Wednesday, September 26, 2007

potty "TRAIN"ing for desperate moms

My pediatrician informed me at James last (not so"well baby", since both my kids were sick) visit that potty training is no longer optional. At 3 years and 5 months it's time to get your act together and get your kid motivated. So with some bright ideas we rigged up a system that seems to be just what the doctor ordered. Keep in mind that we have tried various ways and we just might know what we are talking about (for once).

Failed method #1: James isn't motivated by "choxie" (chocolate) or candy, so after his sugar buzz wore off - he was like "no thanks" that one ended before it began.

Failed method #2: I would sit him on the toilet every 30 minutes only to loose interest by midday (that is me, not him). I got sick of hearing the timer go off and having to stop what I'm doing to run to the bathroom and wait forever for nothing to happen, only to hear 10 minutes later that he peed his pants. This girl is not big on doing laundry, even with a fresh Netflixed episode of Dallas waiting to be watched.

Method #3 Theory Only (never tested): Buy a peeing dolly so he can see how it works. Yeah, don't think so. I'm sorry but do any parents out there have privacy when they pee (mom's at least) Bathroom time for Daddy is somewhat sacred and for some strange reason they don't bug him... (maybe the smell - never thought of that before) but mom is a different story, rarely does the door stay closed the entire 2 minutes it takes. Yeah. peeing dolly - whatever!

My pediatrician recommended Method #4: (which I like to call) "the dangling carrot" BUT with the help of a sticker chart (thanks Christie) saves a little bit in the old pocketbook.
This is the potty sticker chart which is great because James is obsessed with Thomas and trains in general. So to set up this method we visited Target and I let him choose 8 of his favorite trains. I let him hold the packages and I told him all their names. He got to push the buttons and hear their noises, etc. I really wanted him to be attached. Now check out the chart - Notice that every third track is BLUE this is the key. Every third time he goes potty he gets to choose a "dangling carrot".
Ohhhh... Just look at my little bunny rabbit oogling those tantalizing tidbits. He already knew the first one he wanted (Rusty). While at Target I had bought him 3 packages of Thomas & Spiderman underwear (just say no to "pull ups" they are just diapers with no tabs - James pees in them just as good as any old diaper). So, I put him in underpants and waited for him to come to me. I chose not to put him on the toilet regularly. I knew this would be a big laundry day and I would just have to just suck it up and be a mom.

Sure enough... pretty soon I heard "mom, I'm wet." We'd run to the bathroom, he'd finish peeing in the toilet. I'd cheer. He would flush, wash hands, and get a new pair of underwear & shorts. Then I would sit him on my lap and he got to choose a sticker and put it on his chart, and we'd do it again a hour or so later... same thing "mom, I'm wet" - it only varied to "mom, I'm poo-pooh's" where the variation included me washing out his underpants in the toilet (aahhh took me back to childhood & washing out cloth diapers - the good ole days)... But every third time his eyes would light up and he'd choose another train.
We went through 6 pairs of shorts & undies, but he got the gist of things. We only went through 3 trains and have 5 left. I'm hoping a day or 2 more of this he will get the general idea. And if he doesn't I will have to load up my Que at Netflix with enough Dallas to pacify a few days worth of laundry.
We've passed the point of no return. We... (where did I get "we" from? Like my 3 year old firmly supports me or something? Maybe I'm just including the voices in my head - yeah. They just told me I am) "We" are "committed" to seeing this through. Wish me luck in my endeavors and that my swearing habits will not rub off on my 3 year old.


The Blakes said...

I'm so glad I get to learn through your experience. I'm planning on skipping right to attempt #4 when the time comes!

And I love that you literally dangled the trains in the bathroom. Genius!

Jill Manning said...

Maren, I love this idea! I am stowing it away in my memory for my own kids! I love that dangling affect too...oh my heavens! Man, I wish I got a treat after I went to the bathroom three times, where is the justice, James gets a train and I get a UTI! I don't get it!

the Picketts said...

good luck maren, i'm scared to attempt the whole potty training thing too, i think i will wait for the dr. to demand it too!!

The AZ McMillans said...

Potty training is not for the faint of heart. You are awesome Maren, and James is such a smart kid. He's catching on really fast!

Maren said...

that's funny that you say that... taking into consideration the partial custody hearing you see almost as much of him as I do. Thanks for your help in raising my child, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Miss Maren I love it!!!! Pure genius!!!! My parents have used this tactic with Sam for EVERYTHING!!!!! But with him he's so greedy it doesn't always work. But anyways you are SUPER MOM!!!!
Love you tons!!!!

Emily Lewis said...

ha ha I freaking love you! good luck with the potty training! im glad I can learn how to potty train my future kids from you! hahaha

Biker Babe said...

Personally I don't believe in potty training. I think that it will happen naturally when you send the kid to kindergarten and he gets teased by all the kids for still wearing a diaper. But whatever. Do it your effective way.

Maren said...

Biker babe, You do have a point, except James probably wouldn't care - but maybe when he's in Jr. High.... now that's an idea.