Saturday, January 31, 2009

Potty training, schmotty training.

That's about how I feel when it comes to potty training right now. As J quickly approaches his 3rd birthday (3 months from tomorrow!!! Holy cow.), that's the number one question people are asking me. Everyone. Parents, in-laws, friends with kids, friends without kids, people at church, random people at the store. For some reason, after commenting on how cute he is and asking his age, the next question is always, "So, is he potty-trained yet?" It was the number one topic of discussion when my little Moms Who Are Also Veterinarians group (not an official title) got together for our monthly dinner last week. There are six of us, all with kids under 3. Whereas before we all had kids, when we were more like a Hot Young Vegas Veterinarians group (again not an official title) getting together just as friends, we would spend our evenings drinking, dancing, talking about our love lives, and making plans to get together for a spa day or to go shopping. Now, we can spend a good 2 hours at the Cheesecake Factory talking about sleep habits, discipline, how to lose the baby weight, trials and tribulations of daycare and nannies, and potty training. Ah, parenthood.

A few months back, potty training was going pretty well. J got a potty for his 2nd birthday, and for awhile he was really interested in the whole process. He sat on the potty every day, and wanted to read "My Big Boy Potty" at least 4-5 times while sitting there. There were even a few glorious days when he actually used the potty, with all the required hand-clapping and positive reinforcement and happy dances and M & M's. Last summer, when people asked us how the potty training was going, we'd excitedly tell them, "Oh, it's going fabulously, J sits on his potty every day, he's such a big boy, we think by next month he'll have it down, blah blah blah." And then...big mistake. We switched to Pull-Ups. Those damn godforsaken Pull-Ups. We bought into all of the hype from Huggies about "easing the transition" and "cool alert panels so they can feel when they've gone" and even got J singing, "I'm a big boy now!" (admit it, you know the song). We thought Pull-Ups would be the perfect introduction to wearing underpants, to the point that we make sure to call them "underpants" instead of "diapers." The thing is, though, that Pull-Ups are diapers. They're just diapers that are much easier for little 2-year-olds to take on and off whenever they feel like it, which usually has nothing to do with when they have to go potty. I'm sorry, Huggies people, but Pull-Ups have only added to the confusion.

Since switching to Pull-Ups -- and trust me, we can't switch back, that would be even more confusion and now J tells us "bipers are for babies, I'm a big boy" -- we've pretty much regressed back to where we were pre-potty. Lately J has been flat-out refusing to sit on the potty, and he'll let his Pull-Ups get so full that they actually start to fall down into his pants before he'll finally allow us to change him without a major fight. He doesn't want to read the potty book anymore, and the potty itself is now just a step-stool he uses to do naughty things like climb onto the bathroom counter so he can pull vaseline out of the medicine cabinet and put handfuls of it into his hair.

I know what we need to do. Toss the Pull-ups, and just switch to REAL underpants. This is one of those areas where I think stay-at-home moms have an advantage. If I had a good week at home to clean up messes and reinforce using the potty I think it would be pretty easy. But of course, I work 4-5 days a week, and somehow I don't envision this as a weekend project. I may be able to arrange a few days off in a couple of months, but in the meantime...potty training, schmotty training. "Is he potty trained yet?" Hahahahahaha. Don't make me laugh.


LauraC said...

Hey we actually did an entire day of Booty Camp over Christmas holidays and it was a DISASTER. Alex had countless accidents and Nate held it in. They sit on the potty at day care 4-5 times a day for the last 8 months and not ONCE have either of them peed in the potty. They were super interested around 2 and now they are almost defiant about potty use.

Anyway, didn't want you to blame the pull-ups. It may be that he is not emotionally ready. That's what I'm telling myself anyway. One of my good friends with twins here, one day he decided he wanted to use the potty and he was trained in a DAY. The other twin (fraternal in this case) runs from the potty.

I'm fine with being in diapers for quite some time!

JenFen said...

I know your frustration about everyone asking. Jake wasn't potty trained until he was 3 1/2. The good news is we waited until he was ready and he was fully potty trained in less than a week and never had any accidents afterwards. J will be ready when he is ready. Every child is different.

Joanna said...

I'll be honest. I'm not even trying. My mom and DH have a little bit, but Michael refuses to even consider it. I'm going to wait a while longer to see if it clicks one day. I hope that approach works.