When we moved to this house three months ago I decided to give away my cloth diapers and switch to disposables, because I was planning on potty-training DS as soon as the dust settled from the move. But I’ve been procrastinating ever since and finally decided it was time to get down to business.
The first thing I discovered is that potty-learning for boys is not quite the same as it is for girls. With girls you just let them run naked around the place and every time they pee it goes all over their legs – good incentive to use the potty. But I quickly discovered that for a boy, peeing while naked is not only comfortable, it’s a sporting event!
A friend gave me a great technique that worked for both her boys. It’s basically quitting cold turkey and making repeated trips to the toilet throughout the day until the kid makes the connection. Unfortunately, DS adamantly refuses to sit on the toilet and it was starting to become a real battle. I quickly dropped it and decided to let the discomfort of wet pants work it’s magic. Three days ago I started him in underpants, after talking with him about it for about a week or so. He didn’t cease to remind me how much he *didn’t* want to wear underpants, and now that we’re in the thick of it he’s holding his ground.
I figured after a couple days of peeing his pants he’d decide that sitting on the toilet is the easier route to go. But we’re at the end of three days now and the only change I’m noticing is that he appears to be getting used to peeing himself. The first couple times it happened he got upset, but today he’s peed his pants about 5 times and the only reaction was “mamaaaaa! I got pee pee!” (as in, “clean up, aisle 6!”). Then he calmly waits while I mop up the puddles, wipe him down, and put dry clothes on him. He’s even decided he likes his underpants, but still he absolutely refuses to go anywhere near the potty, despite having his father entice him with the man-bonding option of peeing together. He’s also been pretty crabby since we started this project, despite getting a great night’s sleep each night, and I worry that I’m stressing him out by all this. Perhaps he’s just not ready (after all, he will at some point in his life make the decision on his own) and I should just wait. But darnit…I don’t want to! I’m sick of diapers. And besides, while he may be only just 3 he looks like he’s almost 5 and it’s embarrassing (yes, I’m shallow).
I think I have no choice now but to up the ante. Yep, it’s time to resort to bribery. Hey, even Alfie Kohn (I’m a big fan) says it’s okay to use rewards with potty-training. So this weekend I’m going to go buy some stickers and maybe some little treats and see if I can’t convince him to give it a whirl. The only problem is that DD freaks when she sees him getting a little somethin’ and she’s not in on the treat. Hey, I just came up with a good idea – maybe I could give DD a treat when she uses the potty. She could be a role model. Yeah! Now who wants to bet that DD suddenly starts drinking water like a desert survivor so she can pee ten times a day.