So how are things going?
First, I didn't really announce the whole start (because, do any of you really care?). I had plans to start the 3-Day PT method on Wednesday, Christmas Eve. The husband would be home and I would be able to somehow have extra hands when sister tries to crawl through the pee all over the floor. Yes, it's happened a few times.
Except, the toddler decided that after weeks of me telling him we were almost out of diapers and that soon we won't have anything other than big boy undies to wear that Monday, 12/22 was the day he would refuse a diaper. We were having friends over for a playdate just an hour later. And the next day we had dentist appointments that would require we be out of the house. Not ideal and not in the plans for the whole 3-Day method. Except, the method was written for kids primarily between 22-30 months. Anything after that (read: my kid at 34 months) would be harder and not ideal. Super. Starting things off on a positive note.
The benefit to having a kid this old to PT? They do know when they are peeing and can tell you all the signs. And if they are anything like Benjamin, they've been casually using the potty on their own for almost a year. Time to get the ball rolling.
First two days of PT were flying solo because Dad was working. We went all-in without pull-ups or diapers at night or naptime. Here's the summary without doing a day-to-day.
Naptime: Woke 6/7 times dry
Bedtime: Called for me 2/7 times after peeing in the middle of the night, slept through the wet or woke up and peed the bed (hard to tell) 3/7 times and woke completely dry 2/7 times. This doesn't bother me. He is not expected to all of a sudden know how to hold in a bladder full of liquid for 12 hours. I'll change sheets as necessary. I have washable pee pads and he's in a toddler bed, so the laundry is much smaller.
Accidents: 6 accidents over two days (day 1 and day 5-- of which I believe he was acting on purpose because his behavior was terrible that day). The other 5 days were completely dry.
Overall: He's been doing okay, but three days was definitely not the magic number. He goes in public toilets and is fine. Perhaps it's the novelty. He'll proudly tell you he goes in the "women's bathroom" because he's partial to Mommy these days (please send wine). I take him whenever we go somewhere (library, Costco, restaurants) to ensure he doesn't have an accident. He is fine wearing the underwear but is particular in selecting the pair. He also prefers the little potties in our house, but occasionally stands up to pee in the big potties. I don't care which he chooses, as long as he is comfortable using foreign toilets when we're out of the house.
The Bad (or should I say annoying): He doesn't tell me often when he has to go, so the whole premise about them owning it is not at all working with Benjamin. I usually get him to go by telling him I'm going potty and want him to come with me. It usually works. He refuses to go when he wakes up from nap or nighttime and had two consecutive accidents because of this. He also occasionally flat-out tells me NO when I ask him to go potty (because I know he has to be holding it in! Ah, life with a "spirited child").
On the 3-Day PT Method:
- I clearly don't have the poster child for this program. Three days (multiplied by 50?).
- The whole premise is to ditch all forms of a crutch and go head first. Fine. I'm cool with changing peed bedding (it's only pee).
- You are to be near your child and notice when they start to have an accident and run them to the bathroom, getting pee all over your house in the process. Also fine. I understand that it's teaching the kid that pee only goes in the potty and no where else, at the expense of your hardwood floors and carpeting and the baby who will absolutely crawl through it.
- Verbally congratulate them (at obnoxious levels) for using the potty, even if it started as an accident, congratulating for keeping their underwear dry and reminding them to tell you when they need to go (like 100x a day). No questions, only statements. Also fine, except I can count on one hand how many times Benjamin has told me he needed to go on his own. The rest were me convincing him he needed to go when I know he did (judging by liquid consumption).
- Lots of liquids. I find this the trickiest. Pump them with lots of favorite beverages and then halt them a couple hours before sleep time. That means he only gets liquids for two, 3-hr periods a day. It's really hard to manage that! And, I can't just force liquids upon him. He's nearly 3 and seriously gives me the back off, MOM look whenever I try. It's exhausting getting him to eat or drink anything.
We're in it. We're not wavering. It may take forever from here, but we're committed.
Things I'm nervous about:
School starts back up January 6. He's been fighting school (because it's not on his terms, not because he doesn't actually like it) and getting dropped off. He will have been diaperless for 15 days and seriously can hold his bladder like a champ, so I'm not too worried. However, it is 2.5 hours long and he does go early in the morning and there is a chance he could have an accident because he refuses to pee when he wakes. On the flipside, it is preschool and something tells me his school has seen their fair share of accidents (after all, where do you learn if not there?), but I'm nervous. I might try to walk him in myself and have him use the potty before dropping him in his classroom each morning. But ugh! Then I lose the luxury of the dropoff service and have to schlep Claire out of the car in the coldest month of the year. I really, really think putting him in pull-ups is a poor choice and won't do it. I'd honestly rather keep him home.
We will also be traveling to Whistler in two weeks with good friends and Benjamin will be sharing a room with their daughter who is also almost 3. I don't want him waking her in the night because he peed the bed, so despite all the encouragement to eliminate all diapers, I'm going to tell him that in other houses and special hotels that we must wear these pull-ups (using a decoy name) because the owners make us. I'll even generate a note and hang it on the wall so he knows. Just so it's situational and not a regression. Like most kids his age, he loves pointing out rules and think that will go over fine.
**I posted this at naptime. End of Day 8 went swimmingly. He actually told me twice today when he had to go and went on his own ("Turn the lights on and close the door, Mommy"-- been telling us this for months). Rewards are really working. Every positive thing I give him (TV, treats, computer time) is followed by "because you've been so great at going in the potty and keeping your underwear dry!" I make sure to reward him even when only a pee-- noticed that the first few days he was forcing out mini poops because he was somehow under the impression that poop is more impressive. I've been obnoxiously complimenting his pee-only times as well to curb this. Seems like he's really starting to own this. Also took all his clothes off tonight and took his own shower (just needed help turning on to get correct temperature). Yay?!
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