Potty Training Diaries — Day 4

If you haven’t been following this blog series, I’m in the throes of potty training my sixth child, and while this clearly isn’t my first rodeo, it is the first time I’m using the Oh Crap Potty Training method. Man I wish I’d had this tool 16 years ago! This is awesome.

Day 4 was our first day with shorts. On Day 1 we kept 21 month old Matty Jay buck naked all day so that we could clearly spot the signals that he needed to use the potty. On Day 2 and Day 3 we kept him in just a t-shirt with a bare bottom.

Day 2 was mostly disastrous, and Day 3 was total success!

He woke up on Day 4, after a night with no pee in the bed, and asked to use the potty. He pooped on the potty and then told me, “We don’t pee on the floor. We pee in the potty.” (cue choirs of angels) He is internalizing these lessons, and he is fully getting it!

We added a new element to the mix on Day 4 — shorts. He’s nowhere near ready for underwear, but it was time to help him learn to do this with clothes on. We weren’t sure how it was going to play out, but the early signs were good.

First lesson of the day was “Push Down, Pull Up.” This was such an aha! moment for me when I was reading the book. We pull our pants up, but we don’t pull them down — we push our pants down! Duh! Of course.

At 21 months, this lesson is a bit over his head. He can push his pants down most of the time, but pulling them up is a challenge. I’m still pretty hands on for this part.

Day 4 was also the first day that we stopped watching him intently. We gave him room to figure out on his own that he had to pee, only prompting him from time to time. In the morning, he was upstairs playing in the bedrooms. Until then, he’d done almost all pottying downstairs. The combination of being out of his pottying routine and being left to play without much prompting resulted in an accident. No biggie. We just regrouped, moved downstairs and offered a few more prompts, but still let him be more independent than he’d been before.

All in all, Day 4 was another success. Matty was able to tell us when he had to go, and a few times he just took it upon himself to go into the bathroom, take off his shorts, pee in his little froggy potty and then walk out bare bummed.

After that one morning accident, we had a full day of successes, even bedtime was much better. The only snafu of this day was that both Matty and I felt a bit beat up. This whole potty training gig is emotionally exhaustin. Plus, I’m typically a busy person, and being house bound for 4 days started to make me feel like I had the flu. I could tell it was getting to Matty too. Every once in a while I’d ask if he needed to go potty and he’d bark back at me, “No!”

By the end of the night, as the kids and I were all piled up on the couch watching Once Upon a Time, Matty said he needed to go potty, and to be completely honest, I was over it. It took every ounce of emotional fortitude I could muster up to peel myself off the couch and go through the full routine. I was thrilled when he went to sleep because it meant I didn’t have to face a potty chair for a few hours.

I’ll tell you, this is where the rubber meets the road in parenting. It’s full-on commitment, and although it’s kicking my butt, my little guy is worth it. In just four days, he went from being totally clueless to completely aware. We have much more to learn before we call this thing mastered, but tired or not, we’re off to an amazing start.

On Day 5, we’re venturing out of the house (yay!). Check back to see how it goes.

 

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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