Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pee Here, Not There

Back in January, Cole followed in his big brother's footsteps and simply decided he wasn't going to wear diapers anymore.  He started telling me when he had to go potty and, well, he went.  I didn't stress over potty treats or strategize about timing of trips to the toilet, it just happened.  I shut up during all discussions about potty training with other moms because I had zero to add. I didn't have to worry about what to do because my kids were given a potty gift from God.   It was fantastic, but that's how it was done in this house...we were potty fortunate.

Well, that was January.  Now it is October and Cole has peed and pooed in his pants, twice, and it's only 2 pm. I think he started slipping back in May, shortly before Stella was born.  There were accidents, full on return to diapers, an enthusiastic return to the potty, a step back to pull-ups, a serious fear of public toilets flushing which made any trip to a public restroom a nightmare, and now underpants and frequent accidents.  Every time I think we are doing better we have another accident.   Why would God take away our Dadidakis potty gift?  It was going so well.

I tried tic-tac potty treats.  I've tried stickers and charts.  I have tried over the top praise and several irrational threats.  I've been desperate.  Almost everything has worked for a few days at least, but nothing sticks.  So, at Cole's three year well-check, I asked his doctor for suggestions and he told me to buy a potty watch.  When it arrived I put it on Cole and he was over the moon every time the watch started playing it's song and flashing its lights.  He would run to the potty, pee, and never once did he pee even the slightest bit in his underpants.  I loved that watch.  Then a few days ago Cole thought it would be fun to dunk the potty watch in water and it died.  Seriously, potty watch manufacturer?  A watch designed to help someone learn to not pee and poop in their pants should be a little more difficult to destroy, clearly they don't have the best judgement.

Every time I hear him, "sorry Mommy," I know he's gone in his pants again and I feel like I need a new approach.  Sometimes he says that while I am checking his pants. Sometimes he says it without any discovery by me that an accident has happened.  He just says it over his shoulder as he walks by me on the way to the toilet and waves. He always says it like he's just given me bad news about something that just couldn't be worked out in my favor.  It sounds adorable and maddening.

The other day I heard him in the bathroom and went back to find him sitting on the toilet, pooping.  I was elated.  I told him how proud of him I was for going to the potty all by himself.  I told him how excited Daddy would be when we told him.  He just smiled a huge grin at me and said, "Mommy.  Get ready to be angry."  He pointed to his underpants on the floor and simply said, "poop...sorry Mommy." 

So, yesterday he peed in his underpants while playing in the playroom.  In my state of exhaustion I told him I was going to have to put him back in diapers.  I was thinking this would be perceived as bad news. As I explained that he would be a big boy in diapers, not underpants, he broke into a huge smile and said, "Yeah!  I'll be the biggest baby in the whole world!  I'll be the a HUGE baby in diapers."  Ridiculous.

My latest approach....do nothing. I'm done. I know we have to figure this out, but I can only do so much. The doctor did also suggest backing off the situation so I'll go with that.  I have a child that thinks wearing diapers is awesome and is not persuaded by gifts and bribes.  Maybe God will give us our potty gift back and it will work itself out....I so want to be potty fortunate again.

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