Tuesday, January 20, 2009


let's just be honest here. why did it take us so long to potty-train caleb? well i've composed a list of excuses, such as:

  • slow physical development, making it hard to teach him how to sit down & stand up from the potty
  • living in the group home last year, knowing our schedule was so crazy that we wouldn't be able to dedicate the time needed to him
  • his total disinterest in potty-training, exhibiting none of the signs that all of the potty-training books say toddlers will exhibit when they are "ready"
  • traveling plans, schedules where we didn't have 3 consecutive days of staying home all day

there is truth at the heart of all of these justifications. but if we want to call the pawn, pawn & the vino, vino (as our friend pdge puts it), the real truth is this:

i know my child.

and i knew that at 18 months, 2 years, 2 1/2 years, 3 years & now 3 1/2 years, this was going to be difficult. but i kept hoping that as he got older, he would catch the vision.

you see, aside from inheriting his mother's dimples, he also inherited his mother's stubborn streak.

remember this day? (from the private blog)

for those new here, this was a year ago when caleb opted for like a 45 minute time out in order to avoid getting a hair cut. i tried to bribe him with treats, shows, toys, you name it.

and i finally caved because i just couldn't do it anymore.

so back to the task at hand...

we are on day 2 of potty-training. i have tried the steps from "potty training in 3 days" and all he will do is go sit down on the potty, cry about how scared he is, then afterward, get up & 10 minutes later, have an accident. and because we are doing our best not to shame him, we say, "oh that's okay." so he thinks it's just fine.

then i have adapted to dr. phil's "potty train in 1 day" where we just sit on the potty....for a good hour or so...read books, watch shows, etc. until he finally goes. this method has seemed more effective because he actually goes and then we can throw a party to motivate him to do it again.

which makes him feel fantastic.

until the next time he has to go sit on the potty again.

for those parents who get to post on their blogs things that say, in a nutshell:
"wow, he/she just sat down voluntarily & just potty-trained himself/herself! we didn't have to do anything!"

i am sincerely happy for you. sincerely.

but today i am not necessarily in a place where i can hear those stories of amazing success & all of the un-difficulty it took to potty-train your child.

i am tired, due in 5 weeks, and just want the un-fun that potty training is, to be over.

advice, words of encouragement, perhaps a volunteer to come over & be a miracle worker?

any of those are welcome.

right about...



Rachel H. said...

Can I join you in your discouragement?? I wish I had a magic wand...I would use it on you AND on me...

And since I have absolutely no awesome words of advice, I say Lyns--hang in there! I am in your same boat...and when you find that magic solution, please let me know!

Meghan said...

Don't give up, Don't give up, Don't give up, Don't give up, Don't give up! PLease! Give it a FULL SEVEN DAYS...and you will see progress. Don't give up! (Have I already said that?) It will get better. Give it 7 days!

ericandjanine said...

I don't know if anything I say can or should count for anything. But what I will say is that with our Caleb, we could carry on until we were blue in the face about all the potty training stuff. He knew it all and I'm pretty sure he understood it all. There was one problem, he didn't CARE. We were doing all the work (cleanup, that is) and he was doing his same old thing. This went on and we were trying on and off and wondering if the kids would ever be out of diapers. Then, it was like one morning, he woke up and decided that he would do it. I don't know that it always comes that easy but this I know, children do things in there own time. And if we can try to let go a little of what we have deemed "socially acceptable" then maybe they'll come around. I'm sorry this is so hard. Hang in there.

Lauren Horsley said...

I hope I didn't come off as smug when we talked yesterday - was just trying to share ideas about things that have worked for us. That being said, you've seen the panicky look in mine and Brett's eyes when Gabby announces "I need to go wee!" and already has her legs crossed and pants soaked. Know that you are in good company.

I'm with Meghan - the key is persistence and I think if we had been more focused with Gabs she would've trained much quicker.

Hang in there girl! Call me if you need to cry a little.

Brian & Chelsey said...

Im sorry i dont have any words of wisdom for you except Hang in there!!! You can do it! I have never done that before and dont relish the time I will have to in the future! You are awesome parents so I know you guys will make it happen!!! Good luck and hang in there!!!

S and RA Beazer said...

Hang in there it will come. Sorry my mother isn't there to do it for you like she did for me.

Joel and Carrie said...

Sorry potty training has always been a hum-dinger for us. I totally loathe those people that say "We did it in a day, why aren't you?" I don't believe it for a second and I think a good pee accident about 5 times a day builds better character if you ask me! :)

Amy Btw M said...

Believe me, I was just there 4 months ago. I don't think there is any magic solution. I know I couldn't force it on my kid. After multiple tries and accidents we are finally to an okay point. Even still he resists going potty, but thankfully has learned how to hold it. Even for awhile he was pooping his pants every day. Just keep trying and encouraging. He'll get it eventually.

K Harker said...

Oh Lyns I loath potty training too! Not many moms I know, like it, not even a little. I am terrified to do my boy, girls and boys are different.

I think these moms that do it in a day have the children with personalities that are willing to do any thing.
I took a week for E. After the first couple of days I was a mess! I was an emotional wreck thinking she wouldn't get it. Now, I know this will totally sound lame to some people and believe me I am normally not "this kind of person".... but one evening I just prayed so hard, I prayed that I'd have patients (so as not to kill her ;)I prayed to know what to do to help her understand and want this for herself. I was crying and ready to give up. That night I laid awake and it just came to me what I needed to do. I went to the store early the next morning and got all the things I needed. I ended up doing a sticker chart reward system with her. And with her it worked, she LOVED and still does love stickers and it worked for her, it took a week but it worked.
I know my boy will be so much different. He doesn't think stickers are that great and a chart, he could probably care less about. My point is, you'll find something that he will like and what will work for him. Like every one said don't give up and try not to let him see your frustration (hard one I know!) that just scares them more. I know E saw it in my face and that made it worse for her.
You're a good mom, I hope it gets better for you soon!

Rachel Chick said...

You know, potty training is, hands-down, my very least part of having children! More than pregnancy, labor, what have you. I HATE it! The only advice I can give is, just take him. and when you take him, don't even talk about the potty. don't ask him if he needs to go, don't talk about it at all. just say, come with me. and then talk about other things the entire time you sit him on the toilet, the entire time your sitting and sitting and sitting there! :) That is the ONLY thing that worked with hazel. eventually she just got used to staying dry. --- don't get me wrong, that hasn't been the end of our potty escapades, but eventually, she mostly got it down. just keep persisting. if you give up, they just know that you'll give up eventually. he can do it, and so can you. what worked for us, may not work for you, but that's all i've got! :) oh, and don't use pull ups. they are such a waste of money. just buy at TON of underwear and have him wear that. (most - not all of mine) don't like being wet and it helps them learn a little faster. ;) good luck and let us know how it continues to go!

Jenny said...

Potty training stinks. Boston took forever, I wont even tell you how long we tried before we were good and consistant. So just hang in there, he will get it. Its sad to say but it has to be on his time. Good luck

Garry and Mindy said...

Well Lyns, good luck! It was a pain in the but to potty train Ellie! We would make half committed efforts here and there, but between moving, bed rest, etc. it just took a back seat. By the time I got serious about it Ellie thought it was a joke. I tried the sticker charts the potty treat, etc. I'll tell you what finally worked for Ellie, but I have no clue if it would work for Caleb. I bought her princess panties (obviously you could choose more boyish) and made her wear panties (she loved it!) instead of pull-ups. Then asked her every hour if she had to go. I didn't make her go, just asked. She needed to have that control of when to go. Then if she had an accident (and there many initial accidents) I would say, "oh, that's so sad that you got Cinderella all wet. Let's put on Belle and try not to get Belle wet." I could it was working because she really felt bad when she had an accident instead of blowing it off like before. Then the control was more in her hands and that is what she needed to learn. It took about a week of accidents, and number 2 was still another huge obstacle, but it finally came (only in November was she fully trained.) Anyway, I've heard boys are different than girls, but that is what finally worked for us! Good luck!

Meghan said...

A few more ideas I had for you...I agree with Rachel Chick...DON'T ASK, just take him in there, and get his business done. Sometimes if we ask, or if we even say "we're going to go try again," they immediately get into DEFENSIVE REPULSIVE mode and they start the behaviors, but if you just say, "Come with me" and go and do it some times, they are more able to comply. Also...it was really hard for 6 days...believe me the first 3 days seemed like an eternity! And then day 7 hit and she finally had successes then accidents! There were still accidents, but a success was worth the other accidents. Lastly, I also agree with not buying pull ups but rather a bunch of underoos to go through. They'll feel they're wet and want to change rather then just sit in it. It's more of a pain for you, but it's worth it. I only used pull ups for church when there was no way I was going to change accidents!

Good luck! And I'm anxious to see how he's done these past few days. Please update us!

Shellee said...

Hey- I think you're doing a good job in being flexible with him. You know him, we don't. Obviously, who wouldn't want their 2 year old potty trained and even better in one day, but for lots of us, thata not the reality. Don't be so hard on yourself. Eventually he'll decide he wants to do it, and because you've practiced so much, he'll know exactly what to do. I'll cross my fingers for the concerned mother in you, thats its sooner rather than later.

Shellee said...

I hope you know, that i know, he isn't 2, just making a point. Most people can't pick how long that kind of stuff takes.

I recently read a blog post of a
mom who was -complaining- because her son took a whole day to potty train, rather than just one morning like his siblings. Youch!