Friday, December 11, 2009

adventures in potty training

We are on Day 11 of PT.
Day 11 of Big Girl Underwear.

It's strange to be a parent, and suddenly be in charge of teaching a little person how to do things that you've done for so long you almost can't comprehend NOT knowing, let alone how to teach it.

But for what it's worth (and that's not much, as every parent and every kid are different), here's my insight so far...

1. We went for no training pants - just underwear (diapers for nap and bedtime still - perhaps that will change to training pants soon). But just underwear during the day. Gets wet and uncomfortable faster.

2. Hang up the pride - you will get poo on your hands, your pants, your socks, the bathroom floor. You will get peed on. You will sing songs about going potty, make up dances about going potty, talk more about going potty than you ever imagined was possible, and spend a LOT of time sitting on the bathroom floor waiting for someone to go potty.

3. It's a struggle, because cleaning up messes gets so frustrating, but it helps me to remember that we are not fighting each other. We are working together to learn how to go potty. It's potty training for me as much as for Hazel - it changes our day considerably to be so focused for so long.

4. When I saw that it was getting stressful for her, I backed off a little. Putting her on the potty every 30 minutes to "try" got really old really fast. Now I ask if she needs to go (answer is almost always "no" - and if I think it should be time to go soon, I tell her "Okay, then in 5 minutes we are going to go pee on the potty." Then I ask her what we are going to do in 5 minutes, so I know she heard me.) We stop whatever we're doing, with the assurance that we will come right back when we are done. She believes me now, and doesn't resist much at all, and goes to the bathroom MUCH faster once in place.

5. It's a chore. It's a process. It's challenging - but it's good. We are working together, learning and teaching. She's trusting me, and I am learning to trust her with herself too. It's cool. But it takes time and effort and energy. At least once a day for the first week, I thought about quitting and trying again later. But every day, there was a reason, a success, a breakthrough - something to keep us coming back again. And she's doing great.

6. Little bitty bums wearing underpants under their clothes are really stinking cute. I tell her at least 3 times a day that I like her buns. She thinks it's funny.

7. The most helpful thing for Hazel was the story I made up for her. It went something like this:
"There once was a little girl named Hazel. And she wanted to wear big girl underwear! But Mama said she had to pee on the potty first. So she sat on the potty, and relaxed, and tried really hard - and then, one day, she went pee on the potty!! And everyone was SO HAPPY!!!! Mama did a dance, Daddy laughed and clapped his hands, and Hazel was so proud! And then she got to wear big girl underwear everyday!"
We repeated it so much that Hazel can fill in words now (all the ones that are pink are hers). And when she goes, she gets a BIG smile and says "so happy!"

We're hanging in there - and I love watching my girl grow and learn. She makes me laugh every single day - I cannot imagine my life without her face and her sweet, sweet spirit.

3 thoughts:

Chantel said...

It took Madison a little while to go potty and now she does it by herself it is so amazing. She even tells her brother Logan(who is 4 months)that he still goes in diapers because he is a baby and she uses a potty cuz she is a big girl. So fuuny

Sheila said...

Each one is so very different, Merial will be even different than Hazel is. Sticker charts worked wonders for us. Each time they were "successful" they got to put a sticker on their chart (piece of paper taped to wall above potty chair). Mom even had a chart and they thought it great fun to race mom! Hey ~ whatever works :)

Kaycee said...

Keep hanging in there! Sounds like things are going pretty well for you so far! I would imagine it can be very frustrating, and I am sure we will find that out soon enough ourselves... ;-) Thanks for posting the tips, I know every child is different but hearing ideas is great! Keep 'em coming! :)