Friday, July 29, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect


I'm sure you're all tired of me posting about potty stuff, but it's on my mind, so this is what you get. If you don't want poop stories, feel free to skip this one.

Gunner really is doing well with the peeing. He's not 100% dry overnight, but he does okay. He hasn't really had any accidents during the daytime at all, since the first two days. I'm super proud of him for that.

And you all warned me about this next part.

The pooping!

It's horrible! He is about 50/50 on the pooping. Today he pooped his pants. We have had a few poop accidents. Boy, I really do hate cleaning that up. The pooping is the one reason that I waited as long as I did to potty train. I'd much rather change a poopy diaper than poopy pants. Blech.

I'm having a hard time knowing how to react to him about it. Today we worked for over an hour with him because he had to poop. He told us, so we rushed him to the potty, and then he immediately hopped off saying, "I can't. I can't." It was on and off the potty, coaching the pushing, reading books, pleading, bribing, etc. For over an hour! And we got a teeny tiny little poop out of it. I knew he had more, but he just couldn't do it then.

So he pooped his pants later.

I find myself getting mad at him, and later wonder why I can't show him more empathy. I think the reason is that I don't want him to ever think it's okay, so I scold, I take toys away, I don't offer treats, I make him clean up, and I tell him how disappointed I am. Negative consequences to hopefully entice him to use the potty next time.

It's just so frustrating because I know he is more than capable of figuring this out. He has done it before, and now he's acting all afraid of it. I do realize that there's a learning curve to figuring out those bodily urges. I guess I just have to remember that he's still new at it. The first day of potty training, he peed 20 times. If he could poop 20 times in one day, he'd be a seasoned pro at that, too.

Any advice out there for how to handle the poop training?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Potty Star

That's my kid! He is a potty champ! Who knew?! He was 100% ready and has exceeded my highest expectations. I am seriously so proud of my little boy.

I would recommend the Potty Boot Camp, based on my one experience using it, even though I didn't stick completely to it. I used it as a guideline, and I think it was really helpful for Gunner. The book recommends feeding the kid lots of salty snacks and fluids throughout the day, and then taking them to the potty every 20 minutes. I did that, and he peed 20 times that day. 20 times! That's a lot of practice using the potty. He was a seasoned pro at it by the end of the day. He was also very very tired of using the potty by the end of the day, and if there's one negative about the program, it is that it can burn a kid out on peeing. Every time the potty timer went off in the evening, I'd say, "It's time to go potty!" And he would say, "No! I'm done peeing!"

The book then recommends continuing potty intervals over the next several days, starting at 30 minutes and working your way up to and hour or so. I could tell that Gunner couldn't have handled another intense day of timed peeing, so I decided to back off of him, and just take him every hour or so. He only had one big accident. And he successfully went #2 on the potty twice the second day! I think that's a huge success!

Also, the nighttime thing was sort of solved for us. We decided to put a diaper on him for overnights, and when we went to get him ready for bed, he said, "No. I wear underpants now." So we shrugged our shoulders, and nervously put him to bed in his underpants. He got up a couple times to pee in the middle of the night, and woke up (almost) dry. Last night, he went the whole night dry! I couldn't have been more proud of him this morning!

We ventured out to our first public place yesterday. I took him to the library for about a half hour. I took him to the bathroom before we left the house, and then I told him that the library also has a potty. We went in, picked out our books, checked them out, and then he ran down the hall shouting, "I have to use this potty!" So we did. I was so proud of him for self-initiating that one, and especially for telling me about it and having a public potty success.

So, he's doing great. And besides one small incident this morning in which he hid in his bedroom closet so that he could poop his pants (thankfully I caught him in time to get him to the bathroom with a stern reminder that "poop goes in the potty!!!!!"), I'd say that he's almost there.

I am under no delusion that our work is done. I'm sure that it has just started. But at least it has been a good start. I also think that it has been a good bonding experience for the two of us. I spent a lot of time just playing with him this week, besides working with him and praising him for all of his successes. I think it has been good for his confidence, and it has been good for me to put some trust in him, give him some responsibility, and see him accomplish some really big goals.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lord, Give Me Strength

I'm going to start potty training Gunner tomorrow. It's time. He's ready.

I'm not.

I'm pretty stinkin' terrified of this milestone. I'm scared of the messes, the constant checking, the accidents, going out in public afterwards. I don't know what to do about overnights. But I'm mostly scared of the fights.

Spiff reminds me not to let it become a fight. But I know my son. He's stubborn, and he's a fighter. And we haven't been getting along very well lately, and my patience is already worn thin. I'm praying that I will be upbeat, positive, and always patient with him as he learns this new trick.

I decided to go with the Potty Boot Camp Method. It's supposed to teach the kids how to use the potty in just a day or two, with lots and lots of follow-up maintenance, of course. I like the idea of a quick and dirty get-it-done method. I have heard a lot of success stories using this method. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm sure you're dying to know.

On the plus side, Gunner is super excited about his Cars, Incredibles and Thomas the Train underpants. I think they will be a great motivator. I'm also looking forward to all the new toys. It's like potty training and Christmas all wrapped up in one stressful, messy little package.

Now I'm off to prepare. I'm making a sticker chart, wrapping little presents, and getting lots of bribes easily accessible. Wish me luck.

***And for My information, what did you do with your kids over night? Diapers? Pull-ups? Cold turkey underpants?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reverse Sunset

This is our view from our front porch tonight. Not bad, huh?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

All The Water

We arrived at the beginning of June and were surprised to find the mountains still covered in snow. We had been told that it was a super snowy winter, but it was pretty amazing to see it for ourselves. Before Spiff started working, we drove up one of the canyons to do a hike with our kids which had been advertised online as "the most child-friendly hike in the area," around a little lake complete with boardwalk. When we got there, we found the trail completely covered in three feet of snow. Crazy!

I thought the trip up the canyon was still worthwhile, though, because of all the water. The creek that runs down the canyon is an all-out river. Check out these rapids!

Impressive, no? You wouldn't want to go swimming in that. I wish we had gotten a picture of some of the random waterfalls caused by the run-off. So beautiful!

Also, the boys and I also just returned from a camping trip new Yellowstone Park. I have never seen the area so green and so much water in the reservoirs and so many wildflowers. It looked like a different area of the country than the drought-condition campsites I grew up with. Truly so very very beautiful!