Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"i will throw it at mom"

There comes a moment in every parent's life. A moment they've anticipated and feared. A moment they've read about, talked about, watched how-to videos about.

For us, that moment has arrived.

Toilet training.

Okay, I actually attempted this moment a few months ago. In January we did a "trained in a day" boot camp complete with practicing on a doll, candy rewards, and lots and lots of toilet talk. It was a total fail. We were all tired and frustrated by about 4pm and couldn't go on. After that, I tried the laid back approach of just asking Genghis with some frequency if he wanted to wear his underwear instead of a diaper that morning or afternoon. The response was always an adamant "no".

But the reasons to press forward with some expediency have been piling up. Genghis is ready. Life is only going to get more complicated for the foreseeable future. The thought of changing and washing diapers for three children is completely unimaginable.

So yesterday afternoon, I told Genghis he was too big for diapers. My "method" is to cut myself off from diapers as an option during awake times, remind Genghis of the utility of the toilet (prior experience has confirmed that he does know how to use the toilet), clean up messes like its just spilled milk, and celebrate milestones with high fives and positive feedback.

Genghis' counter-response has been interesting. When I rolled out the plan yesterday afternoon, he refused to wear underwear. He opted to sit in the bathroom for an hour, naked, instead. Here are some snippets of our conversations.

"Genghis*, do you want to pick which underwear to put on?"
"No! I want to put the underwear in the bathtub. No. I want to put it in the trash can."
"Are you ready to put on your underwear?"
"I will take it and throw it at Mom."
"We're going to get ice cream when Dad gets home."
"I want ice cream."
"You need to wear your underwear to go outside to get the ice cream."
"I don't want ice cream."
[Enter bathroom, Genghis is sitting in the sink, covered in layers of liquid soap with his underwear piled around him.]
"I am washing my hands and my legs."
"Yes, you are."
"And I am wearing all of my underwear."

He finally decided it would be okay to wear underwear if he could put it on when it was tucked inside of his shorts, so they went on together. Whatever.

Today, Genghis took a different tack. He was very excited to put underwear on in the morning. And he made it the whole day without any accidents, and also without ever using the toilet. (The nap time diaper was a sight to behold. Also, we went swimming in the afternoon.) Still, there was a solid 5 hours of morning playtime in there. I have always described Genghis as strong willed.

I don't know whether to consider this a success or not.  But mostly I wonder what he'll do tomorrow.

*Except I used his real name. I don't think he's aware he has an online sobriquet.


Whitehead Family Fun said...

I have to admit I hate toilet training. I pushed the first one too hard; the second one was still horrible but doable; the third I waited until she begged to wear underware and then still waited another week or two. But I have to say number three was the best as she is motivated to do it on her own. I'm sure he will get excited though right? I understand the push though that is why Joshua got potty trained at 2 years 4 months old. Good luck :)

Megan said...

My sister in law had a pretty similar day with my niece a few weeks ago. I will say that on the day that I potty trained Andrew, he threw a tantrum when I tried to make him wear underwear, so I just let him go around the house "free" for a couple of days. We do live in California, so that is socially acceptable. I got really grossed out after a little while, so I made him wear underwear and he seemed okay with that.
Good luck potty training! It is awesome when you will have one less kid in diapers. Plus when your toddler is driving you crazy, you can at least think, "at least I don't have to wipe your behind."

Anna said...

I'm just relieved the "I will throw it at Mom" comment was about underwear. I was really worried when I read the title and saw it was about potty training. There are worse things to throw at this point...

Also, good luck with potty training. I'll put your name on the temple roll.

karina said...

I did the wait until he asks method. For William that was when he went to Primary (almost 3 1/2) and saw all the other kids were wearing underwear. We had tried a couple of times before and experienced the stubborn resistance, so we just waited until it was his idea. Then we put a potty chair next to the toilet and we would "practice" together. And we didn't ask if he needed to go, we'd say, "Are your undies still dry?" If yes, he got a hooray and a treat (not a treat for going, a treat for staying dry...I controlled how many times I asked if he was dry, so I controlled the treats and when to cut them off). He doesn't respond well when we ask if he needs to go - it's always no. We would have practice sessions where we'd run to the bathroom together and go through all the steps and he'd go potty. He still says, "Mom, can we go practice?" when he needs to go. He really was potty trained in a day, with the occasional accident when things are too fun. For a while we did a sticker chart for when he stayed dry all day. He liked it at first and it helped motivate him, but it's been forgotten now. And he still wears diapers at night.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Something I greatly dislike about potty training is that suddenly you have to know where every public restroom is. Maybe now there's app for that?

Do you remember when I was potty training "someone" at mom and dad's house? Worth noting is the fact that the sofa was replaced not long after we left.

candice said...

We didn't push underwear, we did the free for all thing too, and even though tommy has been potty trained for years now he has just started wearing underwear for expediency sake as he is now in full time preschool (where kids are expected to wear underpants). He's always worn shorts, but without the underpants :) I just figured it wasn't worth the fight.