Monday, 13 August 2012

And That's Why I'm Drinking Vodka At Two In The Afternoon


So we officially started potty training today. We've had to keep putting it off (travelling, visitors, a wedding) and we were ready. I mean, we were ready. 

Did we have potties? Check. Yes, we had potties.
Did we have about a million pairs of dry pants? Check. Yes, we had dry pants. (And by pants, I mean whatever it is that you guys call your underwear. This lost-in-translation stuff is confusing).
Had we been talking about this together for about a month? Why yes we had.
Did we have special potty books, one for boys, one for girls?  UH HUH. Absolutely.
Were they begging to be allowed to wee in a potty? Why yes they were.
And did we have a strategy? Heck yes, we had a strategy.

Want to hear about the strategy? Here it is: you don't teach them to use the potty, you teach them to keep their pants dry.   The idea is that you reward them (every ten minutes or so, at the start) for having dry pants, rather than rewarding them for using the potty.  Get the difference?  Also, the rewards are in the form of salty snacks so they want to drink and drink and therefore get lots of practice at weeing where they should. This  is a strategy my parents swear by, and my Dad  was waxing lyrical about it on their recent visit.  On rewarding dry pants vs rewarding weeing: "the thing is", he said, "you have to make sure that you are rewarding an outcome, not a process".  (And that, my friends, is everything you need to know about my childhood, right there).

Anyway. We started at about ten this morning.  I gave them their special dry-pants-day treat of new Hello Kitty water bottles (for obvious reasons) and some Octonauts toys (because who doesn't love the Octonauts?)

So. How's it going? Well. We have two kids here, obviously. And one of them turns out to be terrified of the potty, despite having begged to use it for weeks and weeks. This child is constantly crying and saying 'no! I scared, I scared!'. This child needs to be hugged while on the potty because of all the fear. This child needs to be sung to. However, this child has managed to wee in the potty twice.

The other child, on the other hand, has no fear of the potty. This child has no problem pulling pants up and down, up and down, sitting happily on the potty and singing while there. And this child has managed to wee three times.

On the floor.

This child also likes to yell at the frightened child while that child is on the potty, causing loud and abject wailing from the frightened one.    He (okay, it's Blue) then yells for more of the Octonauts DVD and she's saying "I frightened, I frightened!" and honestly, this is not going well at all. 

Did I mention that they covered our lounge in crushed salty chips?

And now I've just put them to bed (with nappies, of course - I'm not crazy) and am trying to work out the best way to get a lovely mix of urine and chips off my feet. And I know they are going to wake up soon, and I have to do it all again, and oooooooooh, noooooooooooooooo, this is it, my life is over. 

And that, my friends, is why I'm drinking vodka at two in the afternoon.  Not much, obviously, just enough so that I can say to them 'well okay, so I have to spend all day sponging up wee but at least I'm old enough to drink'.

Do you think that makes things sound better?

Yeah, no, me either.

30 comments:

  1. Oh, boy. I've been *technically* potty-training my son for a few months now, but really lazily. I initially got all these books and thought it would be this short-term project, but instead have ended up sorta letting him lead things at his own comfort level. And I feel good about where we're at... until I hang out with some mom whose kid is 2 and potty-trained (and my son just turned 3, too).

    Where we're at right now: if I let my son run around the house naked from the waist down, he pees and poos on his little potty (aren't these cutesey words we use in all this hilarious?) totally on his own accord, and even empties the pan in the toilet and flushes after! But the second I stick underwear on him, he just pees in it. We're kinda stuck right here. He did, however, recently ask me to take off his diaper and then went pee in his potty, so I think that's good.

    Anyway, it's been much more of a meandering path than I thought. But I am also sort of a 'loosey-goosey' parent that's not crazy strict about timetables, etc. Also, I think my son's talking needs to pick up a bit more before we can get to the next level, so he can tell me when we're out that he needs to pee before it happens, etc.

    So please allow me to join you for some vodka! Though mine will have to be imaginary, because I don't think it mixes so well with the Crazy Mom Meds I am not right now.

    Love seeing your posts!

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    1. Crazy mom meds or no, I still say the real thing beats the pants off imaginary :)

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  2. oy potty training. (insert long drawn out drama in AT LEAST 18 paragraphs.) I hear you.

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    1. **facepalm** it's just the PITS, isn't it???

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  3. And we have officially regressed. Someone refuses to go in the potty now. My lovely ex-boss says he's getting back at me for going away to the USA.... :) (and it's working - at this rate I may never leave him again!)

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    1. At least it was a really good trip, right??? But... ugh. Not nice to be dealing with guilt and urine a the same time!

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  4. Taz has been potty trained for months ... yet, I recently caught him peeing in the trash can in his room (and upon further investigation, it appeared this practice had been going on for a week or so) and I often find his dirty pants hidden in drawers with clean clothes.

    p.s. M&m's make great potty treats because they are small, non messy (assuming they pop them right into their mouth) and they can have a whole bunch before it really matters.

    Good luck!

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    1. I remember reading about him peeing in his trash can... but I think I blanked it out. UGH!!!!!!!!

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  5. Oh my. This post strikes fear in my heart because, while our kids aren't even two yet, our nanny asked if she could start introducing the potty. Honestly I said "sure" because if she can just potty train them for me I'll pay her one million dollars. Did I just say that? Yep, I did.

    Good luck...I wish I had advice but I'm always about a year behind you on everything :)

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    1. Only one million???? I saw two is about fair. I would give everything I own to have someone else do this right now.

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  6. haha - sound so fun and familiar! Although I've only got one at potty training age. With my J the first two days were DESPAIR, literally no successes. But then she caught on to the big idea and started going to the potty and on the potty. That being said, three weeks in I still have to put her on the potty at regular intervals to avoid accidents, as opposed to waiting for her to bring it up.

    I found Elmo's potty time movie to be quite motivational, if your kids are into Elmo.

    Good luck and drink up - you deserve it.

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    1. Elmo has a potty movie???? Off to amazon.... thanks for the tip! I had no idea!

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  7. Heh. Drink enough of that vodka Claudia and you'll be right there with Blue weeing on the floor. Or hell, drink a little bit more of that vodka and you'll be whimpering "I frightened! I frightened" in a drunken stupor as you watch the two of them turning your house upsidedown.

    Not that I know *anything* about this from personal experience.

    At all.

    ahem.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. or maybe I could just feed them the vodka????

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    2. shhhhhhh! people can hear you!

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  8. I made the mistake of offering candy in exchange for sitting on a toilet (which was an obstacle, despite 28 month-old pleas for underwear some days, with occasional refusal to wear a diaper). Now she asks to sit on the toilet all the time - "I need to pee" - then tries to convince me that something happened - and then expects a candy. She often tells me when she is going in her diaper, and is distressed about it at times (other times announces it quite happily to her brothers), but hasn't quite figured out how to hold it and get to a toilet. Part of me doesn't care, but when she is soaking through her first diaper of the day (what is it with morning? Ack) more often than not, I can't help a little sense of urgency to get on with things...

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    1. oooooh... that is very smart with the demands for candy. We have got a bit that way with stickers - by the end of the day, if they aren't COVERED in stickers, they are crying. This cannot go on!

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  9. Oh my gosh. I'm crying. I love you so much. At least you got an amazing blog post out of it all! Hang in there - it's bound to get better!

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    1. I think I'm going to need some more of your positivity before this process is done, Rebecca!!!

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  10. I don't envy you doing it with two! For my daughter, we stayed home for a week in which she was only allowed to wear a shirt. When she would ask for a diaper or dance around, we sat on the potty. We stayed there for a long time. We read, snacked, and drank while on the potty. At the end of the week, that was that. But for two? Pshk. No idea. I would, however, recommend peach schnaaps with warm cider.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. oooohhh...... peach and apple. I like the sound of that!!! I actually have some peach schnapps at the back of my pantry. The kids are in bed now but I think I might go and dig it out anyway. MMMMMM....

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  11. Drink away. I am DREADING potty training. My MIL just informed me that if I "keep waiting until he is ready" then "he won't be potty trained until he is 4." Awesome. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    1. Oh, wow. That's such a helpful comment, on SO many levels.

      You are so right to dread this, by the way. I didn't dread it nearly enough.

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  12. EMom did exactly what my mom recommended to me. (She potty-trained the two older kids, but I did the dirty job for our youngest). Stay home a week (with potties upstairs and down). Lots of diluted Gatorade or Crystal Light. On the potty every 10-15 minutes. AND THE KICKER? NO diaper at night! My mom said, "If you're gonna do it, then do it." YIKES! But, it pretty much worked. Good luck from Southern California.

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    1. AT NIGHT? STRAIGHT AWAY????

      Wow. I... just..... don't..... have...... the.... words..... for...... how.......frightened.....that.....makes........me.

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  13. and now you know what we've adopted only kids who came potty trained...joking...kind of.

    Godspeed, dear friend. You think if I drink vodka today at 2 our mutual intoxication will spontaneously combust into 2 kids being potty trained? I'll try it just in case.

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    1. **clink** count me in!!

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    2. I'm with Tesi. We've had a truckload of issues here, too, but I'm happy to say potty training was not one of them. AND...I'm willing to try the vodka at 2 thing tomorrow if you think it will work.

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  14. LOL :D
    No advice, just to tell you (again) how much I love your blog.
    Potty training will wait for 2 or 3 years for me. :) My baby is only 3 months. :)

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Over to you!