Saturday, November 15, 2014

Batman Undies for the WIN

A few months ago Matt and I started toying with the idea of teaching Harrison to use the big boy potty. 

1) He's a bright kiddo and we knew he was more than capable of putting the pieces together.
2) The longer and heavier he got, the more cumbersome diaper duty was becoming.
3) I'd been on the receiving end of one too many toddler round house kicks.

We broke out our hand-me-down potty chair (eeewww that sounds terrible) and let H start familiarizing himself with it.  And my "familiarize" I totally mean close the lid, climb onto and jump off over and over again.  I won't even call it a half-hearted attempt on our part...but the idea (and the potty) remained a constant part of our home.  "Maybe next weekend" became "Maybe the next." Then that transitioned into "Maybe once the rest of our craziness settles down a bit."  Then one day we landed on "after our vacation."

Matt and I had the opportunity to spend the last week of October relaxing and reconnecting on a MUCH needed vacation in the Dominican Republic.  It was an amazing week filled with sunshine, salt water and amazing friends and family.  In all of our post vacation bliss, we almost-kind-of-sort-of forgot about those big potty training plans.  Then at about 10:00 on the following Friday night I spotted our little potty tucked discretely under a chair and announced "Oh crap!  We need to potty train....TOMORROW!"  Nothing like being prepared!  We scrounged up some toys/stickers/candy that we had been tucking away for this very occasion and threw them into what became known as the Potty Prize Bowl and braced ourselves for what the following day would bring.

{Disclaimer} By no means would I EVER call myself a potty training expert.  I took words of advice from some wise and experienced mamas and pieced them together into something that I thought would work for us.  We tried things that proved ineffective (for us) and others that seemed to really click with our little man. Through a series of trial and error we managed to not only survive the weekend, but also to send a little big boy to school just 2 days later wearing Batman undies.  Yes, there are still accidents here and there...sometimes more our fault than his, but the progress that H has made in the past 7 days has this mama feeling SO very proud.

{Here's the skinny on how it all went down}

{Day 1} Lord help us all.

Our first approach at training consisted of lots of fluids and mandated visits to the potty every 10 minutes.  Turns out that H only wanted to pee at 4 minutes or 13 minutes and we spent most of the day cleaning puddles up off the floor.   The concept of the Potty Prize Bowl totally backfired on us on Day 1.  The general premise made total sense in my adult brain.  Go potty.  Get a reward.  Simple enough, right?  WRONG.  I didn't think about the whole "what happens when he DOESN'T go" part of the picture.  H wasn't on board with my whole "high-five for trying" concept...he was dead set on getting those Smarties or "Spiderman candy" (Pez).  He refused to get off of the potty and as a result it felt like 99% of the day was spent just sitting, hoping that he would eventually pee.  Not a very effective way of teaching him to recognize when he has to go.   Day 1 brought with it more tears that I had bargained for and by 1:00 we were ALL ready for naps.  

Someday he'll appreciate me sharing this, yes?

Final verdict of day 1?  Lots of tears.  Lots of messes.  A few successes here and there.  BOAT LOADS of celebrating when the stars aligned and potty hit the potty.

{Day 2} Light at the end of the tunnel.

I have to be completely honest here.  When I woke up on Sunday morning, I had to talk myself out of quitting.  I was confident that we couldn't handle a repeat of day 1....not only the accident part, but the sad little boy who just wanted to wear his diaper part.  I was sad for Harrison and my heart knew that if this whole potty training thing was going to work, we had to try something different.  

On day 2 we decided to say farewell to timers and constant fluids.  That approach might work for some, but the whole process seemed a little too "regimented" for us.  Instead we decided to let H run the show (or at least to let him FEEL like he was.)  We reminded him 8 million times that day to tell us when he had to go potty.  We asked him another 2 million times if he needed to go.  If large chunks of time passed with no word from him, we would suggest "trying," but for the most part we let H dictate when he took potty breaks.

Holy crap, it worked.  Successful trips to the potty far outweighed accidents on day 2.  He peed.  He pooped.  We danced.  We high-fived.  We fed sugar highs with more sugar.  It was amazing.  We were SO proud of H and the look on his face with each success told us that he felt the same pride in his accomplishments.

{Days 3, 4 & 5}

Coming off of such a productive day 2, my mama's heart was a little anxious about what came next.  Day 3 was a Monday.  Monday means daycare.  Daycare means (generally speaking) that you need to wear pants!  With a little reassurance from Miss Holley at Harry's school, we headed out the door that morning with a little boy in big boy undies.  Oh my goodness was I ever nervous.  Nervous for him.  Nervous for the day.  Nervous for his teachers.  It was only day 3 and I had no idea what to expect.  I resisted the urge to call all day long and mentally prepared myself for the worst, hoping to be pleasantly surprised!  Low and behold, people, Harrison Paul Ritchie did fantastic.  He had a few accidents, but nothing like I expected with all of the distractions of school. 

Each day has gotten a little better.  There have been moments where I feel like we're back sliding, mostly when he's overly tired.  There is still room for improvement when it comes to him initiating potty breaks rather than needing to be asked, and also on "hitting his mark" rather than spraying over the rim (he's a sitter), but all things considered, I'm beyond impressed by his progress.  We still have to tackle naptime and bedtime, but for now we're taking it one step at a time. We've come full circle to another Saturday, and last weekend's fiasco seems like a world away.  

Some of my favorite "Harrisonisms" from our week of potty training....

"No Stella!  Don't drink my potty!" as our pup walked past while he was going to the bathroom.

"I eat it.  No, Grandma eat it." as he admired his #2.

"Undies NO go on my bottom!  They go on my head!"

"Come on daddy, I go push my penis down!"

Nothing like mixing a little humor in with the craziness!  We love you sweet Harrison and are so very proud of the BIG BOY that you have become!  Here's to the start of another good week.


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