Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gopeepeegetatreat!

As soon as the kitchen reno and Virginia Beach vacation were behind us I decided it was time to start potty training Jude.  I think a few people were surprised, including my husband who, after watching me clean up the fifth puddle that Saturday asked, "Are you sure you want to be doing this right now?"  Well, no.  I don't want to potty train right now.  But I also don't want to be changing diapers anymore, or wiping stinky poops, or washing more diapers, or spending money on disposable diapers ... There's nothing fun about potty training, well unless you're Jude and you get lots of treats.  But it needs to be done and Jude was ready.

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Julia is catching up to her brother's size!

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A little less laundry in my future, dare I hope!

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And adding another toddler-who-uses-the-toilet isn't such a big deal when you already have one.  I mean, if I'm going to be running to the bathroom every 15 minutes with Jack, might as well drag Jude along.  So inconvenience wasn't really an issue this time around.  Except for the first few days when I felt like I was constantly wiping up pee puddles and poop smudges from every surface of my house.  Okay, not every surface.  But a fair amount. 

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Both my boys use the potty like this.  I'm not sure how it started but it eliminates the need for training potties, keeps them from falling in AND helps get the pees in the pot!
But there's another advantage to working with a secondborn.  I've done this before.  I know what to expect, I know what not to expect. And I know it gets worse before it gets better.  And that's just what it did.
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Everyone has their own potty training philosophies - how to do it, when to start, when to give up.  We kind of do a modified 3-day training thing and I start when I'm ready (forget the kids!).  But Jude was ready too.  I could tell he was more aware of his "bodily functions," he understand bribery a little better, and he was interested in doing things his big brother could do.  I did want to wait until it got a little warmer though so I could let him run around pantless.  I'm glad I did because that's certainly Jude's M.O. these days.

Now that we're further along in the training, and he's doing so well, I try to put pants on him, I really do.  But he runs away too fast, thinks its a game and sometime between the point where the pants came off and my quest to find their owner I usually get sidetracked with a hungry baby, phone call, oven beeper, etc.  It also doesn't help that a.) my 2YO has the tiniest hiney ever and
without a diaper on can barely hold up his 18MO shorts and b.) he has to wear Tank's hand-me-down underwear which has been stretched way beyond it's normal size.  So Jude's pants fall down just from running ... or jumping.
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Which is why we have a lot of pictures like this lately:
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This was supposed to be Father's Day sidewalk chalk art, but Jude kinda stole the show.

And this, his "refuse to put my pants on" look:
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This one had dire consequences:

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The kid's also got initiative. He's learned how to pull his pants down on his own when he wants to go potty.
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Unfortunately, he's also resourceful and efficient and doesn't like to waste time actually traveling to the bathroom.  He knows he can't pee in the house, but he's learned from his brother that outside is fair game.  He has not learned that he should try to find a bush or tree to hide behind if he can't make it to the bathroom.  Which is why, on more than one occasion, I've found him out front (in wide open view of all our neighbors) watering the flower beds. 

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But other than the (lack of) pants issues, he's doing really, really well.  Just like Jack, the first two days seemed like we were getting no where.  Then finally I managed to keep him on the toilet long enough to actually have a success and ever since then he's got it!  For a while you could tell he was only trying to go potty just for a treat.  He'd sit there and grunt and groan and push.  And when nothing would happen he'd ask for "beep, beep, beeps!" because one time I pushed on his belly button and said "beep, beep, beep" to make him pee.  And when that doesn't work he asks for a cup of water because another time out of sheer exasperation I dumped a cup of cold water over his "front" and wouldn't you know it worked!  So he tries to do that one himself every once in a while. 

So we've got pees down (and the best part is he's almost always dry after naps and nighttime already!) and we've got poops almost down (we're 3 for ohhhh 20? at this point).  But he even stayed dry for Marmie and Poppa during his visit and that was after only one week of training.

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The naked chef.
Yes, "gopeepeegetatreat" is our new favorite "word" in this house.  And you can imagine how this is all affecting my loves-being-the-center-of-attention-firstborn who nows seems to think he deserves a treat for going pee pee in the potty too.  And who regularly reminds me that "Daddy gave me one, two, three, FOUR treats!" when I insist he can only take one.  (Thanks Jon!)

It's funny, I'm mom to three now and I still haven't figured out how to balance my time and attention among two.  I try to be fair, I want to be fair.  But then I need to remind myself that my kids are different.  They have different needs, they receive love in different ways.  And it's about this time - especially during weeks that I'm busy with work, Jon's gone a lot, we're trying to get ready for more travel, potty training a 2YO and trying to keep up with my baby's nutritutional needs - that I lay awake at night and wonder "Did I love them enough today? Did I give Jack my full attention when he talked to me? Did hold Jude a few extra minutes after his nap? Did I take the time to get a good laugh out of Julia? Did I attempt to answer at least a few of Jack's 843 'Why' questions? When was the last time I sat down and read to Jude, just Jude? What else can I do to make sure Julia's getting enough milk?" ... and on and on until I finally fall asleep.

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We're still working on sitting still while using the potty ... and waiting long enough to "get it all out."
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But apparently just sitting there is too boring.
And the honest answer is "no, not enough, never."  I try, oh I try.  And some days I am on it, and other days I completely blow it.  And some weeks (like this one) I seem to fall more on the "blow it" side of the spectrum.  If nothing else, motherhood has shown me how wholly inadequate I am.  The truth is I can't do it on my own, but for the grace of God.  Thankfully He covers what I can't.  And He goes way beyond all those scientific studies about reading to your kids, nutritional benefits of breastfeeding and the everlasting effects of one-on-one time.  Oh those things are all good, but they don't define me as a mother.  So I'll continue to do my best, I'll continue to fail occasionally ... or often, and I'll continue to rely on God's grace to cover the rest.

Wow. Not sure how I got to this point from "pee pee on the potty get a treat" so in an effort to bring things full circle I'll just mention that while it's been a difficult week and I've had more than my share of "failures" these past few days, at least one area has been a success.  I'm so stinkin' proud of my "big boy" (but not as big as Jack, his older brother would remind me) and the great job he's doing!  It's nice to know that, while Jude may have issues when he's older because his mom didn't read to him nearly as much as her firstborn, at least he'll be an expert at peeing on the potty!

1 comment:

lindsay said...

ohmygoodness, i laughed so hard at SO many points of this post! the joys of potty training c: one kid i work with is obsessed with pickles, so they are being withheld and replaced with a, 'gopooponthetoiletandgetapickle' word c;

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