Let me give you a brief glimpse as to what potty training has brought into our lives with a small scene from this morning:
Connor: Mom, come and see, I peed in the toilet....I need a wipe. Where are the wipes?
I have had to remove all toilet paper from their regular and convenient location, as Abi found it most useful to use an entire roll of toilet paper when she used the toilet, thus costing us $400 to have a plumber come out and snake our main sewage line because our basement had begun to flood regularly due to the blockage.
Abi runs to the bathroom to see the success of her brother as I tend to a necessary song and dance of "Tomorrow" with Carly. There is a whooshing sound from the bathroom, indicating that Abi has flushed the toilet.
Connor: Abi! Argh!!! That is my pee, I get to flush the toilet.
Yes, even flushing the toilet has become a privilege in the house, one that only belongs to the person who actually used the toilet.
Abi (tromping out of the bathroom, puts her hands on her hips): Connor, you are driving me crazy! Go to your room right now!
Connor: Hee-Haw (mimicking Pinnochio and covers his mouth upon determining he is a donkey)
Abi: Is that your underwear? I have my underwear (she has taken a pair of diaper covers from the closet to use this morning...not for long). Look.
They forgive each other so quickly. We forgive each other quickly. That is what is getting me through this whole potty training experience.
I started potty training both of them in April.
No potty train in a day (tried the potty party, didn't fly).
No potty train in a week (I've got some stubborn kids)
No potty training boot camp (sometimes I felt like a drill sergeant though)
Just long, consistent, patient, laundry filled days of nagging and reminding and praising and crying (mostly on my part).
Connor is now 4 1/2 and Abi is 2 1/2. There are ups and downs to each of their ages and the potty training challenges that follow.
With Connor being older, he can take care of himself. After one week of H-E-L-L, he no longer needs me to be there with him. He takes care of it all by himself from start to finish and I don't have to worry about him. LOVELY!!!!!!
Abi still needs me to open the door, pull down her pants, put her on the toilet, help her wipe, take her off of the toilet, remind her to wash her hands (which sometimes I wish I didn't as it turns into a seriously long and wet play-time). Thus taking a very precious 5 minutes from my day (I am saying that sarcastically).
The hardest part was for me. Having Carly still in diapers, and having the diapers in the house, it was easy for me to cave and go back to diapering after a rough day. I would find Connor in Carly's room trying to put on a diaper...same with Abi. And, Abi had started acting like a baby and asking for a binky again....I would find her stealing them from Carly's crib and hiding somewhere to suck on one. I felt like such a mean mom. But I wasn't going to give in. I got rid of all diapers from any area of the house except for Carly's room, and put one of those obnoxious door knob covers on her door to prevent the kids from going in and getting them.
With Connor, the first three days were miserable but I expected the accidents. He knew that if he went potty in the toilet he would get a Transformer. He would tell us all about it...he got the whole reward system. After day three, he just started holding it...all day...painful....crying...misery. I finally held him on the toilet until he produced something and after that it was like a lightbulb turned on and he got it. That weekend we took him to the store to get a Transformer. Connor has mastered the peeing portion. No accidents in a long time. He stays dry through the night. But what he is still struggling with is taking care of #2. I have given him an enima once and he hated it so much, that threatening him with one got us somewhere, but the last few nights he has pooped in his sleep (who does that?). Maybe I need to start pulling out the enima every night before bed to prevent that from becoming a habit. His uncle Ike has told him that if he goes poop in the toilet 5 times, he will take him to see Tranformers...Todd has promised another Transformer. But we make him start over after every accident...even the ones that happen in his sleep.
Abigail continued to have multiple accidents...especially pooping in her panties. It was driving me up a wall. Mostly because she would poop in her panties just minutes after I would have sat her on the toilet. I decided to forgo panties. The panties became the reward (I was SO sick of washing underwear....frankly, I still am). So, wearing dresses every single day and going commando, she has finally grasped the idea that it is best to use the toilet for all of her bodily functions. It is amazing! Without fail, the moment I put panties on her the accidents begin, but no undies and she has no accidents. Good thing she doesn't go to school for a few years, we can work on this some more. She stays dry through the night, but the trick with her is making sure that as soon as I hear her singing in her room in the morning, I rush to put her on the toilet. Otherwise three songs later she has wet the bed.
I am dying with laughter as to the discovery of body parts that has also taken place during this process. Needless to say, Abi and Connor no longer bathe together. At least Connor is using proper terms!
Oh, and one Sunday Carly had an accident so I had to take her home to clean up her little bloody ear. When I returned Todd told me that Abi needed to use the toilet and my friend, Janel, was kind enough to take her to the bathroom. I was horrified! That morning, I was out of clean panties for Abi, so I had put her in a pair of Connor's Transformer underoos. I can only imagine what Janel must have thought of me at that moment.
Needless to say, I have learned my lesson...which reminds me that I should probably go and wash another load of undies right now.