Sunday, March 22, 2009

Potty Training Day Two -- An Overnight Success!!

He went pee pee in the potty!!!

I'm sooooo proud of Nathan! He went pee pee in the potty less than 24 hours after the first time he sat on it. How's that for a quick study?

I'll be honest. I've been resisting potty training. I know it was wrong and selfish and I kept thinking that I was probably just giving him more to complain about to his therapist someday, but I was dragging my feet for several reasons.

One of the problems was that I wasn't sure how to do it. There are so many schools of thought and heaps of good-intentioned (if inconsistant) advice out there. How do you know which method is the right method? I read one article that said you can potty train your child in three days. It involved a long weekend where the child ran around completely naked for all of his or her waking hours and the parents follow with a mop. The article then recommended no pants in the house for three months. I decided that plan wasn't for me.

I was unsure of the logistics of training a boy, too. Stand up or sit down? Urine guard or not? I was told to put him on the toilet backwards so he has no choice but to aim down. I'm sure this works great for other people, but that concept terrified my little guy. When I tried it, he acted as if I were trying to seat him atop a lit barbeque grill. Think trying to stuff an eight-legged cat into a too-small pet taxi bound for the vet's office. It was all flailing limbs and howls of protest.

Another reason I was putting it off was that I never envisioned potty training in our current apartment. We've been wanting to move to a bigger place since I got pregnant. First I got laid off, then we couldn't afford it, etc. I kept thinking that as soon as we found a new place, I'd set up the bathroom for training and get started. It seems silly, but I just didn't want to do it here, because in my mind we weren't supposed to still be living here when we got to the training stage.

The last and most selfish reason I had been stalling is the fact that I work full time. I didn't want someone else to potty train my child. I love our sitter. She's my best friend's mom and she's just like a second mom to me. I've known her for over 20 years. It had nothing to do with her personally, but I really really really didn't want his first potty training success to be with someone else. I know I'll miss plenty of firsts by being a working mom. I have no choice in that matter. But I didn't want to miss out on something this important. If I had vacation time at work yet, I'd probably have taken a few days off to work with him, but my one year anniversary isn't until next month. The thought of missing out on doing the silly potty dance made me so incredibly sad.

I knew Nathan was getting to the point where he was ready to begin training. He tells me when he needs a new diaper, he wakes up dry, he's curious and interested when we go to the bathroom. I went out and bought two potty chairs, one for home and one for the sitter. They stayed in my car, one in the trunk and one in the back seat, waiting for the day when he when I was ready. Nathan knew what that box was. When we'd get into the car he'd point at it and then at himself. "Yep, that's for you big boy." He'd plug his nose and say ewwwwww (Nathan-speak for going to the bathroom). "Yep, that's for going potty like a big boy." Finally last night I decided that it wasn't fair to him to make him wait for my own selfish reasons. When we got home from Mom's house right at bedtime, I said, "Alright Nathan. You want to bring it in and try it out?" and he said excitedly, "Uh-huh!"

We took it inside and I picked up the dirty clothes out of the bathroom to make room for the potty chair, and I stripped off his pants and diaper and showed him how to sit on it. I had to show him how to make sure it was pointed down into the bowl and we practiced emptying it into the big toilet. He thought it was great fun. He sat for awhile, and then we started his bath. He kept wanting to get out and sit on the potty. I let him sit on it as often as he wanted until I put him down for bed.

The potty chair I'd gotten was a little hard for him to sit on properly. It seemed like the bowl was a little small, and he always had to push his penis down into it. I'd seen this frog-shaped potty chair at Wal-Mart that looked like it was shaped so as to make it a little easier to assume the position.

We brought it home tonight, and he was really excited about it and he wanted to try it out right away. I unwrapped it, stripped off his diaper, and set him on it right in the living room. I asked him if he could push the potty out and demonstrated how to push and grunt, and next thing you know, he was peeing!!!! I was so excited I danced and sang and praised him and clapped and generally acted like a fool. I helped him take out the bowl and empty it into the big toilet and flush it away, then I gave him some Cars fruit snacks for a reward and started calling the grandparents and my sister to brag on him. I couldn't believe he did it so soon after we started! We tried it out again before we put him down for bed, and he grunted and pushed and managed to squeeze out a few more drops. He went twice in one night!! I LOVE that frog! I'm going to take back the unopened potty I got to take to the sitter and exchange it for another froggy potty tomorrow.

This has truly been a banner day in the Ackley household. I am on cloud nine! I have no illusions that this means he'll be accident free within the week. I know we still have work to do, but I couldn't be more pleased. I'm so proud of my big, smart boy!

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