Monday, August 23, 2010

Update on potty time

I am exhausted from this weekend.  Not because we did anything especially exciting, mind you.  I am exhausted because we attempted to potty train our daughter.

Now, you know that we've been tinkering with this for a while.  We've had some reading sessions on the potty and every night and morning she brushes her teeth on the potty.  Out of the two million times we've sat her on the potty, she peed once.  I could have done a cartwheel (and only my sisters and the Bloss family know what a feet THAT would have been!).  Elizabeth...not so much.  She was more excited that I was excited.  Well, that and she got an m&m...she LOVED that. 

Really, I blame this all on my mom (HA).  Every week she sends me this column written by a child psychologist that she really enjoys and I love him too.  Well, the last article was on potty training so I went to his website to check it out.  ( I believe in him so much that I thought I'd give it a go.  I've read three other books on potty training that all indicated that ERS was showing classic "she's not ready" signs.  But despite the odds, we plunged ahead.  

Potty, training panties and the potty book...I mean, why wouldn't we have these in our living room?
Rosemond's idea is to put the potty in the room she is in the most, strip her down, and let her go.  He indicates that she will find her way to the potty.  When she has accidents, you're supposed to tell her it's ok and that next time, she needs to go to the potty.  Got it.  Sounds simple.

Not for our daughter.

The first problem is that Elizabeth turns her crazy up ten notches when she's naked.  So right away, she started jumping on the couch and sprinting down the hallway.  She was fine for about 15 minutes until I found her splashing in a puddle in our bathroom.  "That's ok honey, just go to the potty next time."

She looks at me like, "Fine, crazy woman.  If you're going to keep letting me run around naked, I'll pick up what you're putting down all day long."  

She read books naked.  She laid on her bed naked.  She played with her new pink laptop naked (she calls it "mouse"...well, because it has a mouse).  And she peed on the floor, the rug, her room, the rug in her room.  Each time, I gritted my teeth and tried to be encouraging while moping up her pee.  

Sunday, the only way we knew she'd had an accident was because she would come sprinting in the kitchen, grab a cleaning rag, and run back down the hallway calling, "Honey, honey, honey..."  She didn't take one glance at her potty.  In fact, the only time she used the potty was when she was watching Sesame Street - and only then because she watched the entire show from her potty, drinking from her new sippy.  (Maybe not the smartest move on my part to introduce the big girl sippy on the same weekend!)

So Sunday afternoon, Scott and I decided to try the training big-girl underwear on her (think panties with padding).  Maybe that would work because she won't want to get them wet.  

She went through three in an hour.  (All while I was doing a workout in the poor husband!)

Last night, she'd had her fill and really, so had we.  After sitting on the potty for 15 minutes, she ran out and peed not only once in the baby's room but then again in front of the dishwasher.  Throw that on top of the fact that she started dumping water OUT of the tub with her rinse cup while Scott went to get her towel and color us ready for bedtime.
Mommy, why are you crying??
So this morning, I called it quits.  She peed on the floor twice this morning before the Y and then once in the kitchen after the Y (right beside me as I made lunch...after sitting on the potty for 10 minutes).  I felt myself start to lose it.  So it's time to back away.  We put back on the diaper and went on with our day.

She shows no interest, with the exception of taking her diaper off when she's wet and liking to read her "pobby book."  So we'll wait for a little while.  

When she got up from her nap, she crawled up in my arms and we spooned on the couch for 15 minutes .  It was then that I decided that I was ok with letting my big girl be little for just a little bit longer. 


  1. If I can teach children with Autism to use the potty, I can teach your little one... let me know if you want some tips- I have great ABA techniques for getting success and making it fun.

  2. Well, sometimes they just aren't going to do it until they are ready. I've had success with a 21 month old as well as a 36 month old. So they are all different. But your stories remind me of why I am not pushing it with Jayna! ;) I am not ready for it all with her yet!! However, I'll be there soon because that is the big goal I have set for this Fall when Carly and Adam start school...tomorrow!

  3. Your (well, Dr. Rosemond's) method is pretty much how I trained P (it was about a week after his second birthday)... I did leave the potty chair in the bathroom, but he ran around naked all day and we tried to make it to the potty. For the first two days there were lots of puddles, but by day 3 he was dry most of the time, even when I added underwear to the equation. It took a little longer to get, ahem, solid messes into the toilet on a regular basis. Based on my experience, I think you did the right thing to let it go for now. When E is ready, it won't take too long. My goal is to always START training by 27 months. I can already tell C is going to be more resistant to the potty than P was! I will add that it is just in the last few months (after age 3) that P started TELLING anyone other than Adam and I that he needed to potty. At school and in the church nursery he'd just run into the bathroom, and expect the teacher to follow him! It sounds to me like Elizabeth already has that down, so when the time comes, she'll be ahead of the game!