Today marks day one of the Great Siege on the Potty.
The equipment: one Cars potty* with car-revving fake flushing sound, one “potette plus” portable potty seat for use on our toilet or eventually on-the-go, 28 pairs of underpants in sizes 2T-4T, a new water bottle, special-occasion juice, some bonus toys and prizes for in-home entertainment, one iPhone for calling Daddy with updates (because that is really how he wants to spend his day at work).
*The Cars potty is one of those things I thought I would never buy. bwahahaha! Parenting is all about doing EVERY SINGLE RIDICULOUS THING you thought you would never do. We have a little baby bjorn potty that a friend passed down to us, and I had no intention of buying another one. But E had shown NO interest in sitting on the other little potty and even complained about it when he occasionally gave it a try. So when he came upon this Cars potty (while we were looking for something else in a store) and adored it, I was keen to the idea. And I thought, “If it takes $20 and car sounds to get this kid interested in the potty, I will gladly pay it.”
I will note: there was a Thomas the Train potty for the same price, but it made A LOT of sounds that I thought might drive me crazy. So I am glad E went with the gentle roaring of the engine on the cars potty.
As I mentioned before, the hardest thing for me about the potty-training intensive is the thought of staying inside near the toilet for three days. We kept putting off this process because our summer agenda was just too full. We finally have four days with nothing major on the agenda. And of course, on day one, I wake up to the most beautiful weather a DC August has ever seen. Thank you, universe, for pouring a little cool, breezy, sunshiney salt on these potty training wounds.
But other than the too-good-to-be-indoors weather, all systems seemed go this morning. It was a little touch-and-go last night when our fearless warrior refused to go to sleep, but he slept in, woke up happy and seemed ready to go. That is, until I rolled up the rug in the living room, and he went ballistic.
I tried to distract him by taking him upstairs to get “dressed.” (underpants and shirt) We bought the underpants last night in an effort to create potty-eve excitement. He really enjoyed buying them, but I don’t know if the timing really mattered. Because when it came time to put them on, he refused. He proclaimed “MY DIAPERS!”
I wondered if we should just forget it and go to the park.
I consulted my potty-training manual. It says that if a child does not want to wear underwear “do not fight, just put them on him.” Hahaha, putting them on him IS a fight. But we were able to get them on with minimal struggle. I brought him to the bathroom to tell him about the potty. He yelled at me.
This was not the way I had hoped to begin.
I decided to skip the speech and we started to play with toys and drink fluids. Eventually, the inevitable happened. A puddle on the floor. A toddler shouting “OH ME GOSH, I POOPING!” (He wasn’t pooping.) And a race to the potty. (He has also been told it is *not* nice to say “oh me gosh.” He selected “oh me boy” as an alternative.)
We managed to get a little in the potty. There was some jubilation, mostly on my part. We go downstairs to clean up the puddle and before that one is clear another one happens. Back upstairs. More partial success in potty. Great fanfare. Call to daddy. Then the first melt-down happened, I do not remember over what (not the potty). There was hitting and time-outs. Eventually peace was restored to the kingdom, puddles were cleaned, a celebratory juicebox was consumed, and I decided to bring the fun and games upstairs, for slightly closer proximity to the potty.
By lunchtime, we had been through at least 8 pairs of underpants. But we repeatedly had some success in the potty each time, and there may have been one or two instances where he got everything in the potty. It felt like he was learning, or at least getting practice. And he never protested sitting on the potty nor did he request a diaper. So I decided to call the morning a success.
Lunchtime was major meltdown time, not directly potty-related. Let’s just say it was very unpleasant, and I may have considered locking myself in a closet for a while. I eventually talked the little man off the ledge with tortilla chips and avocado and we had a relatively pleasant lunch.
After that is when the poop got real …