May 4, 2015

our big fat potty training weekend

Saturday morning, after breakfast, we took off our son's diaper and announced he'd be going diaper-free from now on. We cheered and smiled and patted him on the back. The rest of the first day left me more exhausted than I've been since he was born.

I never found the courage or self-discipline to use charts or follow books. It was time to just cut the cord and go cold turkey (where in the world does that saying come from anyway?). We did prepare by doing these things:
  1. Cleared the schedule and did not go anywhere except to buy him new underwear.
  2. Stocked up on whatever motivating treats and cheap toys he might like.
  3. Pushed the fluids so he had plenty of opportunities to go.
  4. Got ready to clean. A lot. All day long.
  5. Set aside a bucket to put soiled clothes in (after rinsing)
  6. Made a big deal out of shopping for underwear. He now has about 16 pairs.
I set the timer for 20 minutes every time (unless he didn't go, in which case it was shorter). The first day felt like a complete disaster. He pooped in his underwear and it went down his pants. He dribbled in a chair. I texted "I'm in hell" to my mom and friend. He tried. He sometimes refused to try, and soon after had another accident. We praised him for every effort and never punished him for accidents. We called Grandma to share the great news when he had success.

That first day, he was so worn out from going potty at least 10 times that he passed out in my arms at the dinner table before 6:00 p.m. My husband and I sat in a daze on the back patio, cocktails in hand, and were grateful that the first day was over, and over so quickly!

Then the second day came, and we prepared by drinking a boatload of strong coffee so we could smile even more broadly. He pooped in his underwear again, but tried on the potty anyway. By afternoon, he finally turned a corner. We were outside, and I was sweeping when I noticed silence which scared me. I found him, pants down, getting ready to pee on his own in the grass. "Look Mommy!" he said, as he went all on his own. I was so excited I wanted to cheer. I did. We gave him a toy. It went uphill after that. He went to bed half an hour earlier than usual (with the overnight diaper, of course).

Today is the third day, and I can see he's internalized the weekend's lesson. He started to have an accident, but told me he needed to go so I dropped everything and he finished in the potty. GOOD BOY!

Two days and he's on his way to being completely rid of diapers. This tells me that, really, we could have done this months ago. But oh well, I won't punish myself. Raising a kid is hard enough without self-imposed guilt.

Here's to the start of a great week.