So. Very. Exhausting. (or Toilet Training- Take 2)

This post is part two of a three part series.

Wow. Toilet training is HARD. I thought earning a Masters degree took perseverance. I used to think having a non-medicated VBAC was an accomplishment. My perceptions have changed in the last ten days; the throes of toilet training are the hardest things I remember having to conquer.

As I’ve written before, I tend to pass up reading instructional tomes on parenting, toilet training, car seat installation, etc. I believe my “free time” (when I get some) is better spent showering, FaceBooking and sleeping. So I guess you can see where this is going…

I knew my husband had a three day weekend coming up; what better way to spend it then watching a two-year old’s bottom for 72 hours? Let’s do the 3-Day Potty Training Boot Camp! Do my husband and I have any background or knowledge in what this entails? Nope. Not a problem. Strip the pants off that kid and let’s see what happens!

Here’s the gist of how we tackled H1′s training:

  • Take off her diaper and pants so she can become aware of when she is going pee or poop
  • Create a sticker chart and give her a sticker every time she sits on the potty
  • Fill a “grab bag” with junky little toys to give her whenever she “goes” on the pot (this is something I learned from my upbringing; my parents conditioned my childhood behaviors by bribing me with items from the 99 cent store. If I didn’t suck my thumb for one day, I got to reach into the bag. I insisted that my husband wrap H1′s toys in tissue paper and put them in a decorative bag as many of my childhood memories involved my dad letting me reach into a crumpled, old, brown paper bag with the words “Grab Bag” scrawled in Sharpie marker on the side in my father’s horrific hand writing. The bag had half-opened staples all along the top which would scratch my arms as I reached in. I don’t remember a single toy I pulled out but I do remember that slap-dash bag. But I digress…)

How the three days went:

  • Day one- Gee whiz, that’s a lot of pee on the floor.
  • Day two- Ooo. She’s starting to hold it and go more regularly on the pot.
  • Day three- This kid is really starting to get it. As long as we remind her to go and put her on the pot, she’s pretty successful!
  • Synopsis: H1 is not fully potty trained but she will go pee and poop in the potty and we are saving money on diapers. Hurrah!

If you want to potty train your toddler but don’t know where to start, here is a very basic list of things you will need:

  1. A potty
  2. A step (so your little one can wash his or her hands in the sink post voiding)
  3. Rewards (this is not a “must have.” H1 actually started losing interest in rewards half way through day two. They are helpful, however, in resistant situations.)
  4. Patience (like Jedi patience: Quit many times you will want, but persevere you must!)
  5. Pine Sol, Nature’s Miracle (this is a pet mess carpet cleaner) or other floor cleaner of your choice on a mop, ready to go
  6. Any adult libation that is at least 12% alcohol by volume (this is for the day’s end when your toddler is asleep and you are decompressing. If you don’t drink, then you will need to do some serious meditating or chocolate eating- whatever helps you relax and gets your serotonin flowing)

Here is a list of things that will hinder your progress:

  1. Carpet
  2. Upholstered furniture
  3. High expectations

Another mom at Stroller Strides told me that it took her twin boys about a month to tell her when they needed to use the potty (as opposed to her reminding them). Every day is a journey but if I take it one day at a time, I’m sure we will be successful (and at least I’m not potty training twin boys, right? Anyone who potty trains twins or any other multiples should qualify for sainthood)!

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