Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tempted to Abandon the Potty Train

For all of you mothers (including my own!) who have nurtured your children through the voyage known as "potty training," let me just say: Kudos To You. I grossly underestimated what mothers worldwide have had to face to accomplish this fete. I also feel a new sense of compassion on mothers whose rapidly aging toddlers are not yet potty trained. I might have ignorantly scoffed at this in the past. Now I know why this happens: potty training is hard work. And if a child is not potty trained, it might not be for lack of trying on the mother's part.

Sigh. We are two+ weeks into hard-core potty training with Max. He's a bright kid. Using a potty is not rocket science. Yet we have made, well, no progress. That's right, not a drop of any type of foul substance yet to make it into the potty. 

I'm hoping for a breakthrough soon with the little guy. Today after ditching the pull-ups and consequently doing 5 loads of laundry (because, well, if said substance is not going into the potty... it has to be going somewhere) and taking many, many unsuccessful trips to the bathroom with Max, I plopped down on the couch, let out an audible sigh and began to chant to myself: Someday, my child will accomplish this skill. I must help him do this if he is to be a normally functioning member of society. He will eventually be potty trained. This cannot go on forever. 

One day soon, Max and I ARE going to get something into that potty. Maybe tomorrow I'll pour some lemonade in there just to make us both feel better. Or maybe not. Sigh.


Jonathan said...

Hi Cherissa,

Hang in there! And that might mean taking a break. :) I had two false starts with Jonathan when I tried it for a short time and realized we just were not ready yet. And then I took time off. Like, a couple of months. When we tried it right after he turned three, the breakthrough was on the third (I think?) day and he had it by day five. And it was HARD. But we did it!

All this to say, if you decide to take a break for awhile, you haven't failed! It's OK! And if you decide to keep going, my hat's off to you! It's hard, there's no doubt about it.

Love ya,

Amanda Weber said...

Hey Riss,
I konw it's tough. Riley and Claire both weren't successful until we took the pull-ups away. They knew a pull-up was basically a diaper and treated it that way. Getting them panties convinced them that they really were a big girl just like Mommy. It was nearly immediate success once they were in panties. Of course, Claire still pees on the couch about weekly, but does really well most of the time.
I hear boys are different and might be more dificult to train, but I think if you give it a week and it doesn't take, you might want to take a month or so break, as much for your own sanity as for making sure Max is really ready.
I never read it, but you could check out a book called Potty Train Your Child In a Day, or something like that. Everyone I talked to who used that book were successful. I just didn't feel I had the energy to do such intense training.
Hope some of this is helpful!

Sarahndipity said...

I started and stopped with Ethan THREE times before it started to make sense to him! He just didn't get it for a while. (He still doesn't get it fully.)
Our potty training journey began at two and a half, and I would say we're STILL potty training a year later. By that, I don't want to discourage you, but suggest that you take it in stride. Do what you gotta do to stay sane, and by that I especially mean resist comparing your kid to everyone else's. The important thing is that he becomes more aware of his body (and bodily functions) and take responsibility for staying "clean and dry", as we say in our house.
At least to me, that sounds like a really big thing for a three-year-old to master, so when I say it took over a year for Ethan to do that, I think that's a spectacular accomplishment. I feel really proud of him.

Pat, Sarah, & Will Smits.... said...

ohhhhhhhhhhh! I feel your pain! And I want to say "it will happen and just click one day when they are ready!".... but as much as I heard this during our FIVE month adventure It was NO helpful and encouraging.... BUT, the pee part i do feel a bit like I "trained" him to, bur the poop, it just "clicked" for him abd he decided to do it!

My advice is GO NAKED! :)

The Hargett Family said...

Cherissa - I feel your pain! We had a really hard time with Matt. He was staying dry overnight, but nothing in the potty. Finally, one Sunday evening, I was like - we are not leaving this bathroom until you go in the potty. My poor child sat on the toilet for TWO HOURS. I was fit to be tied. He had juice box after juice box - every book on the bookshelf and I knew that he just had to go. Finally I told him, you are not leaving the bathroom until you go in the potty. I left the bathroom and went and sat on the couch with my mother-in-law who could see my frustration....

Then all of a sudden, I could hear that distinctive "going in the potty noise". Turns out he wanted to be a big boy... I had him sitting on the potty and he wanted to stand up and wanted privacy (he wouldn't go if I was in the bathroom for the first several months). After that -- he didn't have an accident for over a year, until that whole "get a new sibling regression" thing...

Hang in there -- he'll get there. I'm hoping that Matt will teach his little brother... and I get off easy with #2! ;0 Here's hoping!

John and Janel Breitenstein said...

LOL--and my prayers are with you. I have spent a total of x months of my life potty training my bright children (that number will remain concealed until you feel you're ready!), and baby, I feel for you. Hang in there. He will do it before he's in college.

Praying for your Aunt Thelda! Any updates?