The day I was scheduled to be induced to have Mo, LW decided to strip naked throughout the day and streak through the house yelling "POTTY! POTTY! MAMA! POTTY!" This caught me completely off-guard and was entirely unprovoked. My goal was to potty train him sometime this fall. Or maybe Christmas. Or never. The thought exhausted me and imagining doing it with a newborn in tow sounded ab.so.lutely. horrible.
BUT, guess what? Our children choose their own timelines and I've heard that when kids are ready to potty train, you have to just go with it and follow their lead. So, 39 weeks pregnant, I waddled through Babies R Us to buy some toddler potty chairs. (Note: Don't waste your money on the character chairs. Learned that the hard way. The simpler, the better and go for a 3-in-1 style potty)
Fast forward to two weeks later; this week. Once after a nap and then again the following morning we went into LW's room to find him having stripped naked and pooped on the floor. The second instance he also smeared it all. over. his. carpet. That was it. The final straw had been drawn. THAT DAY we started potty training with the "3 Day Method".
The thing about potty training is, I'd never researched it before. I'd never thought about it and I really had no idea how it worked. I figured this "3 Day Method" that I had always heard about meant your kid starts day 1 pantsless and by the end of day3 they magically can go to the potty alone and know their body's cues and understand what it means to need to use the bathroom. Including nighttime and naps.
......HA!! Joke's on me, amiright?!
Turns out, potty training is kind of a shit show. Literally.
Day 1: Father's Day. Hubs wanted to spend the day in the yard, so the boys and I joined him. LW was bottomless to start and played in his inflatable pool. Soon he was completely naked. He had several accidents but we got the swing of things pretty quickly. In the evening I went upstairs to change Mo's diaper and came back downstairs to LW on the big potty alone, going #2. YOU GO, BUD! We were nailing this.
I thought, "He's been so good all day! I'm just going to sit down and eat this bite of dinner really quickly. Plus, he just pooped." as he ran laps through the house. Suddenly, I realized he had stopped running. I tossed down my fork and book it into the living room....to find one of his toys completely covered in crap. And then drug across the floor. *Awesome. More carpet to scrub crap out of* I'm not even exaggerating when I tell you this happened in a matter of three bites of my dinner.
Day 2: A pretty uneventful day, considering how the first day went. We had our "outing" accident free. The outing which was me driving us to Starbucks for a drive-thru caramel frap to save my sanity. I was feeling very frustrated from Day 1 so it was a nice little happy mama break for me to get a sip of Heaven.
This day he would not go #2 on the potty. Uh oh....
Day 3: Hubs got the morning diaper and it was almost overflowing with what did not come out in Day 2. Eesh. After that, we had a GREAT morning! He had started dancing around a bit when he needed to go and I got more in-tune with his body language and cues. By this point I was pretty sick of staring at his parts so again I sat down to just have a bite of food and it got quiet. Low and behold, he piddled in front of the TV. I race him to the bathroom to finish the job. I go back to my lunch and it gets quiet again...and there he was behind me in the kitchen. Piddling and there was a little poop on the floor. SERIOUSLY!?
When we got home from our first outing of the day, I stripped him naked to play outside. As we played, I saw a pregnant neighbor I hadn't met yet walking by. I enthusiastically waved, shouted hello and started walking towards her while pushing LW in one of his toy cars....she gave me an interesting look, said hi and continued walking. I was so ready to be friends with her and share our pregnancy stories until I realized my child was completely naked. What, doesn't everyone let their 2 year old play in the yard buck naked at 10am on a Tuesday? No? Shoot.
Following outing two, I completely forgot to tell him it was time to potty when we got home. The second I realized it, I stood to run and get him and he called out "MAMA! MAMA! OH NO!" and he had already gone. BUT, I call that a win still because the lightbulb went on.
Today was Day 4. He had such a great day. Until...again...I forgot to bring him to the potty. We met some new friends at the park. I forgot to set my timer after he used the porta-potty at the park and got busy gabbing with New Mom Friend. Then, from across the playground I saw it. The "stance". I tried not to sound too desperate when I said "LW! It's time to go potty!" and he said "NO!!!" I jogged toward him and saw it. Too late, Mom. Again.
I had been giving him prunes and fiber bars in addition to loads of salty snacks to encourage lots of water consumption and you know, to move things along. Well, it worked and moved things right along. Right onto the playground mulch. And down his leg. And in his shoes.
Thankfully, he realized the severity of the situation and didn't move a muscle. New Mom Friend jumped into action and brought me some extra wipes because I was about three short to clean up this catastrophe. He also didn't appear to be embarrassed at all and was absolutely no worse for wear.
As if this wasn't embarrassing enough to me in front of New Mom Friend, our dog took care of the "accident" by eating it while I had been cleaning up LW. Oh for the love of....
When I started this potty training journey I planned on using simple high-fives as his reward. LW is a pretty understated kid so even that was a little too much celebration for his taste sometimes and he would shut down. By day 4 I started bribing potty successes with jelly beans and it works fabulously. Judge all you want, but since he never gets any candy the kid will just about sell his soul for a jelly bean.
I've learned that potty training is just like any other aspect of parenting, just messier. You go into it blindly, know absolutely nothing, learn a lot as you go and somewhere along the way change course in a state of desperation to do whatever it takes to increase your success rate.
Apparently the naps and nighttime thing doesn't work for a while, but if he's only wearing two diapers a day I'll take it! My advise to those who think their kids may be ready: go with it. Dedicate yourself to the three days and don't look back.
Also, I have no flipping clue how I will persuade LW to wear clothes full time again.
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