Monday, September 15, 2014

Will Poop for Chocolate

Back in March, I posted about Benjamin's interest to watch us do all things in the bathroom. I thought I'd update 6 months later on the lack of progress in the toilet training department. We own 3 kiddo potty seats, one kiddo topper and 1 transportable potty seat. We have undies and books and even a urinal he uses to store his bath toys. Remember that composter I regret buying and my husband basically laughing at me? Well, insert an eye roll from me on that urinal purchase here.

All that jazz and well, nada. No shocker here, he's not trained yet. He's officially two-and-a-half years of age and has peed or pooped on the potty about 11 times. Two of those were coerced by physically taking him and sitting him on the potty by Gramie and Dad, so I will accept 9 for the official count as of today. I have some hope for this afternoon, as we'll likely go pantless again as we've been doing when we're home for long periods of time (if he wants).

We're taking a relaxed approach for a few reasons:
1. If he doesn't want to do something, he'll fight us, tooth and nail.
2. I don't have the patience to potty train with an 8-month old and never leave the house. I'd go #crazytown. Also, while the weather is still nice, I refuse not to take advantage.
3. I don't really have a need to hurry him up, because his preschool is cool with changing diapers. Though, in the 7 times he has attended on his own thus far, he has been changed zero times. He does watch other kids use the potty (yay!) and possibly sits on one at school himself?
4. Admittedly, diapers are a little easier when we're out and about so often with just one set of hands and two sets of kiddo hands.

But don't get me wrong. I wish he would just announce he was done with diapers and it be that easy. My timeline is now: must be potty trained by August 2015 for preschool. He will be three-and-a-half. I'm thinking he will be able to do that. But a more strict timeline is currently set for Christmas when Dad is home. We will have lots of time during the holidays with two adults and no place to go in the frigid temps.

Currently, when we're home, we ask him if he'd like to take off his pants and diaper so he can go to the potty when he wants to. Sometimes he's interested, sometimes he's not. If he does go commando (undies failed us), I ask him often if he has to go to the bathroom. The first few times, I was cleaning up puddles left and right. But the last few times and just about all day yesterday, he was dry and peed nowhere but the potty. It's pretty adorable. He usually announces his interest to go potty and goes in and sometimes closes the door. He sits and runs out immediately either holding the potty or announcing his addition to the pot. Sometimes he's lying, but sometimes he's legit! We celebrate, sing a silly song, pick him up, high-five, call his grandparents, stamp a chart... and eat chocolate.

When he successfully pees or poops, he gets 2 "m treats" for pee and 3 for poop. If both, FIVE! He also gets a stamp on his chart and 10 stamps earns him a donut from Dunkin' Donuts. I'm sure you're judging me and you know what? I don't care. We like donuts. He asks for them every time we drive by (everysingleday) and has probably consumed no more than 10 in his lifetime. But they are a huge treat to him, so we thought it would motivate him.

Never thought I'd bust out the teaching supplies for a potty chart.
Bribery? I've seen every parent I know do it. Bribe with food? Terrible parenting, some may say. But I counter with the thought that we're all essentially rewarded for everything we do. Even if intrinsic reward, it's still something you do with the intent to feel a certain way or attain something. While we'd love for Benjamin to feel proud when he uses the potty, he's just not proud enough to keep at it. Stickers mean nothing to this kid. But donuts? The holy grail. And Lord knows he can use the calories, Mr. 18-month shorts.

Problem is, we're fairly convinced that some of this weekend's attempts at potty time were done with the sole interest to get chocolate, and not necessarily because he wanted to relieve his body the proper way. While he did have to go, we do wonder if he was going because he wanted the treats more than the need to go in that very moment like our bodies tell us.

One thing is certain, if you Skype with us or come over for a visit from now until he's ready for big boy undies, he might do a somersault with his boy parts in full view. Just ask my parents. They had a front row seat to the Benjamin naked Olympics yesterday.


Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

Well, that's ELEVEN times more than Grace who is amused by my repeated attempts to get her to pee/poop on the potty.

She's seriously disinterested so I'm not pushing. I shall give her a couple more months and then I'm outta pull ups and she's out of luck ;) My deadline is my return to work in March because I have no idea how I would help her potty train if I'm not all over her to do it. ha!

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

My favourite part of this post by far was the fact that it is marked "Benjamin's Potty Chart" And it looks like the "Benjamin" part of it was added afterwards... so just to be clear, it isn't E's potty chart?

Lillian is starting to show interest but 11 times? Oh I am a rookie. I only put her on when she asks and secretly pray she will hold out til next spring when I can do a naked all day in the yard potty training.

Jenny said... [Reply to comment]

These are indeed reasons to celebrate! All 11 times! It may be easier to concentrate on pee for now, and before winter clothing. Kiddos are pretty smart and he will likely not have accident out and about if you help by watching the time. Both my kid's have certainly peed on a tree or the side bushes at playgrounds. In chilly March temps when Evan was in his first week of learning, I brought a rinsed out recyclable bowl/margarine container so that bum wouldn't have to be so bare in the chill. But snow pants and boots? Yikes! And even now, the little pro will say he has to go, just to visit a store's bathroom... does it have an auto flushed? Hand dryer? The kid has to know ;-)

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Oh I think EVERYONE uses bribery when potty training. If he loves donuts, donuts it is! Finn got an entire train set (that we already owned just had yet to give him) as a reward for going in the potty. Piece by piece he earned it and Benjamin will too. 2.5 is still early, especially for boys. Finn wasn't good about being the one to initiate going to the bathroom until a couple months before turning three.

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

You know where I stand on this whole paying for pee/poop business. I've got no shame. It works for our family, and I hope it works for Benjamin too. Get that donut, boy!

Brie said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
ekiwi said... [Reply to comment]

Go Benjin go! I'm wishing for a donut now. That potty chart reminds me of Q's, which was *just removed (ripped down) by her brother who wasn't even born when she was using it. Yep, I'm the sappy mom who couldn't throw away a potty chart #futurehoardinghouse.

Dianna said... [Reply to comment]

I love this post!

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

lol this makes me laugh. we let Juli go commando most days, and we have success with that and #1. #2 is a bit trickier. some days she's ok with using the potty. some days she holds it or asks me to put on a diaper. i just keep reminding myself that she will outgrow this by the time she's off to college ;)