Happy New Year! Nothing like starting the new year with potty mouth!
So we (finally) started potty training in earnest last week. We had sticker charts with star, dinosaur, and birthday stickers. We had the promise of dinosaur toys. We had friends and family ready on the phone and Skype to praise progress. We had not one but two new training potties standing by along with an insert for the big toilet we already had. We had brand new big boy underpants and pull-ups by the dozens. We were ready!
And it was AWFUL! By the end of a VERY unsuccessful week, J was in tears every time he had a bowel movement, screaming at me in terror not to "stop my poops, please! Please Mommy, please!" It was, as they say here, pitiful, bless his heart.
By week's end, I was desperately scouring the internet for book recommendations and planning a trip to our local library to check out every possible potty training book they had (when in doubt, research!) and every happy children's book on potties to shower on Toddler J as part of a not so subtle PR campaign for my bereft child. We had made zero progress and, I felt, were probably scarring Toddler J for life with all the negative associations going on. We had had few successes and many "accidents" of epic, smelly proportions that left both of us crying for diapers and one of us scouring more surfaces than should ever be involved in any such endeavor.
And then Monday came. And, somehow, by a miracle of timing, we were able to make some progress and poop in the potty. And, somehow, by a miracle of cognition, J realized that so doing could earn him a dinosaur. And, somehow, by a simple miracle, J decided he could, in fact, do this thing without screaming and crying and combat. By the middle of the week, he was running in to tell me he needed to go and rushing off right after to get his dinosaur prize, pleased as he could be. We're doing things in "sessions," not all at once, to keep the pressure off, but I think we will be lengthening our sessions and moving ahead much more quickly now that he is on board.
Of course, we have had one small problem that remains: the dinosaurs we have been giving him are from Target's dollar spot. They were meant to be prizes for a week of progress but, in desperation, I offered him one when we had made any progress at all. And now, I'm stuck, because he wants one every time and I think we need to stick with what's working for at least two weeks or so, but I am fast running out of dinosaurs and Target no longer stocks them. Oops! Enter Amazon, of course, where they not only sell all kinds of collections of dinosaurs for relatively cheap, they even have similarly sized dinosaur skeletons, and J has recently become fascinated with fossils, so these are also a perfect prize. The whole endeavor will end up costing us more than we planned, but can you really put a price on bathroom independence?? I think not!