Thursday, September 23, 2010

Potty Training 101

It's official. We are in the throes of potty training right now. We started yesterday, Wednesday September 22nd. Kenly has been showing signs of readiness for awhile now. I've been too worried about the logistics to start. So, I refused to let myself buy diapers again. I knew if I put it off any longer, it might be Christmas before I was ready to start.

Yesterday when Kenly woke up, I dressed her in big girl underwear and put away any remaining diapers. I took her to the bathroom to show her the success chart I posted, the stickers, and the Mason jar of M&Ms. We talked about how she needed to tell me when she needed to pee or poopy. I explained that she's a big girl now, and that means that she needs to put her pee and poopy in the potty instead of in her pants.

We had breakfast and then I started pumping her full of juice (Capri Sun Water). She was so excited about the M&Ms and the stickers that she went to the potty five times in the first hour. She didn't have an accident until much later in the day.

She'd tell me she needed to potty and we'd hurry to sit on the big toilet. Every time she started to pee, she'd ask, "Is that it, Mommy?" I'd squeal and jump up and down. She'd proudly place her sticker on the chart and ask for a candy.

All in all, she had 13 successful visits to the potty and 4-5 accidents on our first day of training. I was really pleased. I was exhausted and moody by the time the day was done, but I was proud of my little girl. Running to the potty every 20-30 minutes is really exhausting. If she says she has so go, we go. Even if only five minutes have passed. I don't want to be the cause of an accident. I did have to remove the candy from the bathroom after several meltdowns that involved begging for candy. Now if she tells me she has to go without any prompting, she gets candy. One for a pee and two for a poopy.

We are using Pull-ups or Easy-ups during nap time and bed time. When I put her to bed last night, she begged me to wear her big girl underwear. I guess that is a good sign. However, she is not physically ready to go 8-10 hours without wetting, so for the time being, she will have to be okay with wearing her alternative big girl pants.

It's 7:30 now, and she's still up. So far we've had 17 successes and 4 accidents today. Two of the accidents were nasty poos, but we survived. While Adam was bathing her, she told him she needed to pee. That is so huge that I nearly wet myself with surprise. We went to swimming lessons today, and she refused to use the big potty without her seat attachment, so we're going to have to come up with a creative solution for that issue. We do have a travel seat, but the thought of taking home public toilet germs really freaks me out.

I'm new to the potty training scene, so the information I'm about to share is gross, but funny. We were reading books before nap, and Kenly was wearing her Dora Easy-ups. She started showing signals that she was trying to poo. I asked her if she needed to go to the bathroom, and she told me no. I took her to the toilet anyways. Before I pulled her pants down, I peeked to find the biggest mound of poo in her pants. She looked up at me and said, "I finished."
I wanted to see if she could do more, so I snatched down her pants only to have the monstrous bowel movement fall on to the floor. I freak and put her on the ground to try and remove the BM and she stumbled and stepped on the turd with both feet. She freaked out and tried to clean her feet with her hands. I quickly cleaned the poo off her hands and tried to put her on her potty seat so I could deal with the disaster on the floor. I didn't realize she had chucks of poo on her hiney, so I smeared poo all over the toilet seat. Long story short, we had poo everywhere, and I learned a valuable lesson. Never pull a poo-filled Pull-up down...RIP THE SUCKER OFF.

A little later in the day, Kenly made a poo in her underwear, but we managed to clean up that accident without all the drama. I should have caught those cues, but I was talking on the phone. Bad Mommy.

I'm not sure if she really "gets it," but she is doing great. On occasion I will find her standing in the living room with pee running down her legs while saying, "Is this it?" But accidents happen. This is a new skill set, and as always Kenly is a quick study.

Hopefully we'll only be home bound for about a week and then we can venture out into the world when I'm sure she understands. Hopefully she'll put her poo in the potty tomorrow. Hopefully I can remain chipper and encouraging as the days and the accidents wear on.

The best part of potty training is seeing Kenly beam with pride. She knows she's doing something great. While she was sitting on the potty today, she leaned her head against mine and said, "I love you so much, Mommy." Her love and her precious comments make all the hard work seem easy. I love being her Mommy.

UPDATE: At 2:00 AM Kenly started screaming for Mama and Daddy. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me she didn't know. I asked her if she felt wet. Bingo. Easy-ups let kids feel the wet, and the sensation really upset her in the night. She wanted dry underpants. I told her it would be a long time before Mama required her to stay dry at night. Poor child got really upset. I guess that is a good sign again, but apparently she's a bit of a perfectionist. Wonder where she got that from?

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