10 July 2008

i knew i would jinx it somehow

We've started potty training Evan, and I've been holding off on writing about it here, because I knew that as soon as I proclaimed to the Internet that Evan was really doing well at potty training, he would stop doing well, because that's the way things go in my life.

It turns out I was wrong. He hit a speed bump in the potty training today, after all I did was think about writing about it. I don't know what I did in my last life to end up with such ridiculously bad luck in this one, but if we're at the point where my thoughts are jinxing things, I'm in trouble.

Anyway, he had been doing well. Really, really well. Greg and I had a big argument a week or two ago in which I firmly insisted that Evan was not ready for potty training, and then about five minutes after yelling at Greg and bursting into tears I realized that it was really me who was not ready. So I decided to suck it up and move forward with the potty training. It couldn't possibly increase the amount of bodily fluids in my life, and might actually reduce them a little bit, so what did I have to lose?

And he was good at it! And so very different from James. James didn't care what it felt like, what it smelled like, he was not going to interrupt his precious playtime to pee on the potty. Thankfully, with James, poo was a different story -- I'm pretty sure he never had a poopy accident after we started potty training. After the last three years, I shouldn't have been surprised that Evan would be the exact opposite.

He's good with the peeing. We let him run naked a lot, now that it's so hot, and he has no hesitations about running upstairs to pee in the potty. A few days ago we even attempted an outing in underpants -- I didn't even bring any diapers with us -- and we returned home from the library clean and dry. We've had a couple of minor accidents, but mostly he's been willing and even enthusiastic about peeing in the potty.

But. There is a but. We are having poo issues. One issue, really, and that is issue is this: my kid would rather poo in his pants -- underwear or diaper, doesn't matter -- than go on the potty. Today he was playing naked and started asking for a diaper. We both knew why. So I had him sit on the potty, and he peed, and then said he was done.

"Don't you need to poop?" I asked.


"Don't you want to try?"

More emphatically: "No."

"Please, can you try? Just try for a minute?"

"I don't want toooooo!"

"What's the matter? Why don't you want to try?"

"I don't want you to see it."

"Do you want me to leave? So you can do it by yourself?"


I start to walk out of the bathroom and notice I have an extra shadow. Before I can stop him he streaks into my bedroom and hops up on my bed.

"No! Don't poop on my bed!"

"Mom, I think I'm ready for a nap."

The little sneak. Since he naps in my bed, I don't let him nap diaperless.

I tried to push it a little longer. I said it wasn't time for a nap, so we went and played for a while, me hoping the whole time that he would give in and use the potty, and Evan determinedly holding it in.

Eventually it was nap time, and I diapered him and we snuggled together and he quickly fell asleep. And an hour and a half later from downstairs I heard little footsteps running out of my bedroom, and heard a door slam. Oh, but it's not what you think; he was not going to use the potty. My little sneak likes to fill his diaper in the privacy of his bedroom, which is exactly what he did.

So I brought him downstairs and changed him and tried to stay positive! And encouraging! And enthusiastic! About how next time he can use the potty! Then, as I do after most diaper changes, I asked him to throw the diaper away. All of a sudden we had a tantrum on our hands.

As an aside, Evan appears to have been taking tantrum lessons from a 12-year-old girl lately. More than once, after putting him in time out, we have heard him sob melodramatically, "No one wants me around!" and today's time out had him wailing about how he never gets to go anywhere. "Why exactly do you think you're in time out?" I asked him. He knew, but I guess he likes to throw dramatic non-sequiturs into his tantrums these days.

Anyway, back to the problem at hand, this poop thing. Anyone with some potty experience have any advice about this? He's so stubborn, I don't want to push it and make a huge issue out of it, but I would just like him to, you know, go in the potty. I'm ready to be done with the diapers already, and he's not helping! What's worse is that he has pooped in the potty, several times. He just seemed to suddenly develop this aversion and I don't have any ideas on what to do. Suggestions?


Karen S. said...

I would try potty training rewards. This worked great potty training our son. He loved pushing the button hearing he is a Big Boy and opening a door to find a chocolate surprise. He really became involved. He was peeing and pooping in his potty within a week. I know every child is different, but have a look and see if this would work for you. www.pottytrainingrewards.com

karen said...

lol - oh, the joys of your life ;) It's funny 'cause one of the "big" issues in developmental psychology right now is how token systems or material rewards aren't the way to go - they don't foster enough intrinsic motivation... blah, blah, blah.

However, even though I can't speak from experience with my own children, I've gone through potty-training working at day-care and another round working as a live-out nanny. Social suggestion (or social pressure) & reward systems have definitely worked best by a vast majority - not always, but mostly. Doesn't Evan want to be like (whomever)? I mean, I'm sure Batman and Obi Wan poop in the toilet... Not always the best way to go, but seeing as how Evan is so socially-conscious for his age, it might work...

And rewards are great - I don't know if you guys use rewards, but Tessa had a star chart - she got to put the star on her chart every time she pooped in the toilet, and 5 stars = a special reward (toy or candy or storytime or she got to choose what game we played...something special to her).

There's also a method that actually strikes me as similar to the "approach and retreat" method to desensitizing horses, but might be worth considering... http://www.drgreene.com/21_762.html.

Anywhose, like I said, haven't been there with my own kids, and Evan certainly is...unique ;) But maybe something there might help???
Good luck! Miss you guys!!

Jessica said...

I wish I had some good advice (I'm thrilled to hear Karen's comment on rewards -- rewards never worked much for Kasia and I thought it was my problem).

Anyway, everyone hits speed bumps, it's part of the process, blah blah, but yes, it sucks to hear when you're in the trenches. I am dreading getting going with the twins (ie switching to panties) because I hated it with Kasia, and I'M not ready. Haven pooped in the potty last night, but yes, I'm the one not ready for the demands on MY time. I'm a lazy mom!