As most of you know, I have boy/girl twins. They will be four in September. Yup, FOUR and I am sitting here still discussing potty training. It is my biggest raising-toddlers-nightmare.
I am much older than my brother and sister, so it was not that long ago that my mom was potty training them. In fact, one of my most vivid memories of it was my mom begging: “All mommy wants is for you to be potty trained! Please!” I thought at the time: “Hmmm…this is really stressing her out. Not her usual parenting style. This must not be easy, this whole potty-training thing.” I apparently was very easy to train (of course I love to point that out to my siblings – I tell them it clearly shows I am much smarter than they are). I wondered who my kids would take after.
Clearly not their momma.
I began my potty training venture kind of slowly. I was of the mindset that when they are ready, they will start. No pressure. No pushing. Take it in stride, momma. It will all happen in good time. (Not sure where this hippie, zen-like attitude came from. Probably fear. Yes, definitely fear.) When they were 2 1/2, I had to find daycare/preschool for two days a week. I found a great preschool that started at 2 but they HAD to be potty trained. That was March 2011. I found another great, albeit much more expensive, school that would take them NOT trained. Great! My can-do attitude was working! Fast forward a few months to September. A week before they turned three, Delaney tells me she is DONE with diapers and only wanted to wear panties. So help me God, the girl never looked back. Besides a few constipation issues with her, she was totally trained in a few days. Never even had an accident. And she never needed to be asked or reminded – she just went. I smugly tell myself – “Haha! My laid back approach paid off! She was so easy to train! And peer pressure will rear its ugly head and Cooper will be trained by Thanksgiving! Yahoo! No more diapers AND a cheaper school? Momma can buy a new pair of shoes with all the money I will be saving!” Doing the happy dance to myself.
I swear I never learn. What is wrong with me? Cooper was not really showing interest, except for the half-dozen times he would randomly announce he was going to poop on the little potty. And he did! So I figured, hey, pooping is usually the hardest to overcome. If he is doing this, peeing is right around the corner!
Not only did peeing NOT come, the pooping in the potty stopped all together. I maintained my laid back approach, though. Finally, at 3 1/2 he was still using diapers. When my contract at work ended in March, I decided that was it. Underwear every day all day; diapers only at bedtime.
I have to admit, he was a little champ that first week. He had maybe 3 accidents the entire week. It took me 4 days to notice he hadn’t pooped during the day – only at night, the moment he got a diaper on. I asked him why he was not pooping on the potty. He said he did not want to, that he was scared. Again, I figured it would pass. Unfortunately, it did not pass, it only got to the point where he had to poop during the day, and would just go in his underwear. After a week of that, I could not take it any more, and I put him in pull-ups. He could still pee on the potty, but if he pooped I would not be throwing away all of the underwear. Win-win, right? He will poop when he is ready, right?
Not yet! My laid back approach is quickly fading and being replaced with impending doom and panic. The summer camp I wanted to sign them up for will not take them if they are not potty trained, so now camp is out. I thought maybe that would give him the push, but it has not. I bought him a much-coveted SpiderMan mask. I showed it to him and told him once he starts pooping on the potty every day and wearing big boy underwear, the mask will be his. STILL NOTHING. It has been three months now. Did you all catch that? Three months.
Does anyone have any suggestions, words of wisdom, potty secrets??? Anyone? Bueller?