Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Memory Monday: Training Day Part 1

Now that I am TOTALLY COMPLETELY DONE with potty training, I'm ready to document my diaper days.  These are the stories of my adventures in potty training.  We'll start with the oldest, which I should probably title "How NOT to Potty Train Your Child", or "First is Worst".

Here is a picture of me, pregnant with Troy, and CRAZY to boot.  And yes, that would be Jakob, asleep on the toilet.  Isn't he just so stinking cute?
So.  I started potty training Jakob the day after Easter, when he was a little over 2 1/2 years old.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I had heard, "Oh, you'll know when they're ready", and "Just wait until they show interest", and "Bribe them and celebrate any time anything goes in the toilet!"  Okay, then.

We bought the little toilet, and some cool superhero undies so that he would get excited.  Then I put the little toilet in my kitchen, and vowed that we'd spend the day(s) in there until he got it down.  Oh, and I only bought a 6-pack of undies.  Little did I know.  Or maybe I was being optimistic.  Either way, I definitely was not prepared.

The first day he went through all 6 pairs in the first two hours.  He would just go a tiny bit, and would always get this look on his face like "What in the world is traveling down my leg?"  After that, I put him back in a diaper for the rest of the day, until I could clean the undies and try again the next day.

The next day was a little better, but not by much.  But, I was also sick of spending time in the kitchen.  I tried giving him a lot to drink, but the kid could only take in so much fluid.  After a couple of days I got the brilliant idea to put his hand in warm water, to see if that would help him get going.  We did the sticker chart, which he cared about for the first 3 stickers.

One day (I have no idea where I was, but I was gone, or downstairs doing laundry or something), Jake went poop, and it ended up EVERYWHERE.  I think he was trying to get to the toilet, but didn't quite make it, so then he was trying to clean it up himself, but it got all over the floor in the bathroom, and of course all down his legs, and he stepped in it and ran down our carpeted hall...just, everywhere.

Eventually, he got pretty good at peeing in the toilet, but pooping was a different story.  We bought a toy for him that he had picked out and said if he went poop 10 times in the toilet (not even in a row, but just 10 times), then he could have that toy.  It took him, like, three weeks to finally "earn" it.

There was a day, after months of cleaning poop out of undies, that I just lost it.  Now remember, I was pregnant with Troy, which was my crazy pregnancy.  Not that I'm trying to make excuses for myself, but I had just had it.  Everyone always says not to punish kids when they have accidents, but Jakob at this point was very aware of his BMs.  He would run into a corner and stand there and poop instead of running into the bathroom.  So he had done that, and I just started yelling at him, like, crazy yelling. 

Every time I flipped out during this pregnancy, and there were a LOT of times, it's like I was watching myself be crazy.  It's like I was flipping out, and couldn't stop it from happening, but at the same time my sane brain would be like, dude, what's the big deal?  Just chill out already.  So, this was one of those times.  I was wiping Jake's butt with wipes, and...I remember just doing a lot of yelling.  And he was just so scared of his crazy mom.  Not one of my best parenting moments.

At that point, I decided that if I had to clean poop out one more pair of undies, I would probably either kill my child, or kill myself.  Neither option was good.  I didn't want to go back to diapers, though.  I settled on Pull-Ups.  I still called them "undies", but if he pooped in them, I could just throw them away, and I was okay with that.  Then things felt a lot better, but Jake still had a bunch of accidents.

Well, Troy arrived in August, and we had been potty training for 4 or so months by this time.  Which sucked, but oh well.  Troy was a super easy baby (thank goodness).  We just kept on keeping on with the potty training.  One night, in October, inspiration struck.  We were getting the kids ready for bed, and we said, "Look at Troy.  He's a baby because he pees and poops in his diaper.  Jake, you must be a baby, too."  And the now 3-year-old said, "No, I'm not a baby!  I'm a big boy!"  Us: "No, Jakob, you must be a baby, because you pee and poop in your undies."  Jake: "NO!  I'm a big boy!"

It was literally the next day that Jakob had zero accidents from then on.

I think, for him, he had to really see what he was doing, and realize that he could go in the toilet.  He had to make up his mind that this is what he needed to do.  And knowing that he was a Big Boy instead of a baby was the kicker for him.

So yes, I had three kids in diapers at one time-well, technically, Jake was in a Pull-Up, but who am I fooling?  Tons of people have asked, "Wasn't that the worst thing ever, to have three kids in diapers?"  Nope, it wasn't.  And I did it again, too, after Ivy was born.  It was more like an assembly line-just line 'em all up and change them all at once.  No biggie.

Lessons from this: don't rush your child into doing it on your time table, find the little button that pushes your kid and not what has worked for others (because it's different for every kid), and you probably shouldn't potty train a cute little kid when you're pregnant and CRAZY-if you can help it.

Thus concludes part 1 of my Potty Training Chronicles.


Aprillium said...

Amenamenamen! I will second the whole "don't push them until they are ready". It literally took me years to potty train my first... YEARS. Because I pushed him before he was ready. My second child was potty trained before my first.

This current one... well, it's been his idea all along, and yes he is older than the other two were when they trained, but saving the emotional trauma and the messes and laundry are ALL WORTH IT!!!

Karlenn said...

Ugh, this just makes me want to throw up. Micah is going to be a challenge. I truly think that I'm going to wait until he's three, even though I'd so much rather have him out of diapers. What a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

UGH! I hate potty training!!! Brynnan would poop in his undies too. He would hide and then not tell me. It made me so mad. We punished him every time because otherwise he never would've learned!! That kid likes to be punished, he needs it. Weird!