I’m back! Sort of. I assume no one on my Facebook friends list wants to read about our adventures in toilet training the spawn (and I don’t exactly want advice from everyone I know), so I thought I should take that business here. Don’t read this if you really don’t care about this stuff. It’s tedious and TMI at times. I’m just putting it here in case any mom friends are curious.
Note the towel, there for possible leakage.
So here we are, almost a week into what I thought was a 3-day process and it’s . . . well, it’s not a raging success yet. We’re using the method described in the book Oh Crap! Potty Training, which is recommended in every online moms group that I’ve been in. Unfortunately, it seems like it’d be a lot easier for a stay-at-home parent who lives in the suburbs to follow, so we’re adjusting it to our double-income, subway-taking lifestyle and hoping that doesn’t screw things up too much. Here’s how it’s going so far.
According to the book, we were supposed to have Astrid run around naked all day and watch her like hawks. One of the main points was to see if she has any “tells” when she’s about to go. Some kids are very subtle about it. As it turned out, Astrid’s tell was to come up to us and cry. While she did have a few accidents and we used up a lot of paper towels and Clorox wipes that day, she used the potty five times, including #2 (which happened directly where it was supposed to). Granted, she cried the entire time and seemed afraid of what was happening, often standing up at the wrong moment, begging us to hold her. So, yes, we did have our doubts that this was the right time to toilet train. But I still considered Day 1 to be a success; she used the potty, pooped (described as a potential problem area in the book, which has several suggestions for handling it), and warned us ahead of time.
Astrid was to go commando for a few weeks–clothes, but no underpants. This first day was sort of fine. She wet two pairs of pants before deciding that she was done with peeing and tried to hold it in as much as possible. She didn’t go #2 at all. Basically, she’d tell us when she needed to go, sit on the toilet, cry, and then nothing would happen for a very long time. I was beginning to think this wouldn’t fly with her daycare. It’s a lot to ask them to sit with her and coax her “leavings” out of her when they have other kids to watch.
The book recommended that we take her out for a short outing at this point. But since the weather was terrible, we stayed in.
Since Day 2 wasn’t great, I figured we were still in stage 2 of the book’s process, so it was more of the same today. She finally went #2 in the morning at the same time as her morning pee. (I should note that she almost always wakes up with a dry diaper, but takes a voluminous pee in the morning. It’s insane. The overflow! Oh god, the overflow . . . ) That was the only time she pooped on Day 3 though. And she didn’t pee again until her post-nap accident.
In the middle of the day, she sat on the toilet for more than an hour. She went from being a little afraid of it to camping out on it. And she didn’t use it once in that entire time. I kept trying to help her off of it, but she’d cry or get angry. And I didn’t want to risk her creating a mess (in case she did need to use it). At one point, I offered her chocolate chips if she got off the toilet, but she just wouldn’t budge.
David asked the daycare some questions about how they handle kids going through toilet-training. They said they were open to our process and would work with us. But despite my best efforts to prepare her for doing this at daycare, she wasn’t picking up any words to tell us she needed to use the toilet. Months ago, she’d say “poo” if she was about to use her diaper (for both #1 and #2). But on Day 3, when the time came, all she did was panic and cry. She also wasn’t great at remembering to push her pants down before sitting on the toilet. But there was no turning back, we had to keep at it.
Days 4, 5, and 6 – Daycare
I wasn’t consistently able to get her to use the toilet before taking her to daycare. She avoided it on Day 4, wet her pajama pants on Day 5, and started peeing before I got her night diaper off on Day 6 (though some of it still ended up in the toilet).
At daycare, she went #1 once on Day 4 (no accidents), twice on Day 5 (one accident), and not at all on Day 6. She’s definitely holding it in again, and I’m not sure if this is going to be bad for her and possibly give her a UTI.
Today is Day 6, and she at least used the toilet three times this evening. The amazing thing is that she’s finally walking to the toilet herself, and she isn’t crying about it. She says “Ow!” when she feels she’s ready to go, which is kind of confusing.
We had planned to go out this weekend to see how she does, but there’s a big snowstorm keeping us indoors. The book recommends that people keep a small potty in their cars for emergencies, but we’re not car people and we take the subway everywhere. Traveling from Point A to Point B in this area can take a very long time, and I’m not confident that Astrid will be able to control herself. But seeing as how she managed not to use the toilet at all today at daycare, maybe I’m wrong.
I just got this small toilet seat for travel and will replace the diapers in her diaper bag with a bunch of plastic bags for accidents.
The tyranny of diapers is almost at an end! Bring on the tyranny of inadequate ass-wiping!
Addendum: Note that in this blog entry from 2010, I complain about people sharing “all that toilet-training nonsense.” And that is exactly why I’m continuing to write in this blog instead of starting a new “mommy blog.” The differences between now and six years ago crack me up!