Monday, March 4, 2013

From Poop Jail to Freedom

It's always the last place you look.
Isn't that how the phrase goes?
In our case, nothing was missing per se...just a little piece of my mind.

My ardent followers know that I started potty training the twins 14 months ago, although I'm sure I'm the only one counting.  I'll skip the long story to say that when we moved to MI one month ago, N was not completey trained.  He made the flight and spent the first week in pull ups because he just could not be trusted while I was busy unpacking.

So after we'd been here a few days and the important things were unpacked, I began potty training him AGAIN.  Of course, it wasn't "from scratch," but it sure felt like it sometimes.  There were several accidents and a few more maddening days, but there was just no going back at that point.  It HAD to happen - he was already in preschool!  They don't even make the kids take a potty break; they are just supposed to go themselves.  Which sounds all hunky dory...unless your kid has a loose cannon in his pants.

Two Saturdays ago, I asked Hubs to take N to the store to pick his poopy prize.  It had to be a big one, one that N chose and wanted HIMSELF.  Not lame stickers or charts or dollar store trinkets, not m&m's or gummy treats, not ipad games or special promised outings - no, we'd tried all of those and had very little success.

I'd been reluctant for a very long time about this extravagant reward method.  I have twins.  And what you do for one you have to do for the other...according to them.  But M has been trained since July and he was happy to be trained with m&m's.  In fact, he consumed POUNDS of m&m's because I kept it up long after he needed them in hopes N would buy into the concept.

I was desperate.  And I had a new plan:
Poop Jail + Extravagant New Toy Reward.
I adapted the idea from this article I found online when searching "potty training problems":  It's long and boring unless you have a kid who won't poop on the potty and you're about to jump off a cliff because of the endless poopy underpants.

The pediatrician author only reccomends Poop Jail to his most reluctant clients, and after reading the article, I was certain that N would be categorized as one by him.  Seriously, the only thing worse than Poop Jail would be...Poop Prison.  Or Poop Row.  Which is where I was headed if he didn't get trained!

N found the truck on a Saturday.  The rules were simple:
1. Poop in pants = go to Poop Jail (the bathroom)
2. Get out of Poop Jail by making it in the potty.
3. Make it in the potty = play with New Expensive Crane Truck

He spent an embarrassing amount of time in Poop Jail on Sunday afternoon and evening, a little less on Monday, and very little on Tuesday, when he made poop on the potty and finally got to open the box and play with it. It was not easy.  No, no.  He wanted no part of Poop Jail!  That's the point, but sheesh, it was tough to follow through, especially with no garauntee of success! 

Here's the key: truck had to remain under parental control and it had to be played with for a limited time.  It "lives" on top of the fridge (so it's always in view but out of reach) and only comes down for 15-20 minutes after he makes it on the potty.

Over the weekend, N discovered the joys of Lego magazine in the bathroom at my sister's house, where he made poop on someone else's potty on his own for the first time.  He was rewarded with a Lego magazine for our bathroom, where he's been taking himself (no reminders) for 2 days.  He's kept himself out of Poop Jail  and has been playing with his new truck every day for two weeks now.

I have been reluctant to declare victory for 14 months, but today I am optimistic that he's finally potty trained.  (Minus bedtime, but I don't count that anymore. I kind of don't care right now.)

If I could play a soundtrack for this post, it would be "Born Again" by Third Day.

N and I are both new, happier people, living in this awesome world of Flushing Freedom...together.

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