Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Potty Project

It's been a while since we made any attempts at big boy underwear. Despite the fact that Jacob CAN go on the potty, he just doesn't want to do it that often. We can suggest it, but he either says he doesn't have to go or he ends up sitting there forever, completely distracted, which is so annoying. I know I could just leave him there until he goes--and sometimes I do--but I don't trust him to just sit there and call me when he's done...so I live in fear of a trail of drips (or worse, droppings) as he gets up from the potty looking for me. We he does choose to sit, he chooses the most inopportune times--in the morning when we're in a rush, at bedtime, after bedtime. I really just need him to start understanding when he needs to go, and how to go on command when given the opportunity.

I don't want to make a big deal about it because I don't want him to rebel--because, trust me, he will--but he's rapidly approaching his third birthday. His third birthday has always been my potty training goal. If he hadn't figured it out by then, we'd have to resort to some hardcore training. But I'm starting to feel like all the training in the world isn't going to make a bit of difference if the subject isn't willing.

The perplexing thing is that he keeps insisting he wants big boy underwear and his big potty prize. And yet, he just doesn't seem to understand that he needs to work at it. No matter how many times we spell it out for him, we don't seem to get anywhere. We bring up his desire to be a big boy, and whenever we question it, he insists that he wants to be a big boy and sometimes even insists he needs to go potty right then and there. And sometimes he does. But it never goes anywhere.

Prior to this past weekend I told Jacob we could try big boy underwear again. We'd only tried it with a pull-up over previously (sorry, we have lots of carpeting), but I came up with a brilliant plan. We could put on his underwear, put on some sweatpants, and go play outside. I'd bring out his potty to keep in the garage, so he wouldn't even have to go inside to pee. He was very excited to get the underwear on, and we were outside for quite a while. I frequently asked him if he had to go, and he said no. At one point he was riding around on his big wheel, and he yelled to me that he needed new underwear. When I asked him why, he said, "I don't know," but as I walked closer, I saw a puddle below his big wheel. Ugh.

Just like the last time he was in big boy underwear, the wet spot in his underwear wasn't big or that soaked, but obviously there was enough to visibly leak out. I couldn't get an answer from him as to why he didn't go potty when I asked him, or why he didn't tell me he had to go, or why he peed in his underwear even though he knows he's not supposed to. I can't tell if he physically can't tell that he has to go, or if he doesn't care, or if he's doing it for attention. He laughs it off and won't talk to us about it when we ask.

He keeps asking to wear them again, but why would we bother? I had hoped that giving him the benefit of the doubt might produce a miracle--since he is smart and seems to know what he's doing--but no such luck. Other than a most-of-the-time willingness to use the potty when asked, we really haven't gotten anywhere...no dry mornings, no dry naps, very little voluntary use. He seems to have given up pooping in the potty (he insisted the other day that he couldn't go in the potty--and followed it up with two poopy diapers as proof), and it's all getting frustrating. I can't decide if it's a physical thing, a laziness/busyness thing, or some sort of power struggle. I do know that he's getting too big for his changing table and I'm sick of buying diapers.

I don't know what tactic to try next. Do I take time off and do the classic training with every 15 minutes on the potty and M&Ms as bribes? Do I let him run around naked in the yard next time it's nice and let him learn to dislike pee running down his legs? Even still, he can be so defiant that I can't see even the smallest victory sticking with us until he's ready to do it. Heck, he probably would have been content to sit in wet pants on Saturday if it meant staying outside. He doesn't seem phased by peer pressure, though he does talk about his underwear-wearing friends quite a bit. But there's still some disconnect somewhere--either that he doesn't realize he could be wearing big boy underwear, or that his friends had to work hard to wear underwear, or that peeing in the potty once does not a potty-trained child make--even though we're constantly explaining these exact things to him.

I'll admit that I find it hard to be super-consistent with him. Perhaps I should be asking him every 15 minutes all the time if he has to go potty, so he gets the concept that it has to be on his mind all the time. But even when we did try it over the weekeknd, it didn't work. He kept telling me no, and then proceeded to pee his pants despite a potty being 10 feet away. That lends credence to the fact that he might not be physically ready, but at what point do we need to talk to the doctor about it? I don't want to rush him, but I also don't want to get so lax about it that suddenly we're staring down age four and exploring the world of size six diapers. Not only don't I want that, but I'm sure daycare would be none too enthused as well. It's the age-old dilemma of parenthood--You want to allow your child to explore the world at their own pace and on their own terms, but they also need direction and leadership to ensure they stay on the right path. I don't want to push Jacob...but maybe that's what he needs.

So, yeah, I have no idea. I feel like we're wandering aimlessly in the land of potty training, and as any mother knows, if there's anything you want when dealing with potty matters, it's good aim. Which brings up another point--when do we let him stand?! Ugh, maybe I'm not so ready for this after all...

1 comment:

Jo + CoCo's mom said...

I'm no expert on potty training, but I'd say being consistent is most important.
I really cut back on how much fluid my daughter was consuming (only with meals/snacks rather than constant drinking all day long) and made sure they sat on the potty at least once an hour and ALWAYS before leaving the house (or else a diaper goes on). If there was success, I'd let out a big cheer (YAHOO! YOU DID IT!), wash hands and then she was promptly rewarded with a small treat (like a mini marshmallow).

Our oldest was just about 3 (and days away from starting 3k) when it finally clicked with her.
I tried starting earlier with our second - around 20months or so. She's been using the potty for #2 almost exclusively for a year - always telling me when she has to go poo and making a beeline to the bathroom. But we still had near daily accidents with wet pants. IF she had more than one accident in a day, then I'd put a diaper on her.
Just in the past month, something's clicked and now she's staying dry all day and even keeping her underpants dry during hour-long car rides.

I'd say don't give up and try to be as consistent as reasonably possible.
Also - if your son looks up to someone older - neighbor, cousin, friend, it doesnt hurt to mention how he's a big kid who wears underpants and gets to do some other extra special big kid thing. (for our girls, they are really excited about school, so being potty trained was something they had to master before they could go to school)