Addison’s 3rd birthday came and went and much to my chagrin he was still in a diaper. I somehow had it in my head that age 3 was the magic number plus the fact that preschool required that the child be potty trained. We weren’t in preschool yet but it was looming. First I tried pull ups; what a joke. Just another way for Proctor and Gamble to sell more diapers to desperate parents. Addison knew he could poop and pee in them so he treated it for what it was – a diaper. I quickly gave up on the pull ups and made a big deal out of buying “big boy” underwear. We had a long talk about what it means to wear them and how they are NOT a diaper and if he has a feeling of needing to pee we need to run to the bathroom, yada yada yada. We would try them out for short periods of time to no avail.
I have some friends who want their children trained in a weekend. They fill them up with water and juice and set a timer for every 30 minutes. When the timer goes off it’s time to sit on the pot. One bit of advice from this method is to stay off the carpet. Those who have done this swear by it and more power to them but that wasn’t for us. One method I tried for a while was to sit Addison on the potty until something came out of him. We had a repertoire of potty books that sat on the back of the toilet. He would sit there and I would sit across from him on the edge of the tub reading the books. Hoping the message would sink in as something came out.
The Prince and the Potty was one of Addison’s favorite potty books. Side note: while I was looking this book up on Amazon just now I saw this:
Oh. My. God. The seat lifts up so his royal hiney can poop like a king. Thank God I didn’t see this when we were going through this phase. In my desperation to train the pee out of my child I would have thought this a necessary item. Any why not? It goes with the book! Phew. I just realized I saved myself $68.50 + shipping. I deserve a mani/pedi for that.
Anyhoo…back to toilet story time. Addison enjoyed all the books but he didn’t seem to be getting it. One day after quite a long reading session he said “mommy, my bottom hurts.” Oh geez, I’m giving my kid hemorrhoids. This had to stop.
I gave up. Non of this was working and I was driving myself crazy. I had resigned myself to the fact that my child would be graduating high school in a diaper. May rolled around (7 months after he turned 3) when out of the blue one day he said he wanted to wear big boy underwear. We had the talk again about what would happen if he pee-peed in them, put them on and he set off to play. I thought, yeah right I better have a towel close by to clean up this impending mess. Low and behold not long after he put on his new underwear I heard him run to the bathroom. Could it be true? Yes! It was like a light switch had been flipped. After that day there was no looking back. Of course we had a few mishaps. Once we were at a birthday party and he was too busy playing to stop and go. I could see the look on his face as he was doing it and I rushed him to the bathroom. I made a big deal of the mess he made and how we now had to toss those undies in the trash cuz’ I certainly wasn’t going to put soiled underwear in my purse. I think I was a little harsh about it and the message was clear because he never had another #2 accident after that.
We used pull ups at night for quite a while until I realized that he was dry most of the night until he woke up. Once he woke up he knew he had the pull up on and treated it for what it was – like I said before – a diaper. One day I took a deep breath, made sure there was a protective cover on the mattress and put him to bed with out a pull up. I would get him up early to use the bathroom. We even would take him, sleep walking, to the bathroom in the middle of the night just to be sure. There was plenty of bed wetting but I guess that is par for the course.
To be honest, I don’t have any advice when it comes to potty training. This is just my story and I have no idea if it will repeat itself in a year or so when it’s Harry’s turn. I’m not looking forward to it but at least I know what to expect. At least I now know that my children will graduate high school in Hanes instead of Huggies.
Keep reading for the “conclusion” (if there ever really is a conclusion to this story) –> Reflections on Addison: Conclusion