Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Potty Help Please!

Disclaimer: this entry is full of poop.  Read on if you dare.

Tomorrow marks six weeks since we began Operation Potty Training.  Here's the good news: aside from sleep-times, I think M is 99% potty trained.  And he's really improving in that department, waking up dry from naps sometimes, so if he were the only one being potty trained, I'd be throwing a freaking parade in his honor and thinking that I was a potty training champion mommy.

However, I'm pulling my hair out.

N can mostly stay dry when it comes to pee, and he KNOWS he's supposed to poop in the potty.  But there is some sort of brain-bottom disconnect happening and I'm at my wit's end trying to help him.  Here's what happened again, for the third day in a row - and it's severely affecting naptime, the two hours of the day I get to either accomplish some kind of chore (like meals or laundry) and/or put my swelling feet up (I'm 30 weeks prego tomorrow and finally beginning to feel it), and since this is day three of pretty much no nap, I'm desperate, and calling on you moms who've gone before; HELP!

How do I get him to let it go on the potty?

I think he feels it coming - he either has a little smear and runs to the bathroom, or just "feels" it.  Then he pees and jumps up, thinking he's done.  Since he's been a naptime pooper for years now, I've been making him stay put before nap - for a LONG time.  Reading stories, the whole thing.  Today the boys and I were in there from 12:30-1:00, just trying to go poo. 

As soon as we gave up, washed up, got dressed and tucked in, M wanted to try again, therefore so did N. So I let them, because M does seem to be right - not only did he go, but he made it on the big potty!  Hooray!  Celebration, choosing of the poopy prize, tuck back in, all while N was supposed to continue trying.  But he was scootching around the bathroom like the potty was a car, rifling through the bathroom cupboards, and "driving" out toward the living room when I got back to him.

So I said he was done, slapped a diaper on him (he'd already had two small accidents prior to 12:30) and put him back to bed.  That was at 1:15, so he'd spend most of 45 minutes sitting there...plenty of time, I'd think to do the deed if it were about to happen (because it usually does around 1:00 or immediately following the closing of the naptime door).

He was getting out of bed and helping himself to the bathroom less than 10 minutes later, WITH A POOPY DIAPER. 


So, what do I do?

  • I've been repeatedly asking him if he knows where poopy goes.  "In the potty" he says.
  • He's seen M do this many times and receive a prize from the poopy prize jar.  (N has received 2, and one was totally cheating because he had an accident then made a bit more on the potty, but I did it to reinforce the concept of being rewarded.)
  • We've downloaded new games on the ipad as an alternate prize, thinking the candies and stickers in the jar aren't cutting it, to no avail.
  • I've been trying to convince myself that since he's actually trying, or saying he's trying, that's progress, but seriously, he's messing up three diapers a day doing this (because it's not coming all at once), nearly the amount he used before potty training, and when I say diaper, I include Pull Ups, too because that's what he wears out of the house - and those are NOT cheap.  
Everyone keeps telling me that poopy in the potty takes time, and I get that.  But what do I do in the meantime, while he's NOT napping and completely ruining our evenings because he's so cranky and tired?  How do I convince him if he'd just go on the potty, he could fall asleep for nap and we'll ALL BE SO MUCH HAPPIER?

Anxiously awaiting your wisdom.,
Buried in Poop


Anonymous said...

Sorry the poop is such an issue. I know you probably will hate this idea but I think I'd tell N for now the poop goes in the diaper and it gets changed after nap is over. Let him poop in it. It almost sounds like he's playing you a bit with the poopy by playing at bathroom time, then pooping in the diaper and then thinking it gets him a free ride outta nap time. I am wondering if he is acting out a little about having to sit their for 30 min before nap. I know potty planning takes time but I couldn't sit on the pot for 30 min straight as an adult. Maybe with N skip the sit and try to poop thing and it may make him actually want to try than being told to? Just a thought.

Meika said...

Oh my goodness. Until I read this I think I'd blocked out the months of wiping sticky stinky poo off a certain child's butt while she gleefully told me that "Poopoo goes in da pottyyyyy! No in my dipuh! hahahahahahha!"

Here is your assignment, if you choose to accept it. This will be easy because you're pregnant. This weekend, get someone to watch the boys for two hours. Drink a super-huge glass of orange juice (yay for no diabetes!). Grab one of your kids' diapers. Get in the car, and have Hubs drive around until you think your bladder is going to explode, then wait another ten minutes. Then get out the diaper and pee in it. While still driving around. Really. I'm not kidding. DO IT. It's worth the insanity to get a visceral understanding of what N is probably feeling. (Now quit wondering how I know this. We're talking about N, remember?:)

My bet would be that he really is trying as hard as he knows how and is just being overwhelmed by some conditioned response of nap-diaper-poop. Like Pavlov's dogs after the treat (SORRY! Oh my gosh, I need to go to bed). I've heard some people wrestling with this have luck with having the child sit on the potty with the diaper on, then just lay it over the potty, etc. - it seems to help some kids feel comfortable enough to relax the appropriate muscles. Maybe you could try helping him imagine pooping on the potty and what that would feel like, even when he's in the act. If he's pooping when he drifts off to sleep, maybe try staying in his room and waking him up when he poops, pointing out to him that he's going (it might be so habitual he doesn't really notice then). Try not to stress him out. :) I know I did this sometimes to my girls. Think it's hard to poop in the potty? It's a whole lot easier with a frustrated mama standing over you saying WOULD YOU JUST POOOP IN THE POTTY ALREADY???

And if you really need a nap, put a diaper on him and tell him that he has permission to poop in it just this one time because everyone needs a nap. Maybe it'll set him back; maybe not. But at least you won't be so fried. :)

Good luck, Kim. Totally normal. :) And you're doing AWESOME.