Thursday, July 15, 2010

And The Potty Training Experiment Continues...

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Little Miss turns five in a mere two weeks. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but I know she's thrilled about it (for the record, she's asking for a snorkel and a Star Wars toy for her birthday).

I have other priorities than her birthday, however. Little Miss is still in Pull-Ups.

P0tty training my little girl has not been easy. With Mister Man, we told him how it worked, we told him what he needed to do, and twenty-four hours later, he was in underwe@r 24 hours a day. There are some benefits to having a perfectionist personality.

Little Miss was not so simple. When my parents took the wee ones to Florida a couple years ago while I was at a wedding, my mom put Little Miss in underwe@r and started pushing the issue. She wasn't ready, and I wasn't thrilled.

What I discovered eventually is that Little Miss is perfectly capable of staying dry and using the bathroom, but that she simply doesn't care enough to do so. She's perfectly fine continuing whatever she's doing and using her diaper. And getting wet or dirty? She doesn't care.

We eventually convinced her that she couldn't do swim lessons unless she was out of diapers, and that motivation was the solution for her. Except during naps. And bedtime. And periodic oopses, always of the messy kind.

I finally took away naptime Pull-Ups when I realized that she could indeed stay dry during naptime if she chose but that if she had the Pull-Up, she'd use it. Bedtime - not so much.

We (read: my husband) accidentally put her to bed one night in her underwe@r, and she woke up at 2am saying she had to go potty. Ah-ha! We were golden, or so I naively thought. The next night, sheets were changed somewhere in the o-dark-hundred hours.

Needless to say, we quickly gave up on that idea. And now she's almost five. Less than a month from it, and she's my light sleeper. This is definitely something she's capable of, so I decided to have a conversation with her about it.

Little Miss, you know you can't have sleepvers with your friends if you wear Pull-Ups at night.

I got a blank look.

Peanut, wouldn't it be nice to be able to wear underwe@r all the time and not have to take off your princesses?

She shrugged. Oh yeah... Pull-Ups have fun characters on them now, too.

Little Miss, you know that Mister Man stopped wearing Pull-Ups when he was 3 1/2. How old are you now?

Four and three-quarters.

Hmmm, was Mister Man younger than you when he wore underwe@r at night? Hoping, desperately and obnoxiously hoping that a little competition and sibling rivalry might kick her "anything you can do, I can do better" personality into gear

Three and a half is younger than I am now.

Right, so don't you think it's time for you to stop using Pull-Ups?

But I don't want to!

Well, why on earth not?

Mommy, when I'm sleeping, I'm too lazy to get up to go p0tty. Ummm, are you kidding me? You're four and copping to being lazy? Ohhhhh no.

Just so you know, when you turn five, you will no longer be able to wear Pull-Ups. That is one of your birthday presents, and if we run out of Pull-Ups before then... I'm not buying any more.

Insert whining.

And then we realized on Sunday night at about 7pm that Pull-Ups were all gone. None. Zero. And so we began The Great Underwe@r Experiment.

After soliciting suggestions on Twitter (ahhh how I love Twitter), I grabbed all our spare towels to place under Little Miss while she was sleeping to make changes much easier in case of issues. My husband and I woke her up three times to go p0tty over the course of the night, and ... she stayed dry.

The next night, we had the same routine, and she was dry. Tuesday, she had a solid accident in her underwe@r because she was too busy playing to go p0tty. *sigh* It had been almost a year. Tuesday night, we had the same routine and same outcome. And yesterday? Another accident of the messy variety - while we were out of the house, of course.

This is not an even trade.

Last night, my husband suggested we cut down on the number of times we wake her up. I reluctantly agreed, and she got a mere once a night midnight p0tty call. Amazingly, she was dry this morning yet. That gives me hope, and fingers crossed we aren't trading again today.

So far as I can tell, she has yet to wake up to go on her own. That doesn't bode well for my sleep. I'm ok for now, but once my husband goes back to school at the end of August, I no longer have anyone in the house awake in the middle of the night.

Someone tell me that I'm not setting myself up for massive piles of laundry!


Anonymous July 15, 2010 at 11:36 AM  

My heart goes out to you. I don't have kids but my girlfriends were talking about this she start potty training her daughter and she's at her wits end too. Hugs for both of you.

MaBunny July 15, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

Good luck Michelle. I thought potty training would be easy and it was not. Number two was good to go , but number one at night was not. A just in case - buy a cheap plastic table cloth at the dollar store and put it between the mattress and sheets. It will help save the mattress at least. And if you use Fabulosa? that takes out the smell in case of accidents. it may be a long road - good luck.

Mrs4444 July 16, 2010 at 1:08 AM  

The table cloth (or an old, thin shower curtain works. For what it's worth, I had a student who used to soil himself at school. We would take his clothes to the cognitive disabilities classroom, where an aide who felt sorry for him would wash it all for him. Finally, I decided to nicely tell him that if he needed to have "accidents," that would be okay, but he would be responsible for washing his own underwear and pants. He went from daily incidences to NONE for the rest of the year after that. Maybe if she took responsibility (with support and no judgment, just matter-of-factness) for rinsing/washing her underwear, the issues with "solids" would decline? Just a suggestion-My heart goes out to you. Good luck.

anymommy July 16, 2010 at 10:50 PM  

I can not even tell you how much I hate potty training. May the force be with you. XO.

Melisa Wells July 17, 2010 at 10:06 AM  

I don't think this is going to take long, now that you've jumped in with both feet (and no Pull-ups). Keep your eyes on the prize! :)

septembermom July 17, 2010 at 3:16 PM  

I think your daughter and mine have been trading notes :) We both need luck in this department.

Michelle July 18, 2010 at 12:12 AM  

Patty - Yeah, it's not fun. I'm so not into forcing the issue, but when it's because of laziness?... ugh!

Marcy - Mister Man was totally easy. I just wish she could be ;) And we do have the waterproof mattress pad. Fabulosa though - that one I'll have to look up.

Mrs4444 - Gotta love that one. It's hard to make her clean in the middle of the night when he's half asleep, but she knows we'll have to toss animals if they get ... gross.

Stacey - True. You win. At least I only have to deal with 2. I remember your maps :)

Melisa - Oh you don't know Little Miss. It's not ahhh the most successful so far, but we're sticking with it.

Kelly - No kidding! It's all about the persevearance at this point. She *can* do it. I know that!

Pat July 18, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

I wet the bed and sucked my thumb while twisting and pulling out my hair until I was 5 years old. My mom tried various things to get me to stop sucking my thumb (because it caused hair loss!) and she did lots of laundry. But I recall making the decision myself when I had turned 5 years old, that since I would be starting kindergarten in a few months, I was too old to do either of those things, and so I just stopped the bed-wetting and thumb-sucking at the same time. I really wanted to quit sucking my thumb, because I knew that was totally babyish. And of course, lying on wet sheets wasn't fun either.

Anyway, there's hope!

Michelle July 18, 2010 at 11:23 PM  

Pat - Oh if only it were that easy. She is totally ok with lying in the wet sheets and now is putting blankets atop them to hide them from us. Or at least she did this morning. Poor kid.

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