Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Tedious Post With Redeeming Pictures

I don't know what to do about potty training. We have been taking Adelay to the potty, when she will cooperate, before her naps and bed, and first thing in the morning. We have a potty chair, as well as a little seat that fits over the actual toilet to allow Adelay to do her business in a way that doesn't involve wiping poo particles off a nasty little pot when she's done. I even purchased, in a fit of optimism, the requisite Disney Princess underpants. But it seems we've made little progress in the six months or so that the potty has resided with us.
She will occasionally make a deposit, if we happen to catch her with a full bladder and in an approval-seeking mood. But I think mainly she enjoys the attention of it: the stories read to her while she sits on her throne, the excuse to get out of bed anytime she calls, "Potty!" and the copious clapping and cheering upon any success. She still doesn't seem to have an awareness of when she physically NEEDS to pee, and she definitely prefers to poop in a secluded corner of the house, hunched over intently, than to sit on her potty before an enthusiastic audience.
She turned two and a half on the third, and ever since then I've been feeling this pressure that we really SHOULD be potty training hard core now. I'd been telling myself, "We should really just wait until she WANTS to use the potty and knows that she needs to, and not force it on her. Why make it hard on everyone?" But I always assumed that by two and a half, she would have reached that point of desiring it for herself. Yet it appears... not so much. She strives for independence in nearly every other aspect of her life, yet in this area of WALLOWING IN HER OWN FILTH, she seems perfectly happy to maintain status quo.
I toyed with the idea (mercifully brief) of just going cold turkey with the panties, setting the timer for every fifteen minutes and taking her to the potty all day long in the hopes of keeping them dry. But this sounds impractical, likely to ruin my couches, and frankly quite a drag for everyone concerned. Should I break down and buy the Pull-Ups? I'm not convinced that they will mean anything to her, and part of me still believes she should exhibit more signs of readiness before we really force the issue. Another part of me believes that a child old enough to roll her eyes in my direction like a disdainful teenager is a child old enough to wipe her own nether regions. Thoughts?

And, as promised:

Stripey pajamas proclaiming fealty to parents. Ah, BabyGap, how you do love your ironic humor.

Someday, when they're slamming doors and shouting obscenities at each other, I will be shedding wistful tears on this picture.

Oh, my handsome boy. Please don't break too many hearts. Especially not your mama's.


Maggie said...

Oh I am MELTING at the cuteness. Seriously, melting. How can you stand it on a daily basis (although I recognize that when their little heads are spinning around and they are spitting fire and tantrums then they are perhaps slightly less adorable.)?

Garrett is nearly 3.5 and is just now actually potty trained - as in, he will say something when he needs to go. Before about a month ago he would go if you took him to the bathroom, but if you didn't, then he would just go in his pants - which didn't faze him at all. But succeeded in making me nuts beyond belief.

He did wear pull ups for a bit, mostly because it was easier to get those up and down when I took him to the bathroom (which I did once every 60 - 90 minutes or so). He didn't go in those any more or less often than he did in regular underwear, so I thought it was worth it for my own sanity to use those when we were out of the house. But for now (knock on wood) it seems to have actually clicked.

I say potty training is one of the truest tests of patience ever. Hang in there - she'll decide she wants to one of these days and that will be the end of diapers for her.

Mimi said...

Those huge blue eyes on those kids just kills me... adorable.
I dunno about that potty training business. Oliver is over two now and shows absolutely no signs of wanting to go on a potty. Frankly, I'm a little skeered that he'll be four years old and still content to poop in his pants.

jen said...

aww so cute!

wait until she's ready. you'll know. it will be MUCH easier. And that day can come suddenly, you never know. I waited, and L was trained in a day. I took her to the Y day care 3 days later without a diaper. I'm waiting for D to prove me wrong. But, this is the LAST thing you want a power struggle over, TRUST ME.

Jana said...

I thought I had the cutest kids in the world, but now I don't know; yours are pretty darn cute. Love the eyes.

Ditto Jen on the potty training. She'll let you know when she's ready (it was 2.5 for us). Just pray it's sometime this spring or summer when it's warmer because ours trained in November and caught a cold from running around in her "requisite princess panties" for a week.

andi said...

I'll just echo everyone else and say wait until she's ready. Then again, my oldest was trained at daycare. She did go cold-turkey on panties and was put on the potty every 15 minutes. It didn't take too long until she realized how uncomfortable it was to pee her pants.

She still wore pull-ups at night for quite awhile and she totally knew they were diapers. Feel and learn, my a$$. She'd look me straight in the face and say, "I'm peeing. I'm wearing a diaper!"

Oh, and almost forgot to say, such cute pictures!

P said...

I would wait a couple of months and see where things stand.
By the way, your children are absolutely beautiful. BEAUTIFUL!

bananafana said...

oh my lord those eyes are just beautiful!
I would say wait (but maybeI'm just trying to make myself feel better because my 3-y-o still isn't potty trained). we've been doing pull ups but I think it's actually making it WORSE because he knows it is no big deal if he doesn't feel like stopping what he is doing to go to the potty. They're easier to pull up and down but if you have a child that doesn't care if they're sitting in a messy diaper I'm inclined to believe they're not much help. or, again, maybe I'm just lying to myself :)

K in the Mirror said...

Pictures of your kids, once again, make my ovaries hurt. They are so cute.

I'd give her awhile. I just finally got my three 3 1/2 year olds trained at daycare. Power struggles are no fun, and she's not that old yet. :)

Billie said...

Suddenly, I am feeling grateful that the ex-wife potty trained my step-daughter before she arrived in the country at 2 1/2 so when I met my step-daughter, she was already potty-trained.

She is just over 3 and can tell you that she needs to go to the washroom but I think you might be a little too hopeful on the wiping of the nether regions. She tries sometimes but doesn't have the hang of it yet.

JMC said...

ADORABLE kids! All three of my currently potty-trained ones weren't potty-trained until 3-3.5ish. I always do the whenever they're ready thing, because it's easiest, and I'm all about easy. My second was particularly stubborn, so when it came time to go to pre-school (which she REALLY wanted to do, and they required that their 3s be potty-trained), I told her she could only go if she went potty on the potty. It worked. My baby is only 17 months, but I'm still planning to do the "she'll do it when she's ready" method. You know, whatever's easiest on ME. :)

Mommy Daisy said...

Adorable photos. I can't believe how grown up Eli is looking! And I see Addy and Zachariah have been praying together at church. Fun!

It's funny that you brought up the potty training thing. As you know we've been off and on for the last 6 months or so like you have. I can pretty much mimic what you've said about a few successes with mine. And right this minute he is sitting on my lap wearing Big Boy Pants (underwear) for the first time. We decided to try the cold-turkey route. I was going to start tomorrow, but this morning he told me he had to go potty and he pooped. So I decided there couldn't be a better time to reward him and let him wear the underwear. We'll see how it goes. So far we're going in every 15 minutes. Talk to me tomorrow. ;)

d e v a n said...

The pics are adorable!!! Love the pj's too.
Wait on the potty. When she's ready, you'll know. d suddenly trained about a month or so before he turned 3. (Despite me trying to get him trained at least 8 months prior and finally giving up.)

Annie said...

What cute, cute kids!

Here is what worked for us: cool alert pull-ups, the potty power DVD, and smarties (1 for peeing and 2 for pooping). I was worried at 2 1/2 because M wasn't making much headway. I backed off and just let her enjoy the potty power DVD (very catchy yet highly annoying songs), and she became interested on her own closer to age 3. Then it just seemed to click for her, and she was day-trained within a matter of a couple of weeks. She wore a pull-up at night for a year after that. No pressure is definitely the way to go.

Jess said...

First of all, your kids are killing me with their cuteness. Second of all, I know nothing about potty training except what I've learned from blogs. And the consensus seems to be that there's no need to force the issue unless the kid is, like, in middle school or something.

SLynnRo said...

Obviously, I am of no help on the potty training issue, but you have my sympathies.

Astarte said...

Oh, they're so gorgeous! What beautiful little faces!!! Sigh.

I would indeed invest in pullups. They are satanically expensive, but will save you a lot in the washing and swearing department. Wearing diapers may be encouraging the baby in her, subconsciously, and she's been pooping and peeing in them for her entire life, so why stop now?

We potty trained my daughter by painting her fingernails and toenails. Each time she got onto the potty, she got to pick out a color, shake the bottle, and pick a finger or toe to have it put onto. Then, we had to blow it dry. Usually by the time this was all completed, something would have happened. She was completely potty-only (except at bedtime) when she was just over two.

Our son was another case. He was In Charge, and that was that. However, once he realized at 3 that he could go to preschool and play with great toys and other kids several mornings a week once he decided to use the potty, that was that. He was done in two days. So, it was all a matter of his Choosing on his own. I think the key thing in this situation was that it was an ongoing reward - if it had been a one-time thing, he could have just gone back to his pullup after achieving the one-time thing. Also, being in preschool with other children who were also using the potty, and having entire-class potty breaks when everyone went, was key. I think having a different adult encouraging him was helpful too, since kids are usually less willing to act up when another adult is in charge.

Unfortunately, ultimately, you're just going to have to wait this one out, and maybe not make a big deal about it. It's SO hard. In another year, though, an extra month or three of diapers won't be a big deal, and to be honest, once you start having to do the World Tour of Public Restrooms, you're gonna kind of miss those pullups, anyway. Trust me.

Pickles & Dimes said...

Oh, those big, beautiful eyes!

I don't have kids, but my nephew took forever to want to be potty-trained. His parents would have limited success with incentives like stickers or toys, but nothing lasted longer than a week.

Finally, he wanted to join t-ball. They told him he couldn't unless he was potty-trained, because he couldn't wear a diaper and "only big boys" played t-ball.

I think he was ready within a few weeks (he was 3.5).

Shannon said...

I have a 3.5 year old that isn't potty I feel YOUR PAIN!

They are adorable...absolutely adorable!

Tessie said...

Ack! Your children! Have the most beautiful eyes!

Um, no help on the potty training but I'll be watching CAREFULLY to see how it goes (help me!)

Saly said...

Ok, those outfits……too cute for words. And I know you say they are clones of your husband, but I think Addy looks like you.

The pull-ups might help. I put both of my kids in pull-ups at around 18 months, as soon as they were old enough to understand how to step in and out of them. ED took his time, and was not trained until just before his 3rd birthday. (He still does not stay dry at night) CA trained herself at 25 months, deciding “no more pull-ups” one day and has been dry all day and all night ever since.

I guess what I’m saying is that no matter what, she’ll do it when she’s ready—don’t beat yourself up about it.. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Seriously gorgeous pictures!

Regarding the potty training, I found it was easier to wait. My daughter was just past her third birthday but she got it quickly. And we did use pull-ups. I am just not that daring.

Don't get your hopes up about the wiping though. My 4 year old still calls out for someone to "come wipe my stinky butt"

Bird said...

Those pictures are freakishly cute.

I don't know squat about toliet training, so maybe this is pointless, but does she always go number two in the same secluded corner? Maybe you should put the little potty there to encourage her to use it.

As for the other way, I've heard it does no good to potty train if they dont' know that they have to go.

Flibberty said...

Per usual, I've got nothing of substance to say, but I do know that you're kids are some of the prettiest dang children I've seen.

Musings of a Mom said...

They are really, really gorgeous!!!

A Real Desperate Housewife in Tx said...

Well, my son is almost 4 now and he has finally decided (most of the time) to use the potty. Of course, there are those times when he says he needs to go, stands in front of the toilet, acts like he is going, and then tells me he's done when he hasn't done anything. It is so very irritating. I just hope that he is completely independent by August because he starts Pre-K. I didn't use the Pull-Ups because I think that they cost too much. Plus, our parents didn't have those to use, and we turned out fine.