Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wipe out

Recently, I realized that having a fully potty-trained child (a must for Jack's new school) doesn't just mean they need to be able to pee and poop on their own. It also means they need to be able to wipe themselves. Not such a big deal if you have a kid who only poops once a day, but when you have the Incredible Pooping Machine like I do, this presents a challenge.

I have asked his pediatrician about this, but he says as long as he's healthy and growing, the prolific pooping isn't a problem. I still suspect it's a dairy intolerance, but I am too lazy to take him off all dairy and besides, I am not a crazy person. Taking away cheese and yogurt is like taking away more than half his diet and I am not up for trying to find substitutes (we don't do soy in our house, so not an option) and I really can't spare the brain power it would take to search labels and make sure there wasn't a drop of dairy to be found. Plus my pediatrician says not to take him off milk, so pfffft!

Since he's been pooping in the potty, an adult has always handled the wiping aspect. We found these awesome flushable wipes from Cottonelle (and they're nice for adults, too!) and somehow Jack started calling them Special Wipes and we stocked a box in all three bathrooms and brought them with us in the diaper bag and my purse for bathroom outings outside the house.

But about three weeks ago, I had to face some things. First, we couldn't very well send Jack to school with a box of Special Wipes. The other kids would totally make fun of him. And second, we better teach him to wipe himself because it could be all kinds of awful if he didn't know what to do and just did nothing at all.

So we told him to start wiping himself. Which he did, with serious consideration and careful practice. I am pleased to report the visions I had of poop-smeared toilet seats, toilet bases, walls, sinks and floors did not materialize.

He also adjusted quite nicely to regular old toilet paper. Except for the fact he uses way too much of it. When I say "way too much" please know I really mean "half a roll." I am scared for my plumbing, but Costco is going to love us because we're going through a roll a day in a single bathroom now.

Today, I found out exactly why we're going through that much TP. When Jack emerged from the bathroom late this afternoon, there was a large wet spot on the back of his shorts. Curious to know exactly how that happened, I asked him.

"Mommy," he said, with great animation, "I just take the toilet paper out of the water and I swish it all around the toilet seat!"

I'm sorry, what did you just say? Why would you do that? And the scariest question of all: then what happened?

"Well, Mommy, then I flush it all down the toilet! There was water EVERYWHERE!"

And indeed, there was. So there's six-months-pregnant Mommy on her hands and knees swabbing the poop deck. Literally.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Everybody poops

I now have two, count 'em TWO, children who poop in the potty.

Yes, Emmie went poop in the potty last night. No, I am not kidding. Yes, she is indeed 14 months old. No, I am not the Potty Whisperer.

During her bath, Josh noticed she was getting a little red in the face and starting to stand up in the tub. Because this had happened to him before, and to me just a few days ago, he acted quickly and decisively. He picked her up -- sopping wet -- and put her on the potty. Where she continued what she tried to start in the tub.

Hooray Emmie! First poop in the potty!

Now, if we can only get her to climb up there herself and call us when she's done, we'll be in business.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Great timing for once

Jack has pooped on the potty for the last three days, which, holy hell it's about time. There has been great excitement around these parts as a result. He keeps reminding me "Mommy so happy!" every time we talk about it. So that is great progress.

I, however, have spent the last 24 hours within arms reach of a bathroom because I have contracted a pitiful stomach bug. I didn't feel well all day yesterday, but soldiered on because I was going to Dooce's book signing. And Josh was feeding the kids dinner AND doing bath and bedtime by himself. Which always makes me secretly happy because I have to do it alone three days a week and him doing it once a month is a little taste of what my life is like when he's gone.

Whoa, sorry for the "my life is not fair because my husband travels for work" sidebar there. Back on task.

My illness was so bad I had to leave twice during the book signing/reading. Ick. Borders bookstore bathrooms, however, not so ick. So that's good. Could have been a gas station bathroom, so I have that going for me. Which is nice.

But I spent literally all night getting up and walking the 10 feet to the bathroom and back. Multiple times. Then Jack woke up screaming because he had wet through his pajamas and then I was sick a few more times and on and on ad naseum throughout the day.

But after eating some chicken soup for lunch and chugging a lot of Gatorade, I was feeling a lot better. We had dinner plans at an Italian place in the neighborhood and I lost my damn mind and thought it would be a good idea to order fettuccini alfredo. Because a cream sauce -- that sounds nice and light. Definitely on the bland BRAT diet.

Jack had his favorite meal -- pizza -- and we thought nothing of it. Until it was time for bed and he told us he had to poop on the potty and that his tummy hurt. And then he proceeded to poop 10 times the next hour.

During Bathroom Sit-in No. 9, Josh said, "Well, at least this is getting him over his fear of the potty."

From his lips to God's ears. So if you're looking for a quick way to get your kid pooping in the potty, just infect him with the stomach flu. He'll be a champ in no time.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Missing out no more

Remember when Jack pooped on the potty for the first time back in January? And the heavens opened and sun shone down upon us and everyone was so excited and happy? But I missed it because I was at Target?

Yeah, that never happened again. I wasn't missing out on anything because he wasn't doing anything. We would get very close, but then nothing. On vacation last week, he was so visibly in need of going that we felt bad for him. So bad that we gave him a diaper in the middle of the day.

But last night, he kept telling me "I don't have to poop, Mommy! I don't have to poop!" Which translates to "I really have to poop right now but there is no way I am doing it on the potty so don't even think about it."

In the direct opposite of what every book out there says, I took him in the bathroom and physically held him on the toilet while he cried. Then he calmed down and we read a book and sang some songs and chatted about going poop. He resisted, I persevered.

In the end, 45 minutes after starting the process, my legs were aching from kneeling on the hardwood floor and he actually smiled and laughed while he got the job done.

He got his M&Ms, his special Nemo present we bought just for this purpose when at Disney World and phone calls to the whole family. We clapped and danced and praised and made a huge deal about how awesome he was.

This afternoon, I went through the same song and dance, but this time it only took 25 minutes and he did it again. More praise and candy and presents ensued.

Now I wouldn't recommend this approach to everyone, but knowing my kid and how he responds to things, I knew if I could just get him to do it, he would see it wasn't so bad. But damn, if I am going to have to do this every day, I am going to need to invest in some kneepads.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

He did it!

Last year on Jan. 1, Jack peed on the potty for the first time. I remarked then that 2008 would be the Year of the Potty. And I wasn't far off, as he was daytime potty-trained by July 4. Except he wasn't pooping in the potty. He just waited until naptime and helped himself to a diaper.

Today, he didn't take a nap. I was at Target and he told Daddy that he had to pee on the potty. Josh told him to also try to poop and a minute later, he came out and told Josh, "Poop potty!" Josh didn't believe him, but went in to investigate and low and behold, he had pooped.

HOORAY! There was joy in Mudville and he got the special Diego matchbox cars we have been trying to bribe him with and we made a huge deal about it and called all the various Grandmas and Aunts and he was very proud of himself.

Now let's hope he can do it again tomorrow. I might buy stock in those little Diego cars if he does.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Advice needed please

A parenting dilemma: Jack started crying/screaming that he had to poop on the potty right as I was putting him to bed tonight. He was so insistent that I let him go to the bathroom.

We then sat there for over an hour while he tried, unsuccessfully, to get the job done. I feel like he was being sincere, but maybe couldn't do it for some reason. He's never pooped on the potty, despite being totally out of diapers during the day since July 4.

Josh got home at 9:15 p.m. and said he wouldn't have let it go longer than 10 minutes. I told him he could have a go at it then, if he was so smart. He gave him to the count of five, picked him up and put him to bed. Where he became lunatic-hysterical until I gave him one more chance, then put him back to bed myself. Within two minutes, he was asleep.

So, have we just set him back in the quest for full potty training? Or was it all a ploy to delay his bedtime?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stand up and be a man

Jack has decided he wants to pee standing up now. He's observed and practiced and he's gained a mastery of the equipment, so we let him have at it.

He needs to stand on a stool at home, but he can handle public restrooms pretty well, from what I have observed. I wonder when he'll start asking for urinals in the women's restrooms I take him into?

While I must say it's a little cleaner from the standpoint of not having to worry about the potty seat anymore, I can only imagine the condition of the floors around the toilet in the coming weeks. We have three bathrooms he uses throughout the day, so that's three times the amount of mopping. On an everyday basis. I'm going to need a raise.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Missing: One pair underpants

While I was getting Emmie up from her nap this morning, Jack went pee in the potty all by himself. Awesome!

When I came downstairs, he was naked from the waist down. I saw his shorts in front of the couch and asked him where his big-boy underpants were. He laughed. I started nursing Emmie and had a one-sided 10-minute conversation about where the underpants were.

Twelve hours later, I still haven't found them. I looked everywhere. I really hope for everyone's sake that he didn't flush them.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flip flop

We officially have a stomach-sleeper at 5.5 months.

For the last two nights, Emmie has flipped herself onto her stomach and slept like that for several hours. I know all the blah blah about "back to sleep" but once the kid can turn herself over, all bets are off.

The first time I discovered her sleeping with her face in the crib mattress, I about had a heart attack. But then I looked closely and noticed her face was actually turned to the side and she had a clear airway. So I left her alone, smugly thinking this would be the magic bullet for sleeping through the night.

Of course she made a fool out of me when she woke up two hours later. And two hours after that. And two hours after that. I waved the white flag and brought her in my bed around 2 a.m. and stopped counting how many times she woke me up.

What I haven't stopped counting is the number of times Jack has accidents with the potty training. I am proud to report he didn't have any accidents at all yesterday and had a small one today where he actually realized he was peeing, stopped himself and went into the bathroom to finish -- all on his own. He's even emptying his own potty insert into the big toilet. This Mommy gig is looking up!

I am now only asking him if he has to go once an hour and he is telling me or just going on his own a couple times a day. I know we're by no means done, but I am feeling pretty good about his progress considering he's 2 years 4 months.

Next on the agenda is teaching him how to make the perfect margarita.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

My guy likes to potty all the time

I knew when I painted the downstairs bathroom a soothing light purple that it would come in handy someday. It just so happens I spent the entire weekend staring at the walls in that bathroom while we started the potty training process with Jack.

The color of the walls and the calming effect of the framed Asian art prints put me in the perfect zen state of mind, which is what you need to potty train your 2-year-old son. That and a pedometer to track all the steps you take to and from the bathroom every five minutes.

Saturday morning we all woke up early and we showed Jack his big-boy Nemo underpants and talked up how he was a big boy now and he wouldn't be wearing diapers anymore. The smile on his face was huge and he kept saying, "No dipes! Underpants! Pee potty!" I am pretty sure he got the idea.

We knew he was ready seeing as he's been peeing on the potty like a champ a few times a day since the beginning of January. We're just taking it to an organized level with the underpants. And none of that Pullups shit in this family either. That's just a diaper that's harder to clean in my mind. One of Josh's friends has six kids (no seriously, SIX KIDS -- my head would pop off) and he had them all potty-trained at 2 by sticking them in underwear and letting them feel being wet after peeing themselves. He says having it drip down their legs and make them cold and wet gets the concept across pretty quickly. We went straight for the underpants for exactly that reason -- we wanted him to know when he was wet.

I decided to eschew the trendy potty training method of using a doll for modeling and throwing a potty party with engraved invitations and went straight for setting a timer for every 20 minutes and having him sit on the potty. If it worked for all of our moms, it can work for me.

The first day, he went every time we asked him, twice announced on his own that he had to go, and he had two accidents. Pretty acceptable, if you ask me.

The second day, he went every time we asked him at 30-minute intervals, made three announcements on his own and had two accidents, once of which was our fault for taking him out to dinner. We took a potty seat with us, but somehow he managed to have an accident. If you were dining at Pat's Pizza on Sunday night, I bet you didn't guess that was in the backpack I put on the chair next to me did you?

Today, the third day, he went every time I asked him at 45-minute intervals and even stretched it to over an hour at one point. We ventured out on errands and to the park and he had two accidents. But today he told me four times that he had to "pee potty!" and I think that was progress.

But he's doing such a great job and thriving on all the positive reinforcement and attention. We don't even have to bribe him, he just loves us making a huge deal out of him being a big boy and clapping and saying "yay" and letting him flush the toilet.

But I called my mom today to ask her why Jack wasn't fully getting it. I mean shouldn't he be running to the potty on his own and asking for privacy and grabbing something to read in there by now?

Silly me, I thought when people talked about staying home for a week, it meant after a week your kid would come out using the toilet without any assistance from you. I would have been wrong. My mom laughed at me and told me this is more like a month-long process. The first week is just about getting the idea in their heads.

Well that sucks it. I was only changing four diapers a day. Now I am taking him in the bathroom no less than 12 times a day. I deserve a raise for this increase in responsibility. I should picket.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Everybody poops

For the last two months, Jack and I have a running conversation at naptime that goes like this:

J: Poop?
A: You have to poop?
J: Yes.
A: Well let's poop on the potty!
J: NO POTTY. Poop bed.
A: Buddy, where should you poop? On the potty right?
J: Noooooo. Poop bed!

And when I put him on the potty, he jumps off after peeing and gleefully runs to his room yelling "Poop bed! Poop bed!" Guess what he does 30 seconds after I put him down for his nap -- that's right -- he poops in his bed.

It's driving me crazy because I know he knows when he has to go and is just screwing with me. OK, I know he's not doing it to me, but I would love to get him pooping in the potty. He even knows he'll get candy (M&Ms, which he has never had before except to try them last week so he would know how great they were and therefore would poop in the potty to get them) but does not care. He's been peeing in the potty with no problem several times a day since Jan. 1, but is still in diapers fulltime.

My pediatrician said in February not to go cold turkey with big boy pants and fullout training because it could cause him to withhold. But he's almost 2.5 now -- when is cold turkey acceptable?

He has astonishing regularity, pooping like clockwork in the morning when he wakes up and right before his nap. I was almost thinking about putting the potty chair in his crib right before his nap to see if I could get him to poop like that, but decided that would be unsanitary. Or would it?

And yes, I realize this child is going to need years of therapy someday when he sees I talked about his potty training on the interwebs.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 -- the year of the potty!

So I was all set to post about my husband traveling across the country to see his beloved Illini play in the Rose Bowl, WHEN I AM 36 WEEKS PREGNANT, but we had an outstanding and stupendous development here in Snarky World this afternoon.

Jack peed on the potty!

Last night we were giving him a bath and he started to pee. And then stop. And giggle. And then pee again. Again stop. And giggle. To the tune of about five times. I looked at Josh and said, "That little shit! He totally has bladder control and he's been holding out on us!"

So today when Grandma was changing his diaper, he said, "Pee?" So she ran him downstairs to the potty and he sat down and peed like a champ. I could hear her saying good job so I went in to investigate and there he was, peeing!

We made a HUUUUUUGE deal out of praising him and we let him pour it out into the toilet and flush (one of his favorite things, especially when Mommy is in the shower -- mmmm, chilly!) and he had the biggest the smile on his face. There were phone calls placed to the other Grandma and the Grandpas and his aunt and we even texted Daddy, who was appropriately excited all the way from Pasedena at halftime.

I of course know this means nothing in the grand scheme of potty training, but it was a huge first step. He's been sitting on the potty with no results for a good six months now, so I hope this will jump start a little progress. Of course this also ensures I will go into labor this week because he won't dare keep up the potty training with the baby in the house and all the good efforts will be for naught.

So tomorrow I shall regale you with the tale of my encouraging Josh to fly across the country when I am so close to popping this kid out. I will have plenty of time to post since I am laying around for the three days he is gone in the hopes of staving off any contractions and/or early labor.

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