Consistency or Lack Thereof

When I was childless and praying not to be, I was known to say (often, and probably at inappropriate moments) that all parents had to do was be consistent.  Now that I am a parent, I realize that this is a little like telling someone driving in circles is that they just need to find the right road.  Of course they do, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.

We have worked to be consistent in discipline and rules and expectations, but life isn’t consistent, and it’s hard to be a consistent parent in the midst of changing circumstances.

One of my goals for the period of time after school let out and before the baby came, was to try potty training with the mackerdoodle.  We have a Sesame Street training toilet seat and she had been asking to sitt on the potty for weeks before school let out.  Every night before her bath I’d sit her up on the toilet while I ran the tub as a precursor to our intensive potty training week that would come the first week of summer break.

So three weeks later . . .

She’s still wearing pull ups, still asknig to sit on the potty, but not actually going in the potty.  She’ll sit up there for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.  We’ll read stories and sing the alphabet song and brush our teeth (she might not be potty trained, but she’s not likely to have cavaties any time soon.) and basically do all manner of things EXCEPT the purpose for which we are there.  Finally, my pregnant self can’t handle sitting on the side of the bath tub anymore, and I put on her pull ups.  Three to five minutes later, the pull up is wet.

I tried the potty party suggestion of having her teach one of her dolls to use the potty.  She was interested for ten seconds, and then moved on to something else.  We’ve promised her treats if she goes in the potty.  She nods, and smiles and points to the pull ups beside the toilet and says “done.”  We bought “big girl panties” as an incentive, and she cares not one whit about them.

But my big problem is consistency.  I start out in the morning strong.  She goes straight to the toilet as soon as we wake up.  I feed her breakfast and then back she goes to the potty for our tooth brushing, singing, reading fun time, which she seems to love.  But at some point I get busy doing things around the house, and an hour or more will pass before I think about the potty again, and by that time she’s got a wet pull up and doesn’t seem to care really and by lunchtime, or shortly after, the pull up just becomes a diaper substitute and we go on our day.

So it’s been three weeks without so much as a tinkle in the toilet.  At least SHE is consistent.

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About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

8 responses to “Consistency or Lack Thereof

  • julie

    I’m not a good one to offer advice on potty training, I just wait until they’re old enough to teach themselves…hehe, or they came back from Grandma’s trained…I did find it went a little easier trying the wear nothing thing, they seemed to understand that the only place for it to go was the potty (after a few accidents on the floor). It is usually much easier when they’re a bit older though, and I was never actually motivated enough while pregnant to take on the task (or with a new baby either!). Have fun!

  • Roberta

    When my eldest was at this stage, we bought her a nice new potty, and she proudly sat on it for 5 minutes, stood up and peed on the floor, then returned to her nice shiny new potty. Didn’t want to mess it up.

    The worst thing about potty training is what works for the mac won’t work for the new one, but don’t worry- they’ll both be out of diapers before you know it.

  • a suburban housewife

    She’s not quite 2, right? I don’t know, Coralie, as my experience with boys outweighs my experience with girls (and it is a different ballgame). Seems like you might be setting yourself up for frustration with all that’s going on (and will be going on) in your lives right now- new baby, grandparents, packing up a house, moving to a new one, etc. Just a suggestion 🙂

  • Tera Montgomery

    I have no doubt that Ankica will train Lillian, but getting Ankica trained is proving to be a more difficult task than I thought. We also tried all of the above and consistency was also my problem (Lillian was always underfoot also).

    It took one day to get Ankica to give up her pacifier, one day to get “trained” to her toddler bed, one day to start talking up a storm (okay maybe not one day for that), one day to give up her bottle at bed time. But all of those things were later than the doctor suggested or what other kids seemed to be doing them. I have decided that when Ankica is really ready, it will take about one day to make the transition. Until then, although I don’t really like poopy diapers, I don’t mind the extra time with them. 🙂

    Good luck with the process though!

  • Melinda

    you are brave Cor…I am not even gonna start it until way after baby is born and Lucas is quite a bit older…I am not ready to deal with that yet….good luck…let us know how it goes…

  • melissa

    Potty training stinks. I have more negative feelings toward it than I do labour.

  • Coastal

    T had been sitting on the toilet, and using it, when I put her there, since she was six months, and I had great plans to have her fully trained before E was born. But in that ‘window’ she got quite sick a couple of times, and after that I was pretty pregnant, and then dealing with a newborn, and….
    I also opted to wait until she showed she was able to actually communicate the need to go. It was a full 8 months after E was born before I tried again, and it went pretty smoothly at that point. Within a few weeks, she was down to diapers at nap and nighttime. We still need to keep some dry clothes handy, especially if she’s tired or sick, but not a big deal. In the end, other than the excessive garbage, having two in diapers wasn’t much different than one.

  • Jackpotty « Life More Abundantly

    […] 2009 at 2:25 pm (Mackerdoodle) Tags: potty training At the beginning of June, I posted about our failed attempts at potty training the mackerdoodle.  After posting it, we decided to follow the advice of several […]

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