Subject's Age: 20 months
Gender of Subject: Male
Prior Experience: None
Other information: The Gavmiester is number 3 of 3. He comes from a long line of potty knowledge from watching his older siblings do the "business" daily.
Special Training Agent: Aimee (A.K.A Classified: Mom)
Age: Rather not say
Prior Experience: Has successfully potty trained 1 boy and 1 girl using two drastically different approaches while employed. Will see if this time around as a work-at-home-mom will have any more advantages?
Other information: Despises potty training but realizes that it has to be done either now or in college!
Aimee has successfully potty trained her two prior children- the boy whom we will call "Bubba" at 2 years and 4 months. And a girl- named "Diva DeVill" at 20 months.
These are their stories:
1st Attempt: Bubba's first attempt at potty training was at 18 months old. I knew EVERYTHING about parenting- that was until I became a parent myself. I thought that since he could walk and occasionally talk that he could be potty trained. That failed miserably and ended in tears on my part. He was clearly not ready and neither was I.
Second Attempt: A few months later I tried again around 23 months. He had all the signs that every darn potty book claims: knows when he has to go, knows his potty body parts, hides when he does his "business", can communicate his wants and needs, likes to organize things, and on and on and on. But he was stubborn and was never good with change (nor is he today at 5 years of age.) This time I took on the "keep taking him to the potty when I "think" he has to go" approach. Well, let's just say that every single time I did it was very frustrating! Why? I would sit with him, read him potty books, run water, and sing potty songs. After about 15 minutes we both got tired. I would put his diaper back on and sure enough 5 minutes later he would poo or pee in it! Seriously. I grew exhausted, mainly because I was about 5 months pregnant at the time and he became more discouraged with all of his failures. It was not a good time for either of us. Timing is everything- regardless of what all the "signs" say.
Third Attempt: Bubba was 2 years and 4 months old and his newborn sister was about 3 weeks. I went from changing a little itty bitty newborn tush to changing (what looked like) a monstrous huge hinny! I couldn't do it anymore and most importantly I didn't want to pay for two sets of diapers! That was it- I had to do something! I picked up every potty book known to mom and read. One that inspired me the most was Potty Training For Dummies . It was my Bible of Potty Training. I also took advice from Elmo and his DVD Sesame Street - Elmo's Potty Time. Together we were unstoppable- or were we?
What worked for me: I set aside one weekend and called it "Potty Boot-camp." Well, I told my son it was simply "potty weekend." My son's very complex personality was one issue that I had to tend to while I planned for this weekend. I made a reward chart, purchased his favorite character underwear and stocked up on his favorite candy for a reward. And yes I did reward with candy- not a fan but it sure does work! It also helped to quarantine him to one room in the house where he was allowed to run freely with no pants on! No pants? Yes- it is so much easier for the both of us to see when he was going than it was to guess when he went!
He was stubborn and I wanted the party to start. I allowed him to drink as much watered-down juice, water and Freezy Pops as he wished. The more "accidents"- the more tries- the more successes. I did this from sun up to sun down. I focused the entire weekend on him and nothing else. I made no issues about his failures but threw huge cheer-leading bashes for every success. Yes there were messes, a little bit of set-backs and some feuds. But guess what? In one weekend I successfully trained my little dude!
The story of Diva DeVill. My little angel is a totally different person. She has a very strong can-do personality. I would love to say that I potty trained her, but truth is I didn't entirely. She did most of the work and I was there to supply her with Skittles. The only thing I can say is that I prepped her by introducing the small potty (which she did not use because she went straight for the big one) and read her potty books before she climbed on the toilet herself and went. So yes, there are freak stories like this one out there.
Child #3- The Gavmiester is different than the two above. But I will save that for another day.
So, if you are new to potty training and are looking for advice, or are pro and just needs to laugh at someone else as they go through it... again. Please join me as I capture the ups and downs of potty training yet another child!