Saturday, February 18, 2012

Potty Training Boot Camp, Day 1

Today was the day. The time has come to get aggressive about potty training Music Man. We have been working passively for months (5 months, to be precise). We would have him sit on the toilet at times when we were changing his diaper. But we kept putting him in diapers. He knew that if he just held off, his safety net was there.

Well, no longer. Music Man was up at 6:30 this morning. I had him try to use the potty (he chose to try this standing up) and then on came the underwear. We had talked about this yesterday and he was excited about it. We even talked about it as he was standing in front of the toilet this morning, passing the time waiting for the diaper to be put on so he could release in his own time and way. I selected 2 pairs of underwear last night and left them in the bathroom and had him choose which one he wanted....the choices were Woody (from Toy Story) and The Incredibles. He immediately chose Woody.

Then he realized I was about to dare to put these on his body. He didn't want his tush covered in underwear -- HE WANTED A DIAPER!!!! And one thing Music Man has always excelled at doing, is letting you know when he experiences displeasure. He is big and strong, and he knows how to use both of these traits. He fought me so hard. He was kicking and screaming. If I would manage to get one leg on, he would wriggle his leg out while I was working on the other. But eventually, I won. And I had the same problem when I was putting on his jeans. You see, I decided to be sure Music Man was wearing jeans today because they are EXTREMELY uncomfortable when they get wet. I was hoping this would help him experience that discomfort and help him to learn what we wanted him to figure out.

But eventually he was dressed and after a few moments, was no longer complaining about wearing the underwear versus a diaper. We all did our normal things for the day, but every 30 minutes, an alarm would go off and it was time to take Music Man to the "potty". He learned to recognize this. Sometimes he went happily, almost skipping into the bathroom. But by the afternoon he was tired of it all. We also had increased the potty trip frequency to every 20 minutes. We never saw him urinate into the toilet, either while standing or sitting. We did, however, witness him urinate in his clothes -- 10 times, to be precise. But that doesn't matter. We laid down the law.

Now....motivation. We are trying all sorts of things. We have promised him free time (with no parental interference) on his favorite website. We have promised him movies on his iPhone/iPod even if the timing for watching a movie was inappropriate. We have promised him books. We have promised him candy. None of these have been working. This evening, Dad said something that I suspect he slightly regrets -- he told Music Man that he couldn't have the iPhone or iPod until he makes "water in the potty". And since he said it, he has to follow through.

So, for tomorrow, in addition to the positive reinforcers that we already introduced, we're adding a couple of negatives. We are keeping Dad's word and not allowing him time on his favorite devices (but computer is still fair game, as long as he follows the rules that have been laid out for him). If he wets his clothes (or soils them), he is going to have to take off the clothes himself and put them in the sink (forcing him to handle them). I will continue to sit with him when I take him at 15-20 minute intervals. I will continue to have the water running (something I introduced around 4pm today). I will also continue to tickle him while he's sitting there attempting to urinate, hoping that it will just force SOMETHING to come out (again, something I introduced around 4pm today). I will also follow a suggestion from a friend and pour warm water on his privates to help him relax.

I KNOW he's ready for this. We just have to figure out how to motivate him to succeed. But the most important thing is I can't allow myself to back down and return to diapers. Then we will NEVER get there!


  1. I could easily have written this post myself in December. Thankfully, I'm looking back at this part of training Chananiah remembering how horrible it was. Chananiah is truly almost trained now. Reena really isn't, but she's conditioned enough that she's in underpants anyway. When Chananiah was finally READY, it went quickly--- the years leading up to that were hell. So I feel your pain. May Simon be ready--- NOW!

  2. We had an accidental success this morning. What makes it huge is NOT that he released a few drops of urine into the toilet, but that he was so happy with mine (and Dad's) response. He LIKES being praised. And after those few drops made it into the toilet and he was getting praised, when I asked him to try again, I could actually SEE that he really was TRYING. Even if he's not going to be ready to self-initiate but will use the "potty" whenever he's taken (and avoid wetting his clothes) at the end of the weekend, I'LL TAKE IT!!!!!