I am Thankful for a Potty-Trained Boy

That’s right.

Eddie is potty-trained.

Did you hear that huge sigh of relief that collectively exhaled out of both Cort and me?  It was a powerful sigh, I tell you.

Eddie is 3 years and 5 months old.

For those of you who have yet to potty train a child?  People are not kidding when they tell you it is the most exhausting, frustrating milestone to date when raising a child.

And that is saying a lot. I mean, not much has been super easy with Mr. Edward.

It seems like we have been potty training FOREVER.  Our entire attitude was always that we would let him lead the way.  We would just follow his cues.

At first it seemed to work.

He was incredibly interested in the toilet and using one before he was even two.

getting his first potty at 23 months old.

We openly talked about poop and pee and going on the potty.

He liked to sit on it and every now and then he would tinkle on it.  But at just 2 years old, he just wasn’t REALLY into it.  But we kept it in the bathroom and let him sit on it whenever.

Time went by and the potty got dusty.

And then I got pregnant.  Suddenly being a Big Boy was THE THING.

Pooping came first.

two and a half and pooping on the pot.

After a couple issues with poop in the bath tub, it was a rare day that Eddie didn’t ask to sit on the toilet if he had to poop. It’s like seeing his poop floating around him did a number on his brain.

I guess I would be traumatized too.

And then he started to pee on the toilet too.  Mostly before bed or after nap or before bath time.  We kept a potty chart on the fridge for him to stick stickers when he pooped or peed and he got m&ms for each.

He was so close to being able to wear undies instead of pull-ups or diapers.

And then this happened:

Charles Thomas: The Poop Regresser

Suddenly Eddie wanted nothing to do with pooping or peeing on the toilet.

NOTHING.

We knew this could happen, so we tried to take it in stride, but it got maddening.

He would purposefully poop in his pull-up so we switched back to diapers exclusively and stopped trying to have him be potty trained.  We tried to just accept he would wear diapers until he was ready.

But every time he would announce, “I go downstairs now.  You not come down,” we would bristle.  “Ed, are you going to poop?”  “No.”  “Ed? Are you going to poop??”

“Yes. Don’t come down.”

::head desk::

Meanwhile all his friends at daycare were potty training.  All but one girl who was younger than him and the babies.

He didn’t care.

Most days he just wore his diaper with no shame.  Sometimes he would tell Renae (his daycare mom) that he wanted to pee.  And sure enough, he would.

But most days…diaper.

Until…that last little girl started potty training about a month ago.

I don’t know what happened in Eddie’s mind or why. Maybe it was because he is so competitive and he didn’t want to be last. Maybe it was because this particular little girl is sort of his arch enemy (if 3-year old’s can have arch enemies) and he couldn’t stand her “beating him” to this milestone.  Or maybe he realized he would be the only one that was like the babies if he wore diapers…something he was NOT in his mind (yes, this child went from baby to Big Boy.  There was no little boy phase if you ask him).

I really don’t know, but on the first day the little girl started wearing undies at daycare, Eddie told Renae he wanted to do it too.

He we through two undies and hasn’t had hardly any accidents since.

Sometimes at home he will forget to go and have an accident, but never at daycare.  And never poop.

He even told the Sunday School teacher he had to poop in church on Sunday.  And sure enough.  He did it. On the can, with privacy, of course (that’s his thing…no coming in until he needs a wipe).

He even pees standing up with no aiming issues.

He only wears a pull up at night.  Not at nap…he stays dry in his undies at nap.

There was a time I thought I would miss having him in diapers.  That somehow my baby would disappear and I would be very sad.

that pipey in his mouth…that’s a whole other post

But I’m not.  Not even a little bit.

I think everyone has a poop in the pants limit and I had hit mine with this guy.

I am thankful that my little boy is potty trained.

*************

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a “pee” update

The potty training continues here in Sluiter Nation.

You know that stuff that you think you understand when other parents tell you, and then you go through it and realize you absolutely did NOT get what they were saying, but OH MY GAWD they were RIGHT?

That is potty training.

People said it sucked worse than a vortex.

I thought, “meh, Eddie is really quite ready and he is independent.  This won’t be that bad.  Maybe just vacuum-level suck.”

I would be wrong.

I hate potty training.

And we don’t say “hate” in Sluiter Nation.

Ok so 3 weeks ago (wait. what?  THREE WEEKS ALREADY?) we started for real potty training.

He got the poop right away. In the past three weeks I think we have had a poop accident twice.  Once was so bad it resulted in trashed undies.

Sorry about mentioning that again in this post.

The pee? Oh my Lord.

My child is stubborn.  Have I mentioned this before?

For awhile? We thought he had it.

We provided an array of different, um, methods for him to use to get said pee into said potty.

I did not pose this picture. Our bathroom is always a hot mess of potty training paraphernalia.

He has a froggy potty (which he favored for a while much to our chagrin.  It’s not fun to clean up).

He has a potty seat that fits on the big potty which he thought he liked, but ditched it recently when he figured out he could climb on the toilet backwards on his own.

a less used, much cleaner downstairs can.

Of course he prefers the downstairs toilet.  I think it’s because hardly anyone uses it and it’s next to his bedroom.  It’s like it’s his personal toilet.  Also it’s a little shorter than the upstairs toilet, so he can get on there a little easier on his own.

And “on his own” is pretty much key in this endeavor.

So he was doing pretty well for a few days.  He even stayed dry all day at home, dry over night (with a pull up on), and the dry all day at daycare.  We were pretty ready to start high fiving ourselves for our stellar parenting.

You know what happens when you start to prematurely high five about your own parenting?

Your kid does something to make you look like a fool.

In Eddie’s case? He started peeing on ALL THE THINGS.

Seriously.  We went through 5 pairs of undies/shorts before lunch one day.  The boy has 12 pairs of undies.  In less than a week he went through 11 pairs.  And that is an improvement.

And then he asked for a Pull Up.  And only wanted Pull Ups.  To the point where they turned into expensive diapers.

Um. No.

So this weekend we put a stop to it.  Undies during wake time.  Butt on potty every hour.  Pull Up (or undies if he requests) at nap. For SURE Pull Up at night.

Yesterday we cautiously stepped into the new plan.

We tried to play it off like we so didn’t have a plan.

After Ed got up, Cort told him to pee on the potty and then put undies on him.  About an hour later, Ed wanted to play trains, so Cort said, “you go pee, and then we can play trains. deal?”

And Eddie was up for it.

So that has been our thing yesterday and today.

And so far? ZERO ACCIDENTS.

He even kept his undies dry at nap today, getting up at one point to use the potty downstairs.

And so our journey toward pee control moves forward.

He covered the word “pee” with a “I stayed dry all day!” sticker. But he liked the word “poop”. of course he did.

One sticker and m&m reward at a time.

*************

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Party on, Wayne.

he’s pooped trained. there’s that.

We made it official this weekend.

Sluiter Nation is in Potty Training mode.

::gulp::

As totally newbs at this, we clearly have no idea what in the heck we are doing.

Eddie has been showing signs of readiness for months. In fact, we bought a potty last summer..before he was two, so a YEAR AGO…because he was asking a million questions about it, asking to flush for us, wanting to know all about it.

He even asked to sit on it with his diaper on.

So the potty chair was brought in.

And he loved that darn thing.

EVERYONE got a chance on the potty...even Lamby.

The day the potty arrived, was such a fun day for Eddie.  He was so excited, I can’t lie, Cort and I started doing high fives, fist bumps, and booty shakes.

We were prematurely congratulating ourselves on having a kid who was going to be an absolute cinch to potty train.

I mean, he WANTED to do it, and he wasn’t even two yet!

Eddie has pooped exactly one time in the bathtub.  It was so epically traumatic for both of us, he has never done it again.

In fact, he got pretty OCD about having to get out of the tub to sit on the potty.  He was so afraid of having to sit in his own feces again.

he even ventured on the BIG potty sometimes

Everyone told me he was ready.

People kept saying, “Kate, he is SO ready.  Take away those diapers and go to it!”

But we hesitated.

First of all, by this time, I was back to work.  Potty training was something I didn’t want to dump on (ha!  see what I did there?) on his daycare mom…unless I had to.  I mean, we are his parents.  We can do this, right?

Secondly, I was pregnant.  I know my kid, and I KNEW that once Charlie was here, we would have regression.

(I was very right about this, by the way.)

To me the “perfect” timing was summer when I could have him to myself and AFTER his brother had been around for awhile so we could turn the potty training into something that was ALL ABOUT EDDIE.

"Leave me 'lone, mom."

Friday was Day 1 of the Real Deal.

I put his first Pull Up on him and we watched the Pull Ups DvD.

He was smitten.

He is in LOVE with the Potty Dance and made me play it no fewer than 13q4508094 times (yeah, there’s a “q” in there, what?).

He has it completely memorized.

The first day?  I let this be it.  He needed to ease into it.  It needed to be fun.  It needed to be ALL ABOUT HIM.

Day 2 Cort and I were both home, so we thought, “put him on the can every 20 minutes or so.”

This sounded simple in theory.  What could go wrong?

Oh, only the fact that if you asked him, “do you want to sit on the potty?”

The answer was ALWAYS, “nope.”

So then we stopped forming a question.  “Eddie, let’s go sit on the potty.”

This turned into a screaming, crying tantrum.

Mind you, when forced to sit there, he would pee one tinkle and then demand to get off the pot.

Ok.  We needed bribery.  That is what the facebook and twitter people say.  So I decided, he loves m&ms and stickers.  So I made this:

It ain't pretty, but the boy thought it was cool.

For each pee on the potty he gets a small sticker and 3 m&ms.  For a poop on the potty he gets a big sticker and 6 m&ms.

This intrigued him.

We even talked of cake pop treats from Starbucks if he fills up a whole row.

More excitement.

Twenty minutes later when I told him we were going to sit on the potty?  Tantrum.

So we decided to play hardball.

If he was going to be stubborn, we could be stubborner.  err..more stubborn?  meh.

We put him in undies.

He thought they were cool.

And then peed on the couch.

It’s ok…it’s ok.  We expected accidents.

Then he peed on the floor.

And he was clearly upset that he couldn’t do it “right.”

And then he pooped in his undies.  Bad poop. Throw-away-the-undies poop. He was losing control because now it was bedtime and we stuck him in a diaper out of frustration.

Sunday morning, we put him in undies again.

He peed again.

So we did pull ups.

We had a few pee successes and one poop success.

But he was still fighting it.  Bedtime became a battle because he wanted to use peeing on the potty as a stall.  For the first time ALL DAY he ASKED to sit on the potty.  And did nothing.  Twice.

Finally Cort stuck him in a diaper and all i could here from downstairs was his wail of “but I don’t WEAR diapers anymore, daddy!”

My heart broke.

This morning I decided it was so very important for this to be HIS thing.  For real this time.  We couldn’t force anyone else’s “way” on him.

He climbed into bed with me at 7:00am this morning and at 8:00am when Charlie woke up, he asked for a Pull Up instead of his diaper.  I said sure and to just let me know when he wanted to try the potty.

He asked, “my froggy potty?” (opposed to the seat we got him for the big potty).

“Whatever you want to do, Eddie.”

“Ok, mom.”

After breakfast he paused the Mario Kart game he was playing and announced, “mom!  I poop on my potty!” and took off for the bathroom.

And sure enough…he pooped AND peed.

We celebrated BIG TIME.  M&Ms and stickers and a call to daddy at work to tell him the good news.

“I’m so proud of you, buddy!”

I cannot even describe the look of pride on Eddie’s face.  I even heard him tell Charlie and Lamby that daddy said, “I so proud, buddy. I so proud.  Me a BIG KID!”

Later in the afternoon before nap he did it again.  Another poop on the potty.

More celebrating and hugs.

He beamed.

And before bed, we asked if he wanted to sit on the potty before bed. He said yes.  And wouldn’t you know it?  He had a dry Pull Up and he peed a bunch.

That kid.

He gets the poop.  He is poop trained already.

It’s the pee that is confusing.

But we will get there because, as everyone says, one way or another, kids always get out of diapers.

*************

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it’s a pee for all

On Memorial Day, we went to our friends, Trisha and Ben’s house for the day.

Trisha and Ben have four kids: Jake (almost 6), Joe (4), and Addie and Lexi (twins who are 1 today!).

These are Eddie’s very best friends.

He was excited for days to go over to their house and play.  I think some of it had to do with the fact that he knew he would get to skip nap, but most of it had to do with playing with Jake and Joe.

And then I told him we were bringing his swimsuit and his head almost exploded from the excitement.

The plan for the day was that we would get there around lunch time and Cort and Ben would head over to Trisha’s parents’ house to work on their pool area while Trisha and I stayed back with all six (SIX!) kids for the afternoon.

So the menfolk put on their grubby clothes and left.  Trisha and I immediately put bathing suits on the big boys and sent them out to play in the kiddie pool in the deck with squirt guns and torpedo shark thingys.

I decided I was not dealing with a diaper–swim or otherwise–on Eddie that day.

As I slid his bathing suit up over his booty buns, I said, “Hey, we are not putting a diaper on.  You can pee in your bathing suit, but don’t poop in it, ‘Kay?  Tell mom if you have to poop and we will go sit on the potty.  Sound good?”

His hands were busy doing the little wavy thing up by his face that he has done since he was very small whenever he was excited, “Okay, mom!  I go out to pool now?”

“Yup, go have fun.  Remember: NO POOP in your bathing suit!”

They boys had so much fun in the pool.  While there was quarreling about who got the squirt guns and who had which shark torpedo, they were non-stop moving and having fun.

Trisha put the twins to bed and I fed Charlie.  Then, because Charlie likes to “play” for a bit after he eats, we found a spot on the floor just inside the sliding door so I could still chat with Trisha, but be out of the sun with Charlie.

Suddenly, Eddie runs over to the door while holding his boy bits, puts his face against it, and says in a panic, “mom!  MOM!  I peed.  Oh no!”

“That’s Ok, Eddie.  You may pee in your swimsuit.  Just don’t poop.  Remember”

“Oh.  Yeah.”

And off he ran to play.

About 15 minutes later, he worriedly tells me again that he peed.  I reassure him.

From that point on, he doesn’t tell me anymore.

But I do notice something.

Every 15 or 20 minutes, he steps out of the pool onto the deck, bends his knees slightly, and lets pee trickle down his legs.

At that point, I try to tell him to go down to the grass to pee, but he never does.  Instead, Jake and Joe realize what he is doing and it becomes a game to “clean up Ed’s pee” with the squirt guns each time.

I start to apologize to Trisha and wonder if I should put a diaper on him.  She doesn’t seem to concerned, so I let the peeing continue.

And then something new happens.

All of a sudden, Joe stops what he is doing and liquid trickles down his leg.

Then later, Jake does the same thing.

A four and a six year old peeing on the deck.

Two boys who have LONG been potty trained and have never peed on the deck before.

I am sort of sure Trisha is grossed out, but I can. not. stop. laughing.

It was very quickly going from pool party to pee party.

When Cort and Ben got back from their day of hard man work, all the boys were super excited to tell them about their day.

Did they talk about squirt guns and shark torpedoes?  Or about the fudgecicles that Trisha gave them?

Nope.  They were most excited to talk about the deck peeing.

Eddie’s first adventure without a diaper turned into a pee for all.

Next week Friday begins the REAL potty training.

Lord help us all.

the potty monologues

I really didn’t expect to be blogging about potty training any time soon.

In fact, I have been completely ignoring the fact that my child will have to be potty trained at all.  I just keep telling myself, “he is two.  I’ll worry about it when he is three.”

Little did I know he would take matters into his own hands.

Well, sort of.

Cort and I have discussed this thing called “Potty Training”.   We often talk about pee and poop with Eddie.  He knows mommy and daddy do it in the “potty” and that we wipe and flush and all that.  He knows he does it in his diaper, but that eventually he will do it in the potty too.

About 8 months ago he showed some interest in sitting on the big potty and flushing, so we got him his own potty chair.

We didn’t try to train at all, we just let the potty chair sit in the bathroom.  Eddie knows what it is for and likes to sit on it with all his clothes on when we are on the can.

He also likes to sit on it before and after bath with no clothes on.

Only once has he actually put about two drops of pee in the potty.  And that was after grunting and trying because he wanted to be “like mommy.”

Ok then.

We never pushed.  We just encouraged him to sit on it or ask to sit on it when he wants to.

Recently he started needing “privacy” when he did his number two’s.  So we started enforcing privacy when Cort and I do our number two’s also.  He seems to “get it”.

We have been totally following his lead on this.

In fact, each incident seems to be completely at random since we are never really occupied with getting him “trained”.

That is why Tuesday night was such a huge deal.

It seemed to be a regular Tuesday night.  We had dinner, Cort put Eddie in the bath, I was busy grading papers.

You know we have dealt with aqua dumps, right?  So it is often repeated that “we do not poop in the tub.”

Before Eddie got in the tub, he was complaining that his “buns hurt.” So we kept asking him if he had to poop.  He said no, whipped off his diaper, and went running for the tub.

Ok then.

The regular hair washing and what not went on and then Eddie was allowed to play.  Since the child feels the need to narrate EVERYTHING he is doing, we can pretty much let him play and sit around the corner to watch the news.

So that is what Cort did.  And then we heard, “A poop tub”.

Wait. What?

Cort and I just looked at each other.  We heard it again, “Daddy…a poop.  tub.”

Cort took a deep breath, got up, and muttered, “well this can’t be good,” and walks around the corner.  This is what I heard:

Cort: What buddy?  Did you poop in the tub?

Eddie: No.  Yeah.  No. Poop.

Cort:  There’s no poop in the tub.  Do you have to go poop?

Eddie:  Yeah.  No poop in tub.  Poop.

Cort:  Did you want to get out and sit on the potty?

Eddie:  Yeah. Poop inna potty.

Cort:  Ok, then.  Come on bud.

And then I heard some shuffling and some water dripping and then…

Cort:  Are you cold?  Here, put this towel around you.

Eddie:  Go way.

Cort:  You want me to leave?  Ok.  But STAY ON THE POTTY.  Tell me if you think you need to get up.

Eddie: Ok. Go way.

So Cort walks out and looks at me.  I look back silently, raising my eyebrows.  He shrugs.

Then pee happens.  IN THE POTTY!

We are all celebratory and cheering.

But Eddie insists he has to poop.  So he keeps sitting, all the while announcing, “I PEE IN POTTY, DADDY.  I PEE IN POTTY MOMMY!” from spot in the bathroom.

Cort is giggling about the fact that our son is completely nude, sitting on a plastic potty, draped in a hooded towel.  He insists I take a picture…or at least peek at it.

And even though I feel that I have met my quota of embarrassing pictures of my oldest on the potty, I can’t help but grab the camera.  As I am about to snap a picture, I hear a loud, juicy noise come from the bathroom.

I look at Cort to see if he heard it.

He did.  (He didn’t have to say anything.  The look of shock followed by uncontrollable giggles gave it away).

“Eddie, did you just poop?” I ask as I quickly snap a picture.

“Yeah, I POOP!”  He smiles.

I cheer him on, as Cort comes in to discuss the “doneness” of this poop.  There is wiping and congratulations and then Eddie asks to get back in the tub.

Cort and I promise him a treat when he gets out.

After bath, as he is eating his m&ms (which he thanks me for three times…with hugs), we talk about getting m&ms whenever he does the pee and poo and how if he can do that a lot, I will take him to pick out his own underwear.

He is excited.

So excited that it is what he talks about with me as we rock to sleep that night.

And what he announces to me in the morning before I go to work.

And what he tells everyone at daycare about.

Of course he hasn’t done it since.

But we aren’t pushing.

He’ll do it again when he is ready.

He’s only two after all.

what “awkward” means

Eddie has been showing the signs.

I tried to ignore that he was doing it.  I am not ready, so he can’t be ready, right?  I mean, he’s not even two yet.

But he just keeps doing it.

First it was patting the front of his diaper every time he had gone potty.

Then it was announcing his poops.

And then it was pointing to the toilet before bath and saying, “poop”.

And then it was holding his pee through his whole bath and crying when he peed on the floor and asking for a diaper because he also had to poop.

So we did it.  We bought a potty seat.

look what mom and dad got me!

(Now, to be fair, the only time it was ever not “living” in the bathroom was while I taking these pictures.  We aren’t animals or anything. I mean…yet.)

Eddie loves this thing.

Sitting on it is fun.  Clothing optional, but since this is a family blog, we went clothes on for the pictures.

He sits on it every chance he gets.

If the bathroom door is left open without the gate up?  He is sitting on his potty chair.

If he is sitting on his?  He tries to insist you sit on the big one.  Apparently he likes a Pee Partner.

And then there is the wiping.

Oh, his obsession with wiping.

One of the first times he “tried” his potty chair by sitting on it (with clothes on), he asked me for some toilet paper.  Then he proceeded to aggressively wipe his crotch.  It’s was as funny as it sounds because he was quite serious about it.

Earlier this week he grabbed Cort’s bath towel and aggressively started wiping.  Cort wasn’t as amused as I was and seemed a little peeved that I was rolling around on the floor laughing rather than grabbing his towel away.

Some people just don’t get funny.

And then yesterday happened.

I am not really used to no privacy when I use the bathroom.  When I am at work?  No one else comes in the stall.  When I am home?  Cort is usually home, so this whole toddler standing there while I do my number two?   New to me.

Yesterday while using the bathroom, I was trying to tell Eddie that mommy  needed “privacy” and that perhaps  the mostly closed door should be a clue.

As I am talking, I go to wipe.

And then it happened.

Eddie tried to get back there and HELP.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

So then we discussed what “awkward” means.

Sigh.

momma? amm poop. amm poop.

Lamby has been the victim guinea pig for Eddie’s potty chair as of late.  complete with wiping.  poor Lamby.

At least he “gets it” right?  I mean, he knows what the toilet and the potty seat are for, he knows wiping needs to take place, and he knows about poop.

I don’t think he is ready to put it all together for himself yet though.

this is not the intended use of the fisherprice potty chair

and I’m ok with this.  I mean, he’s not even two yet.  Plenty of time to forget about it and then worry about it, right?

What do you have to tell me about potty training?  It scares me.

*************

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