The AfterParty

Well dadgum it. I thought I had posted this back on Tuesday night. Shoot. Oh well. Here it is now.

Today we held a Potty Party at casa Cowan in the hopes of encouraging our cheesedoodle to use the potty. If you have been around these cyberparts for a while you may remember that the Mackerdoodle essentially potty trained herself two days before her second birthday, which was nice for the moment, but did nothing to actually prepare me for real life potty training combat. I took the same approach with the cheesedoodle of just periodically putting him in underwear, but here we are six months later with no sudden potty switch and I decided it was time to move things along.

I had purchase the book Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day back when the mackerdoodle was eighteen months old and it sat on a shelf, largely unread, for almost three years until last week. There were two straws that broke my potty training back. The first was opening the last box of diapers we had been given before the snickerdoodle was born. (SERIOUSLY! She’s almost 8 months old, and I haven’t had to buy her diapers. Our church and seminary friends rock the diaper dumps!) The second was asking the cheesedoodle if he was going to wear a diaper forever (jokingly) and getting a very serious nod in return. Something needed a kick start.

The Potty Party idea is a pretty simple one, but she makes a few assumptions in the book. First, she assumes that a potty training mother will have the ability to spend a full day with the potty trainee exclusively. Second, she assumes that a mother is always potty training her youngest child. (do people often wait to have another baby until the last one is potty trained?) Finally, she assumes that all daddies work a 9-5 type job.

None of these assumptions apply to my life.

That being said, and considering my limitations, we had a pretty successful day. From 9:45 am until 4:20 pm the cheesedoodle kept a single pair of underwear dry. He never once told me that he needed to use the potty, but he was able to control himself between mama instigated trips to the potty. The idea of “training” a doll to use the potty didn’t get any traction with the mackerdoodle back in her day, but was a huge hit with the cheesedoodle today. He thought it was a great game and spent a great deal of time this morning putting Winnie the Pooh on the potty, wiping him, giving him a sticker and clapping for him.

The concept of a progress chart was a real challenge. First, he didn’t understand why he would put a sticker on a piece of paper. He wanted . . . well, let’s just say that the cheesedoodle thought the sticker would best be used to decorate the part of his anatomy that was doing all of the work. We compromised, and for every successful potty trip he got one sticker for his shirt and one for the chart. Once he had figured out that the goal was to get stickers all the way to the end (about four this afternoon) he kept trying to jump to the end by just putting his next sticker there.

At supper everything fell apart, but I think that was mostly just exhaustion. Just before bed I asked him what he was going to do when he woke up in the morning and he signed “potty,” so I’m hopeful that we’re on our way. We don’t have any big plans for the rest of the week, so we’ll keep plugging away and maybe I can eventually be back to one in diapers.

*** Today he stayed mostly dry (again with regular prompting. It’s exhausting.) until just after supper, when he peed on the kitchen floor. He removed his wet pants and underwear, ran to the bathroom for a diaper and brought it to me. I gave in and put it on him. He looked at me and said, “Ahhhhhhhhh.” This is going to be a long road ******


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

2 responses to “The AfterParty

  • suzanne

    This is not advice, just encouragement: Nathan potty trained very easily (1 week start to finish with just an accident or two after that, and he was 2 years 9 months). It took Isaac 8 full months–until his third birthday–to get it all down pat (and has had a couple of accidents since then). The long road can be, well, long….but it does eventually come to an end 🙂

  • kitty

    Give me a call if you want to feel better about yourself. I hate to potty train and therefore don’t, which is why my kids (with the exception of the boy who was right at 3) were not potty trained until they were 3 1/2. At that point, they decided themselves they were finished with diapers/pull-ups/etc and went from those straight to regular underpants with nary an accident. I’m not proud of this, but I did manage to keep a lot of stress out of my life. Hang in there.

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