So I have to 'fess up. I was late in taking W's monthly pictures this month. I thought about it the day of, but it slipped my mind before the day was through. So, these pictures are from 4 days later! (the 23rd) I'm sure this won't be the first time this happens! I do want to continue to take monthly photos as long as I can!
I also wanted to post about potty training a while ago. The rest of this post is very in detail about our potty training experience with Winston, so if you aren't interested, or don't care to read... please don't! This is more just for my memory, but also for anyone who reads this and may need some advice.
We definitely feel like we were extremely fortunate with how "easy" potty training was with Winston. I think it was in part to his age. We didn't start until days after he turned 3. It may be also in part to him not liking to be wet, dirty, or "yucky."
My potty training plans when this was all going through my head was to potty train him in late July/early August, so that he would be ready before he returned to preschool in late August. I wanted to use the "3 day method" I had heard about. You don't go anywhere for three days and just let your kid run around the house naked and rush him to the potty whenever he starts to pee or poop. Well, my plans were thwarted when my morning sickness hit. There was no way I was going to be able to potty train W amidst the all-day nausea I had for weeks beginning in late July and going through August.
So, he started school not being potty trained. But he is one of the oldest in his class, and only one other kid was already potty trained.
When we had Winston's third birthday party on Sept. 22, his great aunt Wanda gave him big boy underwear as part of his gift. That is what officially got the ball rolling for me. I just decided I would do it my way. I didn't read any books. Just read some tips on-line, and had some advice from friends and family.
When he got home from school on Monday, the 25th, I showed him his big boy underwear and asked him if he wanted to wear it. He did! So we took off all of his other clothes, and just put on his underwear. Before now, we had bought him a little frog potty from Wal-mart and never pressured him into using it. We just kept it in the bathroom, and he would sit on it some, but never actually go. Well, the first time he needed to pee with his big boy underwear, he ran straight to the potty and went! I had to show him how to pull up his underwear (and that took awhile for him to get), but we celebrated, and I gave him an M&M as a reward. That night, he slept in a diaper, which I had planned on him doing for years if needed. Day potty training was my goal. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he put up a fight when he got home and didn't want the underwear, but I told him it was the new rule, and he had to wear it at home. So, he did. Everytime he needed to go potty, he went. (By the way, this was just peeing. He pooped in his diaper at school, or after we put it on him at night).
On Wednesday night, I decided I would take him to church in his big boy underwear, knowing that he had a change of clothes in his cubby downstairs in his preschool room. Shortly after arriving at church, he told me he needed to go. I took him to the little potties right next to his classroom, but he was terrified! He was scared of the flushing sound (even though he loved to flush the toilet at home). They are extremely loud at school compared to most toilets, but even after telling him I wouldn't flush, he still refused to go. We walked down the halls to some other rooms, and he ran ahead of me into the youth room (where no one was, but he was looking for his dad), and then he started screaming and crying. He came out of the room and had wet his pants. He hated it! He hated the feeling of it, and he wanted out of his clothes! I took him back to his room, and wiped him down and changed him into a diaper. We headed up to dinner. When we were finishing up, he ran over to me and said, "I need to go poopy!" I asked him if he wanted to use the potty, and he said no. So I reminded him that he was now wearing a diaper, and he did his business. (Sorry for all the details, but I'm not going to leave much out!) :)
The next day after school, his dad was off work, and Winston was in his underwear, but he had clothes on. His dad took him outside to ride around in his little truck. He had another pee pee accident outside and had to come in and change.
Since that day about a month ago, that was the second and last accident he ever had! I did go to school with him the next morning and made him come into the bathroom with me. I locked him in the stall and made him watch me flush the toilet at least 20 times. By the end he was laughing, but he still didn't want to flush it himself. I had to take him to Wal-Mart later that day, and he had to go to the bathroom. He was wearing his underwear, so I took him to the toilet. He was scared, but I just had to force him to use it. I promised I wouldn't flush (it was automatic).
So the story on pooping! Starting on Thursday, we realized he would just hold his poop all day because he didn't want to poop in the potty. At school, he would pee in the toilet, but he would make a teacher flush after him. He would come home and hold his poop. He would beg for a diaper when he needed to go, but he wouldn't go in the diaper either. He just seemed traumatized. That Thursday, luckily while Elle was napping, I moved his little potty into the main room and started the DVD "Elmo's Potty Time." It's a pretty long DVD, maybe an hour or more! He was on the potty the whole time, enjoying the DVD, but also crying whenever he felt the urge. I sat on the floor next to him rubbing his back telling him it was okay! Just relax! You can do it! Right at the end of the DVD, he went! He was so excited and couldn't wait to dump and flush! He earned 5 M&M's. No matter the excitement of that first time, he was terrified every time after it anyway. He would wait til bedtime and his tummy would be hurting but it would take forever for him to go! It was sad, traumatizing, exhausting, and frustrating for us and him all at the same time! One night, he just went to bed without taking care of his business, and he just woke up crying every so often. It was awful. Blake and I were SO frustrated, we didn't know what to do.
The next those nights googling, hoping for people that had the same problem and could offer advice. The first thing I tried, and this sounds crazy, but it worked for another mom, was to tell Winston that the poop missed his mommy and daddy and had to get out and be flushed so that he could go find his mommy and daddy. (We had already tried explaining that it was waste, and that he needed to flush it down the pipes and go to the waste treatment center.) Another good piece of advice was just to leave your kid alone in the bathroom. They need privacy! I was always sitting right beside him talking him through it, reading books to him, encouraging him. Too early to wake up on Tuesday morning, Winston trekked into our room saying his tummy hurt and he had to go. He needed to go but wouldn't. Blake and I were beyond frustrated. Blake took him in the bathroom and said he would be right back. I told Blake to close the door to the bathroom and to not go back in. I was still laying in bed and Blake went to another room. Winston screamed and cried that he couldn't do it, and kept yelling for me to come in there. I held my ground, and wouldn't let Blake go in either. Within 15 minutes, Winston was happily screaming, "I did it! I went poopy!" We ran into the bathroom, and sure enough, he had gone. We were thrilled! That afternoon he had an allergist appointment. I was hoping that poop wouldn't be a factor, but as we were waiting for the doctor, Winston said he needed to go. To make a long story a little shorter, we made about 6 trips back and forth to the potty from our room (where the doctor was taking waaaaay too long to come see us anyway). I finally told Winston he obviously wasn't going to go poopy in the potty. When he said he needed to go again, I rushed him back to the potty, but he had already gone some. Luckily, I had diapers in the car that the preschool had given back to me because he didn't use them anymore there. I left him on the toilet, told a nurse, and ran to the car. I came back to him still crying and sitting on the toilet. I threw away his underwear, wiped him good, and put the diaper on him. We went back to the room to wait for the doctor. Winston did finish pooping in the diaper but he hated every second of it. I told him we weren't leaving the room again, and when the doctor came in, he was like, "Whooo" to the smell. I just laughed and said sorry, I wasn't going to leave the room again because I was scared we would miss him. Fortunately that was the only poop incident we ever head in underwear.
I did keep reading online for other suggestions because it was still holding the poop and taking 20-30 minutes each time to get it out when he did go. The best suggestion I read that worked for us was that a husband and wife had their son run up and down the hallway whenever he felt a poop coming on. He would stop mid running, and run to the potty where he would immediately go. I think it was Thursday night when we first tried the method. It was near bedtime, and we were all just playing around our main room. Winston started his, "I want my diaper. I don't want to go poop!" I looked at Blake (whom I had not yet told about the new method), and said, "Chase him around the house." Blake proceeded to play tag with Winston up and down the hallways and in and out of rooms. Within 5 minutes, Winston ran straight to the bathroom. We waited in anticipation. Less than 2 minutes later, we heard jubilant cries from Winston that he had done the duty! We celebrated with a potty dance and 5 M&M's. For the next couple of days, we used the running method, and it worked great! It was so exciting to find something that worked!
Here we are, about a month later, and eventually all the kinks were worked out. He learned to pull up his underwear and pants all by himself. He is no longer scared of flushing the toilet anywhere. He will go to the bathroom on his own. At home, we only use his frog potty at nighttime. During the day, Winston uses the big potty, flushes, and washes his hands all by himself. I need to mention that just a few days into potty training, Winston refused to wear a diaper at night. He wore a pull up for a few nights, but never had an accident, and shortly after went to wearing underwear. We kept his potty in his room, and he would get up (3 times a night at first) to use the bathroom. In the beginning, we would have to go in to help him pull up his pajamas, but after he got the hang of it, he was doing it himself. He usually just gets up once a night now. He will use the bathroom anywhere, and is very good at holding it if there isn't one nearby or available. The only accidents we had were twice during the first week, and the one poop incident the second week. After the first week, my husband was like, "Is that all there is to potty training?" I told him we got lucky. We had a few frustrating nights the first week, and a hard time the first two weeks with the pooping, but other than that, it has been a breeze.
We hope it lasts, and we hope our other children are just as easy!!