Okay, about the potties...I know you've all been desperate to hear about the experience so far. Well, here goes...
Let me start with Plan A. A is for Ambitious. Here are the thoughts that formed the framework for Plan A: 1. I want to train them all at the same time so peer pressure can work in my favor. 2. I want to go straight to underwear so when they go they know it, they don't like it, and they'll want to use the potty next time. Pull-ups are just going to slow the whole process down! 3. I want to reward them for success, but not scold them for failure. I expect a lot of accidents, and that's okay! Doesn't it sound like a great plan?
So I acquired 4 potties (We borrowed 2 of them. Thank you kind friends!) and I set a date. I picked the first Monday of November. Halloween was over. There was no Ladies Bible Class that week. I could stay home the whole week and devote all my time to potty training! Genius, right?
Now, I had been talking to the kids about the potties forever, and everyone but Zachary seemed pretty pumped about the idea. So Monday morning, we got up, we ate breakfast, and then I said, "Who wants to wear big underwear today and go in the potty?!?" Everyone was excited! I let each child pick out a pair of undies, and we shucked the diapers and put them on. I did not give them any pants to wear.
Then I said, "Who wants to go sit on the potty?!?" We ran to the bathroom, and I helped them pull their undies down. None of them liked having them around their ankles, so they kicked them all off in the floor. They sat on the potties. Nothing happened. "Nobody needs to go potty? No? Okay, we'll try again later." At that point the boys decided they'd rather not put the undies back on. Naked is much better! Reagan really wanted hers though, at least for a little while.
The rest of the morning passed in a blur of accidents that couldn't always be matched with a corresponding child, lots of trips to the potty, many encouraging words, and two successful pottiers (Jonathan and Thomas), but ended with one of my success stories in tears and begging me to get him a diaper, please! Heartbreaking!
By naptime, all four children were back in diapers. And they have been ever since. Here's what I learned from my Ambitious morning:
1. Some kids can have accidents all day long and hardly notice. They just don't care. At least not yet. For these kids, nudity is useless.
2. For other kids, having an accident on yourself can be more than just yucky. It can be terrifying if you're 2 and new to this whole new big kid potty world.
3. A terrified toddler who delightedly sat on the potty this morning, doesn't want to go anywhere near it in the afternoon, even if he got M&M's and stickers for his morning success and knows he could get more.
4. Perhaps Pull-ups are not such a bad idea after all.
5. Perhaps it's time for a new plan.
So I have since instituted Plan B. B is for Back Off. We are staying in our diapers for awhile. The potties are still there in the bathroom. The bathroom door is always open, so the kids can see them anytime they want. Occasionally I bring them up to see if anyone is interested. Occasionally they mention wanting to sit on the potty and I happily assist in that process. I'm not pushing anything, for now. I have gotten Thomas to sit on the potty with his clothes on. That's a step in the right direction. I don't think Zachary has sat on it once since the very first time Monday morning. He simply doesn't care one bit about it. We'll do this a little while longer, and then move on to Plan C. C is for Cautious. It involves Pull-ups. I'm considering moving just one child to plan C, maybe Jonathan or Reagan, and leaving the others in Plan B land a little longer. They will be allowed to enter Plan C land whenever they want, but right now I'm thinking that once you enter the land of Plan C, there's no going back to the land of Plan B.
Disclaimer: All plans are subject to change at any moment and without warning. All changes will be related to the reader after the change is already in affect.
3 months ago