Yep, we tried yet another round of potty training the other day .... and again, failure. We watched a DVD on some helpful hints... and as much as I had previously wanted to try do this withOUT the aid of Pull Ups, I figured we probably should give them a try. Originally I wanted to do it with just underwear and letting them feel what it would feel like to be wet.... but after that first experience (where they continually wet themselves over and over again), and since then noticing that much of the time they really don't mind walking around in an extremely full and saggy diaper .... I figured for my own sanity that we would try the pull ups. Also, the thought of having to clean up messy poos out of their undies and throw that nastiness into the wash with their other clothes just sorta did me in. :) So last weekend (Sat 11/13) I took the boys to Target to go shopping for what we were calling "Big Boy Pull Ups" (they had seen an ad for them that had Lightening McQueen on them and they were stoked) .... and to get them a potty training "treat" as well. I made a big deal about going down the diaper aisle... pointing out BABY diapers, and then excitedly showed them the selection of "Pull Up" pants we could get them. It was an easy choice as the Huggies Pull Ups were Toy Story related (Buzz Lightyear and Woody) whereas Pampers had Go, Diego, Go (they don't even know who Diego is). So we bought ourselves the pack of Pull Ups (Oscar hugged them in his arms the rest of the trip) ...... then onto the treats. Again..... another originally (why do I even plan).... but originally I wanted to leave candy out of this as I don't really like the idea of bribing kids with unhealthy foods. Not like I am a health nut (all of you that really know me will attest to that), but we just don't really stock candy in the house for the kids like that. But after talking to our pediatrician... he told us that even he resorted to M&Ms. He did 1 M&M if they just plain ole sat on the potty, 2 M&Ms for pee and 5 M&Ms for poos. So I also added that to my new bag of potty training tricks and bought a big ole bag of M&Ms. When we got home I sat with the boys and talked about our purchases. I let them try 2 M&Ms each ... just so they knew what they tasted like, to whet their appetites. And I also pulled out what I thought were the "big guns" and FINALLY showed them the big helicopter and garbage truck toys I had bought them over a month ago as incentive. I let them push a couple of the buttons that made noise and get a good look at them, then quickly put them up on top of the fridge (where they could still see them) and told them that when they started using the potty all the time, that they could have those. Oscar was really drawn to the garbage truck, which I was shocked by and concerned as well - had sort of bought that one with MacKay in mind. But luckily when MacKay saw that helicopter, that was the one he wanted.
So just to recap ....... we now have the following methods of bribery (or motivation for those of you who like to put a positive spin on something like this):
- Sticker Charts (tree where they put monkey stickers on the tree) for every time they use the potty.
- M&Ms - our rule being 2 M&Ms for pee'ing and 5 M&Ms for poo'ing (at this time I don't want to reward sitting or else we will be in there all the time for nothing)
- Helicopter and Garbage Truck toys on top of the fridge (when they are using the potty regularly)
- Go to the Water Park - Now this is our newest bribe. They talk about the water park all the time since their birthday, so I told them once they fill their Sticker Chart (tree) that we will take them to the water park again.
So we have two immediate gratification methods of bribery (stickers and candy) ... and two long term (toys and water park). You would think they would be just DYING to get on that potty chair huh? Nope, not really.
That next day (Sunday 11/14) we tried to rally them from the time they woke up and they just weren't interested. They kept trying to beg for the toys on the fridge even though we kept saying "No, those are for big boys that use the potty." And during diaper changes we talk about how babies wear diapers and big boys use the potty and get to wear underwear. Chris periodically will say "Oh boys.... I feel like I have to go to the bathroom and use the potty. Do you want to come with me?" And he will take them in to show them how it is done..... our newest thing with that is that we will NOT let them flush the toilet (which they usually fight over) and tell them that they can flush the toilet when THEY go to the bathroom. That flushing the toilet is part of using the potty. I can't even recall if that Sunday we EVER got them on the potty. I want to say that Chris got Oscar to sit on it for a bit ... but just once.
Then Monday (11/15) rolled around and I was feeling pretty ambitious and decided to pump them both full of juice that morning. I slapped on their pull ups and went through the whole potty discussion (tell me when you have to go, pointed out the things they got out of it etc). My biggest point to them being "Who is on your pull ups?" (Answer: Buzz Lightyear) "You don't want to pee on Buzz, do you?" (Answer: No) "Then be sure to let me know when you have to pee, so we can put it in the potty instead of on Buzz." About 15 minutes later we marched into the bathroom and I sat MacKay down on the potty chair, and Oscar got on the big potty (with the kid seat). I tried kittying (lightly scratching) their backs, warm water poured on their boy parts, soaking their hand in a cup of warm water ..... and honestly, the warm water thing only made me feel like I had to go to the bathroom. We sat there for FORTY FIVE MINUTES. I just kept them in there thinking, they HAVE TO GO, they drank all that juice, if I just wait longer they will just HAVE TO GO. Those last 15 minutes were hell too cuz Evie was getting REAL tired of being told "No" when she would try to get into the cabinets and try to go behind the toilet (ish).... and generally wanted some more attention and stimulation vs just sitting watching her brothers do NOTHING. :) So I gave up after 45 minutes.... knowing full well that just minutes after I pulled up their pants that they would go in their pull up. I even told them that if they did (pee in their pull ups) I was going to take away TV. They don't watch a ton of TV, but what they do watch, they LOVE. Not 5 minutes after, I felt MacKay and he was full. And no more than 3 minutes after that, Oscar came over to me and said "I peed on Buzz Lightyear." So the TV went off ... and stayed off. Unnghhhh. We also went back to diapers again after that... no way I was going to waste expensive pull ups since they are just so uninterested. And that was the frustrating part. They know what they get out of it.... they can tell you (without any assistance or hints) that they get stickers, candy, toys and water park. They talk about it all the time. They also know (and seem excited about the fact) that they get to wear underwear when they use the potty. And they SAY they want to go to the potty... but then when the time comes they either don't want to, are toilet shy, or too afraid to just let it go. So I pretty much decided I was going to give up for a few weeks and get through the Thanksgiving holiday and maybe try it again later. But... we are sticking to the TV thing. I have now told/reminded them that they lost TV when they decided not to go in the potty (while in there for 45 minutes - thought I would sneak that in again) and instead pee'd in their pull ups ..... and now they only get TV back (just Sesame Street and/or one short movie/show during Evie's nap) if they at least try to go on the potty (once daily, which isn't said, but that's how it ends up working out).
But then a bit of an apple (vs an onion .... it's an ECFE thing) :) We had just a little light at the end of the tunnel and something to restore just even a little bit of our hope and faith. I should have known it was going to be a good day because for one, we got there early (not even on time, actually EARLY) AND we got the boys' school pictures back (they were in their cubbies) and they BOTH are SO SUPER ADORABLE. If I could get my printer/scanner/copier to actually work, I would scan them and share them with you ..... but it decided to take a nose dive on me, so now we need to look into getting a replacement. So ANYWAY..... back to the point of this.......at Preschool on Tuesday (11/16), I was interrupted during our parent time by one of the teachers to come into the playroom. I just cringed cuz usually this means that your child has poo'd themselves and needs to be changed. And once I got out of the parent room I asked just that, "Did one of the boys poop?" And Miss Mary said "Nope, Oscar pee'd himself." I was confused and said "What? He has a diaper on?"... and then she led me over to one of the bathrooms and there was Oscar sitting there on the toilet, smiling, with his pants AND his diaper pushed down to his ankles. The waistband and some of the surrounding area of his pants were wet and there was pee splatter all over on the floor around him. I thought I was going to cry and started tearing up and ran over to him and crouched down and gave him a HUGE hug and said "Oh my goodness Oscar, did you go pee in the potty?". He proudly smiled and told me that yes he had and I told him I was SO proud of him and so happy over and over. Told him I would be right back with some clean pants and ran to his cubby to get stuff to clean him up. Miss Mary stopped me on the way and said "I was so glad to see you praise him even though he made a mess." And I just told her "No, that's not even it..... that is the FIRST time he has ever WENT in the potty." And I think she could tell by my tearing up eyes and HUGE smile that it was a pretty big deal, regardless of the result. I went in there and cleaned him up, happy to note that it was only his pants that got soaked (not his socks, shirt or shoes). And continually would grab his face and put it up to mine and tell him how proud I was of him and how GREAT it was that he went potty. I gave him a high five and knuckles, everything I could think of. I just kept hugging him over and over again. You should have seen his face when we walked out of that bathroom ..... he was so proud of himself as well. I sent him on his way back to his teachers and went back into the parent room and I can honestly tell you I cannot remember any of what we talked about because I was just reveling in what my lil Oscar had done just minutes before. When we got in the car to leave, I was just putting on my seat belt when I heard Oscar say from the backseat, "Mommy, you're happy?" And I looked back with a big smile and said "Yes, Oscar.... I am SO happy. And do you know why?" And Oscar said "Cuz I pee in the potty?" Needless to say I called quite a few people to tell them the news.... trying not to expect too much in the future about it, but just so happy to have some of my faith restored. And since then we've only sat on the potty about once each day .... including Miss Mary taking him in to try yet again today (Thursday class). No further progress (pee or poo) ..... though he is quite amused when he toots in there. He's constantly saying "I can't hear it, Mommy.... I can't hear it". He's talking about how we will take him in the bathroom with us and will say "Listen.... that's what pee'ing sounds like in the potty." So we remind him that he has to actually PEE to hear it. But today he excitedly told Miss Mary "I hear it" when he tooted. Ahhhhh boys. So for now I'm not going to try... not going to push. Just going to ask periodically throughout the day if they want to go on the potty.... and if they don't want to, we just won't push it. Hoping that eventually it will catch on, and if not, we'll try getting more serious about it later again. But for now, I'm not sweating it anymore.
Figure I might as well give some updates of Evie here too. Evie is our good little eater that tries everything and eats a ton..... whereas the boys have become more picky. So thank god for her or else I would think that any effort I put into my kitchen duties was a complete flop. She also has begun climbing lately...... you cannot keep her off of the furniture. She's on, then off, then on, then off..... SO busy. And she loves going from piece to piece ..... she's even fallen quite a few times but it never deters her, just temporarily hurts her pride. A whole handful of times I have entered the room or just even turned around to find her standing on top of the kitchen table... and even a couple times on our dining room table. She loves to climb on the sub woofer (is that how you spell it).. and from there she climbs onto the top of Angus' kennel - so we have now blocked that off. Even at sibling care.... (where she goes when I take the boys to their Tuesday preschool class) ... they informed me (like I didn't already know) that she CLIMBS like crazy. Apparently they couldn't keep her off the tables. :) And as a result she hears "GET DOWN" quite often ...... and now even says "Dit DOOWWN!" back at me. She's become little miss attitude and has got no fear. She likes to join us in singing too... her favorite being "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" which the boys are all too willing to sing for her multiple times a day. She does the spider going up and the "out came the sun" part as well. And she LOVES when the boys do "Ring Around the Rosie" with her and laughs hysterically when they "all fall down." Lately she likes to hit or pinch and then say "Owww" ..... trying to curb that one quickly though. She just recently got over a nasty virus that lasted well over a week too... and we're glad to have our happy little Evie back (she was pretty miserable).
Well, we're looking forward to a nice, quiet Thanksgiving at home (unless plans change) ..... and then. in turn, a very chaotic Xmas holiday where we yet again hit all the grandparents over a 3 day weekend. We were going to start our new holiday tradition this year..... which would be us staying home every other year for a quaint family Xmas (eve and day).... but with the way the holidays fall it made more sense to push that off yet another year. Either way, I'm hoping for turkey, stuffing, more snow (the light fluffy stuff)...... and fun with family. I already ordered (and received notification of shipment) my Xmas cards. This will probably be both the first AND last year that I have my Xmas cards done and maybe even sent by Thanksgiving. And if I don't post much in the next month or so, I'm just busy with holiday stuff and will post a ton of updates and pictures once the chaos is over. But for now, here are just a few very appropriate pictures considering the topics covered in this post.
The boys during their 45 MINUTE stint on the potty on Monday (11/15). MacKay looking bored (totally not interested in this).... and Oscar chatting my ear off with his gift of gab... the entire time. :)
The kiddos playing in their Thomas tent - they have this in their room, it was a birthday present from Gma Chris. They are constantly playing and hiding in there.
Our little climber ... granted, this is nothing, just standing on a coffee table. But usually she's jumping from this onto other things .... just begging to get hurt in the process.
MacKay and Evie (they are such buds) playing with their spinning gears toy. (Just dug it out of their old toy box downstairs ..... and it's like a new toy again for them)
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving..... and if I don't get out here before then, a VERY wonderful Christmas and New Year. Bring on 2011!