to stand to pee, have him put both hands on the raised seat in front of him and lean his hips forward (much more accurate aim than trying to, ahem, point it :)). When he's first in underwear, resist the urge to get him the cute, little, underoos, and go for the thick, training underwear. He'll still feel wet, but it'll mostly just wet him, not your floor. Some people have suggested putting cheerios in the toilet to teach aim, but we never did that, just stickers, and lots of praise :).
It doesn't (generally) take as long as you'd expect (sometimes as little as a couple of weeks, if the child is really ready. Rarely, if he's stubborn, he may be perfectly capable of potty training, but resist it, and try antics such as you've described, but again, just make doing so undesirable. If he doesn't like to clean, have him help you (unless this is fun for him, helping). Like I said, don't punish him, just make it unpleasant (logical consequences!! :)). Good luck!! :).
- Heather.

Anonymous said...

Also, don't starve him, obviously, but cut back on fluids as you can, until he can hold it well, and take him to pee at least every half an hour to an hour at first. And even kids that are well-trained have accidents and set-backs, so don't get discouraged :). We defined trained as dry more often than wet, pretty much :).

Anonymous said...

Also, you don't need to use monitary rewards, such as stickers, if you're opposed to it (we used it, because it was a visual symbol for them). If he likes to flush, you could even use that, that when he pees in the potty (said when, not if. Say when for everything, in fact, not just potty training, I learned that in highschool :)), then he can flush, but flushing is only for when there is pee or poo in the toilet (don't say, "something in the toilet" unless you're prepared to call a plumber to remove the toy truck, spoon, and half of Caleb's things from the toilet" :).

Terri-Ann said...

Thanks for the tips! I'm sure I'll chronicle a few more stories before we've got it down!