Friday, March 19, 2010

Potty training stinks.

This week we embarked on potty training O. Potty training may bring out the best in some mothers, their compassion and patience only fueled by the challenge ahead.

I am not one of those mothers.

I have a tendency to get very frustrated and want to give up. All the potty training advice is to make sure that your child is really ready, and also that you (the parent) are ready. With C, I attempted to wait for both of those things to be true. When he first seemed ready, O was an infant and I wasn't interested. When I finally came out of that "new baby" stupor and was ready to train him, C had lost interest.  So I waited. And waited. And waited. And when C was 39 months and was learning to read, but still had no interest in the potty, I knew it was time to put my foot down. If I left it up to him, he'd never choose to disrupt the status quo. C trained fairly quickly after that, but I am not sure the battle over it helped anyone. I was quite sure I had waited too long, did this and that wrong. It certainly was not an experience that helped build my confidence.

I was determined to do a better job this time around. O has already been waking up dry for a couple months now and seemed interested in underwear, so I figured we'd give it a shot. I loved the idea that he would be successfully trained by his 3rd birthday next month. The first two days went pretty well. He was motivated to sit on the potty frequently and had a lot of successes. He was enjoying his sticker chart and looked forward to opening a prize left by the "potty fairy" the first day he had no accidents. But after that things went downhill. He hasn't wanted to sit on the potty at all, and screams "I don't have to go!!! I don't have the feeling!!!" all day long, even as he's doing the pee pee dance. I don't feel like struggling with him, and forcing him to sit when he doesn't want to, so I let him off the potty after a couple minutes of protesting. Only to see him pee on the floor 2 minutes later. Which makes me question everything. I knew he had to pee! Should I have made him sit for longer even though he was screaming? Let him get off and put him back on 2 seconds later? Is he just not ready? But he's having a lot of successes, and only 1 or 2 accidents a day! Isn't that progress? Do I need better bribes? Am I just not paying close enough attention? Am I paying too much attention? My 5 year old told my MIL on the phone, "Mom doesn't care about me at all, she only cares about O" because I've been spending so much time in the bathroom with his little brother! Isn't that a sign that I am just failing both my children?!?! 

I am soooo ready to just quit and try again in a couple weeks/months.  The wrench in the works? O doesn't want to go back to diapers! He wants to keep wearing underpants. And he says "No Mommy! I want to keep trying!" Maybe he is ready. And maybe I'm not. But I think now we're stuck. If only there were a patience pill I could take. I sure do need something!

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