Sunday, January 17, 2010

Little Stinker

Ben's potty training didn't go as well as I expected.  Despite my confidence in his readiness (which I still hold), he showed almost no interest in learning to go potty.  He did exceptionally well the first day of training - he only had six accidents in the morning and then a big success at lunchtime (he started to go, but then stopped and told me he had to go potty, so I whisked him off to the bathroom just in time).  The rest of the day was mostly successful as well.  I figured we would have our breakthrough (him learning to tell me that he had to go before he started to have an accident) sometime during the second day and we could wrap this whole thing up in 48 hours.  Boy was I wrong.

The second day was nothing like the first.  It was as if I was potty training a different child, one who could care less where or if he had an accident, and "forgot" how to tell me that he had to go.  We had only one success when I caught him with his poo face and rushed him to the bathroom just in time.  That was early in the morning.  The rest of the day was a disaster.

Day three started out very much like day two, even down to the poo-face-rush-to-the-bathroom move.  After three hours of accidents, I decided it was time to retreat and reevaluate my strategy.  I talked with Mark about our options.  I talked with my sister-in-law Cameron who had a recent experience potty training a less-than-willing child (ie: one who has the ability, but lacks the will).  

What I came up with is a plan to continue potty training, but to be a bit more relaxed.  I'm going to keep him in underwear and put him on the potty when I know he has to go and praise him when he goes.  I'm not going to act negatively about accidents, but matter-of-factly ask him to help me clean up and remind him where his pee belongs.  I'm going to mostly stay home during this coming week and see if he gets any better at recognizing to me when he has to go.  Hopefully he'll gradually make the transition towards telling me when he has to go.

Putting Ben back in diapers and re-training at a later time is so not an option at this point.  I've dedicated three days to this effort and I'm not prepared to give up and count those days as loss.  Plus, I'm not convinced those days are a loss anyway.  I think Ben is choosing to pick this as a battle.  He's normally a very easy going boy, rarely has a tantrum and is generally compliant.  But once in awhile he'll pick a random battle with me and become a strong-willed child for the duration of the battle.  It could be a five minute long battle over saying "Yes, mommy.", thirty-minute long battle over whether or not he's going to clean up juice he spilled, or a week-long battle over telling me when he has to pee.  I'm determined to win this battle, even if I do have to tweak my strategy a bit.


  1. Wow - you are as strong-willed as him, but then... I knew it :) I hope that you will win quickly.

  2. Jack was like this at first. He started using the potty at 15 or 16 mos. and liked the novelty of it at first, but just wasn't interested in maintaining it. Once the interest caught up with his ability, there was no stopping him - it just clicked.

    Of course, I had a newborn at the time, so I was just as happy to let him take a hiatus from it. I'm impressed by your sticktuitiveness, Mama! :)