Friday, September 2, 2011

Potty Training: Part 1

Ok, I can't lie... once Thursday hit and I was making notes and praying over this potty training dealio, I got SAD!  Sad that he would be laying on his changing table anymore, sad that I wouldn't have those precious first moments of the day with him where I lay him down, with the sleepers still in his eyes and change him before turning on the light-- this was like the final thing before my baby really wasn't a baby-- which brought out the baby in me: whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :( I shared this with Anna who laughed at me and then I shared it with Chad who laughed even harder, great, I'm just a sentimental sap.

But once I got that out of the way, it was potty time. And on the front end when Angela (Gabe's mom) called to encourage me, and Lisa (Haven's mom) texted to encourage me, and Amber (Sam and Owen's mom) commented on my blog to encourage me, I was appreciative but thought nothing more about it. Now, on the backend, I realized that they are ALL boy moms and they went out of their way because they had been there, done that and knew what kind of weekend I was going to have.....

And boy oh boy, did I have that kind of weekend! Let me just say that after 4 days, I considered Max fully potty trained- which compared to the horror stories I've heard was a BREEZE, but it was by far the hardest thing I have done in my parenting career so far.

As I mentioned earlier, I did not know anything about potty training or even which method I wanted to do so I started reading up on it and decided on a specific 3 day method, mainly because of what I knew I did NOT want to do-- I did not want to do pull up/ diapers for night and nap, because that would require a second round of potty training later-- no thank you!  And I did not want to train for weeks and weeks on end or have a never-ending power struggle with my little man.  I also did not want to discipline/ yell at/ punish Max in anyway, because for 2 years he has just gone when and where he wanted to so to expect an 180 degree turn and punish him if he didn't do it just didn't seem fair.

And that's all I knew.  That is where I started.  Are you impressed with my awesome potty training skills yet?

I will follow up with post with the method and tools that we used, but for now, our experience:

On Friday morning, shortly after breakfast and pumping Max full of liquids, me and him worked together to throw away his diapers and put on his new big boy underwear. By 10am, he had his first accident, on my kitchen floor, and by 10:20am when he started to dribble again, he already knew to stop the flow, literally.  It took 20 minutes for my boy to understand potty training, seriously! But this post is not done, oh no.... there were several more steps in the madness! The next step was teaching him to let the flow go again, once he got to the potty. Um, there really aren't words for teaching such a thing, so I found myself saying really awesome things like "Put your pee pee in the potty, just relax and let the pee pee come out, point it down and squirt it out, etc"

By nap time, I was EXHAUSTED but Max had not had anymore accidents, just little dribbles that required new undies every 30 minutes or so.  It also required taking him to the bathroom relentlessly, every time he asked, because he didn't know how to fully empty his bladder-- so he just did it in portions every 20-30 minutes. Did I mention that I have a 3 month old who likes to eat every 3 hours? Um, long morning! So anyway, back to the nap- Max fell asleep very quickly and so did I. I even let the J-man sleep through a feeding because I needed a nap so much! After nap, I was greeted with a wet bed- awesome- and so began my laundry frenzy that would last for about 72 hours. But the rest of the afternoon was again accident free, so when Chad came home from work he brought with him a new airplane because he was so proud of Max, and they played with it all evening.

Around midnight Max woke up so I roused Chad and we rushed in to take him potty- assuming he was about to wet the bed. The caused the loudest hugest screaming fit of Max's life- BLOODY MURDER crying and he couldn't calm back down. And he wouldn't pee on the potty although I knew that that was the problem- he knew he had to go and that he shouldn't go in his bed, but he didn't want to be put on the potty in the middle of the night. Seeing as how I had just been pregnant months before, I could totally understand his disdain for middle of the night restroom visits. But it took over 30 minutes to calm him down, which only happened when I put him in my bed and turned on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (yes it was close to 1am) at which point he peed all over my side of the bed. Did I mention that he had already peed all down my side when I was holding him trying to calm him down? More awesomeness!

When he woke up on Saturday morning around 7:30, Chad was on his way out the door to work, so he stopped to take Max potty only to discover another round of wet sheets and a special special surprise in Max's underwear.... yep, a pleasant top of the morning smell, for sure. Saturday was more of the same- no full out accidents, just little dribbles before stopping the flow and finishing in the potty.  He also woke up from his nap dry, which was great.  Between my sheets and his, I really couldn't wash another set at the moment- I'd had enough! Chad worked all day, so by the end of the day, I was more exhausted then I've got words to describe- again, the pee pee factory and the 3 months old had smack worn me out.

On Sunday morning, Max woke up dry so I took him to the Dunkin Donuts drive thru (even though we were not supposed to leave the house during training) and we celebrated with donuts in the back yard while Jack took his morning nap. (Again, Chad was working, so the donuts were as much for me as they were for Max!) Sunday's nap was another story- this time, I got the wet sheets and big surprise in the undies- wahoo! (Did I mention I was exhausted?) And shortly after that, while holding Jack, when Max told me he needed to potty, I rushed to find a suitable place for Jack and hit my elbow so hard that I thought I was going to pass out.  I literally had to sit down because the world went black. And then after fighting off the urge to throw up, my whole arm went numb. We didn't make it to the potty that time, although Max did manage to douse my leg in urine- awesome. Shortly after that but before Chad got home, while I was changing Jack, he too squirted me, leading to more laundry. And then once Chad was home, he decided to pressure wash our house (aka avoid the leaking 2 year old) but the way he did it caused bleachy water to leak in all our front windows and our back door, which caused Max to cry because "it scare me" and it caused me to lose it. With both boys screaming, I marched outside and threatened Chad within an inch of his life. I'm not quite sure why, but the sky was falling, my whole body hurt, the children were going crazy, there were too many liquids in places they shouldn't be, and it was all his fault.

I do know that I told him that I felt like he was asking me to kill him. He just looked at me. I'm telling you, the crazy bells were going off. I did get both boys in bed by 8:30pm and did 47 loads of laundry- thanks Max, Jack, and Chad for squirting me and our household towels with your liquids of choice- and I finally collapsed into bed. Monday morning, I was greeted with more wet sheets and while in my morning meeting at work, got a text that Max had climbed up in our desk chair and peed. It was all I could do not to cry.

I ended up leaving work early, stopping by the store for some new supplies, and got home before the child relapsed anymore.  In that moment I was certain that he was driving me to the crazy house and I also was thinking that Jack was going to wear diapers until he was at least 15 and could potty train himself. I was at the very very end of me.

And Max hasn't had another accident since- I'm not even kidding. He has woken up from every nap and every night time dry, made it to the bathroom withOUT any dribbles, and has even popped on the potty. There is no drama, only a potty trained 2 year old, living at our house. What a blessing!

But I'm smack wore out!

And I have decided that Mommy's need a treat after potty training- and I'm not talking M&M's.  I thinking more along the lines of manicures, pedicures, massages, spas, a nap, and/or Maui.

**Note: after writing this, Max has had two accidents- one when I wasn't paying attention to him (oops) and one this morning which led to another changing of the sheets, woot woot. Oh accidents, how I love thee.

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