Monday, April 11, 2005

"P"- FEST 2005

is for Patrick
is for Pee Pee
is for.....well you get the idea.....

"P" is for "Patrick potty training!"

Exactly one week ago, after a discussion with Barry about cutting our grocery bill by cutting our diaper expenses in half, I informed Patrick that he was a big boy and no longer a baby and that he no longer wore diapers, but instead big boy underwear. I mean he IS 3 1/2 years old. It was time! Although this is my third adventure in potty training, I still feel like such a novice. I seems as though both of the girls took forever to train. I suppose that is because I would get frustrated and put them back in diapers or pull-ups. But this time, I decided things would be different. We were giving up diapers and there was no turning matter what! This time I was armed with more knowledge than ever. I had consulted the new SuperNanny book and read "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" from cover to cover. I was ready - or so I thought.

DAY ONE: Monday. Much to my disappointment, when I informed Patrick that he was going to get to wear his new Thomas underwear, he threw himself on the floor and cried for a diaper. (sigh) So far, things were NOT going as planned. Although we had our share of accidents, we made it through Day 1. I purchased some "Nighttime Underwear" AKA Pull-ups so that I didn't have to add bed linens to my laundry duties as well as mid night disturbances.

DAY TWO: Tuesday. So much for hiding out at home. Abigail needed to go to the doctor, so we had to venture outside the safety of our four walls and put Patrick's pottying skills to the test right away wearing his non-absorbent Bob the Builder undies. I couldn't even count the number of times I asked, "Patrick, do you need to go pee pee in the potty? You know they have a potty here." When we were close to leaving, he decided to take me up on my offer and he ACTUALLY went in the doctor's office potty! Woo hoo!!!! Now delirious with confidence, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful, sunny, warm weather and take the children for a picnic lunch in the park. During playtime on the equipment there, Elizabeth brought Patrick to me saying that he said he had to go potty. I was prepared with the little potty in the van and rushed him to use it, but it was already too late. Oh well, I had a change of clothing.

DAY THREE: Wednesday. Due to the fact that April 15th (tax day) was quickly approaching and my usual procrastination and disorganization with my paperwork and receipts and the fact that I had my appointment with my accountant the next day, this was my frantic tax prep day. Not a good thing to mix with potty training when you want to remain patient. By the end of the day, I was stressed-out from the normal daily motherhood duties along with the extra pee pee clean up and laundry. Daddy came to the rescue and took his daughters out for a nice evening while Patrick, tired and probably stress-out himself, went to bed early, allowing me to finish my accounting duties.

DAY FOUR: Thursday. All the children went over to Grammy and Gramps' house while I met with our accountant. "Have potty - Will travel!" is my new slogan. We took the little potty with us, but Patrick never did use it. Fortunately, there were no accidents either. Since we were going to go out for lunch afterwards, I did force him to try to go potty before we left. Patrick chose Grammy's "pink bathroom" but did more playing that peeing; trying my patience. At the restaurant, I asked him several times if he needed to go potty, but he would become very agitated and tell me "NO!" so I didn't force the issue - that is until he completely wet his pants (and socks and shoes) Oh well, so much for day 4! I decided to reread part of "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day."

DAY FIVE: Friday. Patrick's Pull-ups (nighttime underwear) have superheroes on them. His favorites are the Spiderman ones with the cute smiling spiders that disappear when the pull-up gets wet. Each night when we tuck him in, we remind him to "keep his spiders" by keeping his pants dry. This morning, once again, he came downstairs without his spiders. :( Today we incorporated "practices." This came from the "Toilet Training in a Day" book. Every time Patrick has an accident (or an "intentional" Ü) he needs to practice walking quickly to the potty, pulling his pants down and sitting. He need to do this ten times while he is still in his wet pants. He doesn't really enjoy it so it works as a deterrent and a learning tool. I think we practiced about 100 times today! And after the THIRD poop in the pants I was DONE. The patience was spent and I was frustrated to say the least. Barry and I discussed our plan of action.

DAY SIX: Saturday. This afternoon Barry took the big girls out, Abi went down for a nap and Patrick and I were going to have an official "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" session. As I was gathering my supplies, Patrick, who was standing on a chair at the kitchen table, peed everywhere. I swear it looked to be a gallon of pee! I made him clean it up and do his practices. Then I continued my hunt for extra underwear. I know I bought 12 pair and have been doing laundry like a mad woman, but I could only scrounge one pair while I had several in the dryer. So we began. The premise of toilet training in a day is to get the child to drink a lot so therefore there are many opportunities for practice. Salty snacks are given as "dry pants" treats to encourage this. We began by toilet training a wetting baby doll. The doll peed on the little potty and Patrick emptied it into the toilet and even got to eat her "potty candy" since his pants were dry. We went through several hours of dry pants checks and training the doll. The doll even had an "accident" and had to go through practices, with Patrick's help, of course. BUT Patrick didn't have to go. He sat on the potty, but no luck. Hmmm... that's not how the book says it should go! I kept pushing the drinks. We had Kool-Aid, Coke, juice....I even had him licking salt and sugar straight to get him thirsty enough to drink more. After about 5 hours, we had only two pees. Finally, after dinner, I had given up and we were going to get ready for bed. As I was giving the kitchen floor a quick mop, Patrick said he didn't feel good, his tummy hurt. (Note to self: perhaps feeding your child straight sugar is not such a good idea.) Not 30 seconds later I walked into the living room to take him upstairs to sit on the potty and go to bed and I discovered him red-faced saying "poo-poo." UGH!!! He was poopy and wet. So up we went to the tub to clean up and went through ANOTHER 10 practices going to the potty. And I am feeling like my child is pretty dense or pig-headed or something! A day spent in futility.....(sigh).

DAY SEVEN: Sunday morning. As I was getting ready for church, I saw Patrick awaken and immediately walked him to the potty. He cried and complained about that fact, but I insisted. He sat there on the toilet looking forlorn, when all of a sudden he perked up and said "pee-pee!" and went in the potty. He had kept his spiders all night, too! I decided that I didn't want Patrick's Sunday School teachers to have to deal with wet pants, so I put him in pull-ups. He went potty before he left. I picked him up after 1st service and he went potty in the ladies bathroom with me before getting a donut and going to Cherub Choir. Then I took him again after Sunday School and he peed again. We went out to eat at Golden Corral and he went there as well. We were on a roll!!!! He went potty 3 times at Grandma and Grandpa's house that afternoon and only got wet pants due to poor aiming. (which is a whole 'nother issue!) That evening he actually on his own came in from playing outside and went potty. It's a P-fest miracle!!!

DAY EIGHT: Monday morning. P-Fest has been going strong for a week in our household. Patrick got up and came downstairs to see me. I asked him if he had sat on the potty yet and he said yes but had a funny look on his face. I asked him if he still had to go and he said yes. We went upstairs to the big potty at his request. He put the potty seat on, pulled down his PJ pants and had his hands on his pull-ups (which DID still have their spiders!) when he got this really strange look on his face. I ask him if he was peeing and he just started bawling. He was SO distraught at peeing his pants. Not that I in any way find joy in my children's sadness, but inside I was jumping for JOY! My little guy actually cares about keeping his pants dry! We had a perfectly dry day with the exception of a sneaky poo at nap time. I think we have definitely turned a corner!

DAY NINE: Tuesday. Big sister Anna's birthday. Patrick woke up without his spiders, but still went potty as soon as he got up. We had a very busy, on-the-go day, but Patrick wore his big boy underwear and kept them dry ALL day. His accomplishments included using his little potty at Grammy and Gramps' house AND emptying it himself (which totally impressed Grammy), peeing AND pooping in the big potty. Gotta love it! For dinner we went out to eat at Don Pablos. I reminded Patrick that there was a potty there and eventually he decided that he had to go and we checked it out. He must have thought it was pretty cool because he informed me 3 more times that he had to go potty within the next 20 minutes. Twice I gave in and took him because he was quite convincing, but after the second dry trip (except for the wild, soapy handwashing), I had decided Patrick was playing me. That evening Patrick even got up out of bed to go potty on his own.

So, I believe P-Fest 2005 may be coming to a close. I say this with much happiness, but it is a little bittersweet as I realize that a chapter in my little boy's life has also come to a close. Saying goodbye to diapers is like saying goodbye to his babyhood. Now he is officially a little boy. Of course, no matter how big and mature he gets, he will always be that precious baby of mine in my heart.

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