Monday, August 17, 2009

Two steps forward, one step back

Over the weekend, we ramped up the potty training. Danny has been naked for the better part of a week, using his little potty more and more each day, mostly unprompted. The transition from being naked to wearing underpants or training pants has been more difficult. So far, he's peed on Thomas twice, pooped on Spiderman and sometimes begs for a diaper when he has to poop.

I'm trying hard to not remind him every 10 minutes or so to use the potty. It's tough. A few incidents have illustrated, though, that keeping my mouth shut pays off. We've had surprisingly few accidents, though. When we ignore him, he goes potty without prompting. Jim says Danny is probably like him: he just does things without talking about it.

Saturday morning, I was alone with the kids and needed to get Fiona down for a nap. I debated whether a naked Danny should be left unsupervised. I decided to chance it. While upstairs, I heard him squawking, "Diaper back on, diaper back on." That usually means he has to pee or poop but doesn't want to sit on his potty. I didn't jump up to help him as I had an infant physically attached to me. A few minutes later I heard, "I did it. Poopy in the potty."

I thought, "Hooray, two steps forward."

The next morning, he begged for a diaper, Jim obliged since we were busy cleaning house and voila, he pooped in his diaper. One step back.

Danny is learning how to pull underwear up and down on his own. Two steps forward! The only accidents he's had are when he's wearing them. One step back.

We've tried not to use subversive tactics or force the issue with him. We don't want to put artificial deadlines on him, but we do want our expectations to be clear and firm. However, the last package of diapers is slowly dwindling and I've told him that pretty soon there will be no more diapers. Today I started telling him that diapers are just for nap and nighttime. He told me today, "Sleepy. Go to bed." He had just woken up from his nap an hour earlier.

And as for rewards, he's mostly forgotten about the cars that he received last week for using the potty. I did make the mistake this morning of responding to his whining request for gummy worms by saying, "If you poop in the potty, you can have a gummy worm."

He whined. Then he ran to his potty, sat and angrily chanted "Gummy worm" while he trying to push. Clearly, he doesn't grasp the concept of delayed gratification yet.

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