NOTE: This is the continuing story of the Poo Chronicles. If you would like to read the first installment you may read it here. The short version is that we have been trying to potty train my 3 1/2 year old daughter for over a year. We have tried everything and now have resorted to bribery with a dinosaur. I’m loosing my mind here trying to get this kid to shit on the potty. We think she might be afraid to do it that is why we are bribing her, regardless this is a typical day in the life.
DAY 398-Still No Poop!
6:40 AM: I am awaken to the sounds of “I need to go po-tty” through the baby monitor. I jump out of bed and race to her room. Once there we rush to the bathroom. Sure enough, she pees! At least she told me before hand I tell myself; success comes in many forms. We go about our morning eating breakfast, watching TV and getting ready to go to the grocery store
9:45: I go to get her to get dressed and go potty. As we are walking to the bathroom, she says to me “Mommy, something smells.” My heart drops to the floor and I ask already knowing the answer “Did you poopy in your pants?” “Yes” she says laughing. I get ticked off for like 2.5 seconds then remind myself she is only a child. As I am cleaning her up, she asks me “Mommy was it my fault?” I blink for a second not sure how to answer this question. I don’t want to squash her spirit, but I don’t want to just drive by the whole incident without acknowledging that she needs to learn from this. I decide on “Well you are just learning. And maybe next time you will make it to the potty and get that dinosaur.” She looks at me with the most sincere look anyone has ever given me with her big brown eyes and says “OK Mommy.” I get her dresses and we head out to the grocery store.
11:30 We return from the grocery store accident free! Now I know she can hold it. First thing we do when we get home is go potty then I prepare lunch. Fifteen minutes into lunch I hear “I need to go po-tty”. She might have to go, but I know the score. She is playing the ‘I need to go potty’ thing for all its worth. But I take her and she pees. I decide that now is the time to try to get nap time going. We do the usual nap time stories and songs and I leave the room telling her that Mommy will be back in a few minutes to check on her and to take her to go potty. Learning my lesson from yesterday, I set the timer for 20 minutes this time.
1:20PM I go in her room. She and her bed are dry. I am seriously grateful for this, as I don’t feel like changing sheets and being the enforcer all by myself. I take her to the bathroom and she potties right away. I sit her back on the potty and ask her to try to poop. She sits there and makes grunting faces, but it dawns on me that she might have no earthly idea how to “push one out”. After 3 minutes I say “OK lets go back to your room for nap time.” But anarchy ensues and she refuses to get off of the potty saying she is trying to poop. I let her have a freak out for a few more minutes, then I try to get her up, but she has somehow made her body weigh more that a 200 pound man and goes limp like a noodle. A struggle ensues and I carry her back to her room all the while she is kicking and screaming “I need to poop!”. I set her down on her bed and walk out of the room as she sobs uncontrollably. This is where all the guilt and doubt comes in . Am I doing this right? Am I just selfish to want some quiet/nap time? What if she really has to poop? Am I a monster for letting her cry like this? Am I traumatizing my child? After about 8 min she stops crying. I reset the timer for another round wondering if 1:30 is too early in the day for wine?
1:58PM The timer goes off and I rush into her room. Again, the mattress and her are dry. I take her back to the bathroom. She isn’t mad or upset or anything. I sit her on the potty and within about 28 seconds she pees, a lot. She jumps up all proud of herself. I dump the pee and ask her to sit back down and try to poop. She grunts and grimaces again, but to no avail. After 3 minutes of grunting and groaning I announce that its time to go back to naptime. This time she gets up on her own and goes in without the use of force. I reset the timer for 20 min.
2:30 PM Timer goes off, naptime is over. I take her to the bathroom. She pees again, but no poo, despite sitting there for 3 min. She asks if naptime is over. I say yes, sadly as I have gotten nothing done except to come to really hate the word poo and want more wine.
4:00 PM She has peed twice and I decide to take a car ride and go to the bank. So I have her pee on the potty before we leave. Traffic is heavy and we end up having to take a detour. Still there and back we were gone 45 min and no accidents.
5:40 PM Daddy is home! Yhea! We decide to go out for dinner. We forget to take her to go potty before we leave. Unfortunately, I remember while we are strapping her into her car seat. She throws a fit when she realizes I’m going to take her back inside to go potty. As a compromise, we agree to go potty when we get to the restaurant.
6PM We arrive at the restaurant and go directly to jail the bathroom. She pees a little bit. I feel successful and we go back to our seats which is in the middle of a dark and dimly lit room. Ten minutes into the never-ending chips and bean dip I smell something. Something that rhymes with the word troop, only not in an army kind of way. I say “ Did you poopy in your pants?’ She giggles wildly and my heart drops. We walk into the women’s bathroom for the second time. I scan the stalls. If this is going to be a mess then I need room to do it in I say to myself as I pray that the handicap stall is vacant and that no one needs it while I’m in there. I shut the stall door behind me and I pull the child towards me and pull at the back of her pants, peering behind her with the caution of cat burglar. She is clean! OH! Glory be! I chalk the smell up to a big fart and tell her what a good girl she is. We go back eat our dinner and leave.
7:15 We stop at Whole Foods for some wine, Momma’s had a hard day!
7:30 It’s bedtime and we try one more time for some pee and hopefully #2. Immediately, she whips out some pee and jumps up. I wipe her and ask her to sit back down and try to poo. She sits back down and we wait. This time I decided to try for 10 min instead of 3. I give her books and eventually her Leap Pad to play with while I check my Facebook. I figure if we are both on our devices then my crappy parenting skills don’t matter as much (pun not intended but it was a good one. No?). At minute seven I smell something! I look up from my phone and she has this gigantic smile on her face. I start cheering wildly, jumping up and down. My husband comes running to the bathroom to confirm the verdict. He starts cheering. We all cheer and form a Mardi Gras Second Line parade to retrieve the Dinosaur! I’ve never been prouder! We give the child her dinosaur and she is the so excited and proud of herself. I open the bottle of wine.
UPDATE: We have had some successes and some failures, but I think overall things are getting better. It is just really slow going, like turtle with a slug. Nap time is better too. She goes to her room willingly most of the time and 90% of the time she comes out dry. There are still a lot of accidents with #2, but there are more and more success every day. When she poops on the potty now we give her dinosaur stickers and that seems to work for the most part, but thank heaven for wine that works the best for momma.