Jan 21, 2016

Adventures in Potty Training, Part I

I have debated about how I wanted to approach this topic for some time. I actually wasn't even sure if I wanted to talk about it at all, but ultimately I decided that I did want to talk about it some. Of course there are details I will leave out and some of the information I share might be vague and broad, but I wanted to talk about it some because this is part of life with kids.

In some ways I was excited to start potty training. I was ready to stop buying diapers. I was ready to stop changing diapers. But at the same time I was terrified. I had no idea how to go about doing it. I did a lot of researching and reading about potty training and all the different methods out there. I knew there was a ton of different methods and everyone seems to suggest something different.

We introduced the small potty chair before she turned three. She was all for it using it occasionally. We mostly worked at using it before nap and bed times. At first she was excited then it wore off and she was no longer interested. We had decided not to push her so we let it go. We asked if she wanted to use the potty but the answer was always the same. We resolved that she just wasn't ready yet so the asking was less frequent.

Not quite a month after she turned three, she came down with a bad case of diaper rash. As we tried to resolve the problem, we reintroduced the potty chair. She was suddenly interested. She would sit and read for awhile. It was then that we knew it was going to take a lot of patience. But the patience was paying off because she was actually using the potty chair. Each time she went she was excited and proud of herself.

But a couple of days into our training, she started asking for diapers. I was exhausted and knew what we were doing wasn't working. I thought she was ready. I thought I was ready but it wasn't working. So I surrendered and put her back in diapers. We left the potty chair out and encouraged her to use it before nap and bed times, but it once again fell by the wayside with the holidays and all the traveling.

After the holidays Rob and I were discussing potty training. Our next big thing coming up was the arrival of Connor and I so desperately wanted her to be out of diapers but we were making no headway. At the same time we noticed that she was too big for the biggest size diapers. They were tight on her and we were sure it was uncomfortable. But that didn't seem to make a difference to her. She just wasn't interested. Addison is cursed with this horrible combination of both me and Rob - she is stubborn and digs her heels in resulting in a massive power struggle with me but also if she doesn't see the point then she'll refuse to do it like Rob. She was fine with how things were so lacked the motivation.

So we decided that we were just going to jump in. We were going to go the weekend without any diapers. They just weren't going to be an option. She wasn't going to see them. They were just going to disappear. She would still wear pull-ups at bed and nap time but otherwise she was going underwear all the way. As much as I wanted her to take the lead, we felt that it was time for us to push a little.

Before she went to bed the day before the diapers disappeared I told her that she was going to wear underwear and use the potty like a big girl all day long and we weren't going to wear diapers anymore. She seemed good with the idea and hurried off to bed. I was definitely ready for her to be potty train and ready to conquer the next day, hoping that it wasn't going to turn into a massive power struggle.

But much to my surprise the day started off great with her going to the bathroom as soon as she got up. But it was never going to be that simple because right after that she refused underwear. Rob explained to her that we didn't have anymore diapers and she needed to put on underwear. Turns out it's just as impossible to reason with a preschooler as it was to reason with a toddler.

But eventually we were able to get her into underwear. It was right about then that I realized all the methods I read about and researched were going right out the window. We were just going to wing it. I did read that the older the kid is the harder it would be potty train because older kids are more stubborn and set in their ways. I definitely believed that but also knew that she wasn't ready when she was younger so we were in a no win situation.

Truthfully I have my husband to thank for the successful day. Addison and I are so much alike that we often got into a power struggle but Rob was used to dealing with me and therefore knew how to deal with Addison. For the first time ever the two of them communicated and worked together better than me and Addison. He was more patient with her. It was almost as if she could sense my hormones and sense my stress and anxiety and that's when it would become a power struggle. Whereas Rob is always more relaxed and she was more at ease with him as she started out. The weekend when Rob was around was definitely the best time for us to take on potty training.

I really just wanted it to work. I just wanted her out of diapers.

Check back next week for Part II of Adventures in Potty Training.

xo, B

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