Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stop...Potty Time

When Hannah was being potty trained, I made a gamble and lost. I told Whitney that I would potty train all the boys and she could potty train all the girls. After all, I reasoned, we already had a girl and we might never have a boy. Fortunately, I lost my little gamble and we were blessed with two little boys. True to my word, I potty trained Austin a few years ago. I worked on Noah Thursday.

My methodology is adapted from the notes of someone who read a book called Potty Training in Less Than Day. The human body is 2/3 water. The basic philosohy of the method is to so saturate your child with liquids that he or she becomes about 90% + liquid and can't do anything but go potty. The other 10% of their body is transformed into sugar through the reward system. The entire day is devoted to what we call "Potty Camp." There are no books at Potty Camp, no games. Just intense focus on going potty.

In preparation for Thursday, we talked up Potty Camp. We didn't do any practice potty sits...everything was centered on Potty Camp. Here's my journal from Potty Camp:

07:00 AM: I move Austin to the girls' room. I get him some clothes and he gets dressed. Whitney gets the girls dressed. Noah is still asleep.

07:40 AM: I inform Whitney that I am "going dark." That means no communication with the outside world from this point forward. She and the other kids leave and will not return until mid-afternoon.

07:45 AM: I wake the subject up and we go through the "Removal of the Diapers" ceremony. This is where we take off his diaper and put on the big boy pants. All the rest of his diapers are taken to another room and we talk about how he will never wear diapers again.

08:00 AM: Breakfast and first "Dry Pants" inspection. During an inspection, Noah lets me know if he is wet or dry. SInce he is dry at this point, he is rewarded with part of a cookie.

08:05 AM: Hydration process begins. Subject is given milk in ceral and a Capri Sun containing 6.75 fl. oz.

08:10 AM: Subject sits on potty. Approximately every fifteen minutes, he sits on the potty for ten minues. Nothing this first time.

08:25 AM: Coninuing hydration process. Dry pants inspection. Life saver given as reward.

08:30 AM: Subject on potty again. Nothing.

08:45 AM: Dry pants inspections have been going well. He's finished his Capri Sun and now I give him Gatorade.

08:55 AM: Still dry. I feel slight guilt as I watch my little guy stuffing another reward cookie in his face, drinking Sprite, repeatedly going mmm, mmm, mmm. This is not a health conscious methodology.

09:00 AM: Back on the potty. Boredom is setting in for both of us. I'm really sleepy. Watching a kid sit on the potty is not as exciting as it sounds. We get into an argument about what his full name is. He's convinced "Daniel" is not his middle name.

09:15 AM: As he continues to drink, I realize I'm creating a ticking time bomb. It's just a matter of time. That's both the beauty and danger of this method. I can only hope that he's on the potty when the bomb goes off.

09:25 AM: He tries going potty. He informs me that he just has no idea how to "make it work." I sagely tell him, "Oh, you'll know how soon. Oh, yes, you'll know soon."

09:45 AM: The eating and drinking are pretty much non-stop. We're two hours into this and I know it's only a matter of time.

10:15 AM: Success? Noah asks me to leave the bathroom and when I come in, he claims that something happened. I'm not sure.

11:00 AM: Failure. We have our first accident. We practice running to the potty.

11:45 AM: Failure again. We were still in the process of cleaning up from the first accident when this takes place. This is the frustrating part. You work so hard to over-hydrate and when you see water wasted (so to speak), it's as if all that work of hydrating the kid was for naught and you're going to have to start again.

11:55 AM: Failure again. On the plus side, he was completely naked since we were cleaning up the last accident. This was good because I think he was able to see how it all worked. Again, I was upset because I was losing the hydration battle.

12:30 PM: After practice sessions, restarted the hydration process. I'm thinking we're toast at this point.

12:41 PM: Success.

01:00 PM: Noah initiates a bathroom trip that is successful.

01:15 PM: Noah starts to have an accident, realizes it, runs to the bathroom.

01:45 PM: The granddaddy of success. A Noah initiated #2.

I can't say that things have been perfect since Thursday. There is still a learning curve. Those who have potty-trained boys know what I'm talking about. The confusion when they think they're going to be successful, are sitting on the potty, and all of a sudden find themselves wet. Or, thinking they're done and getting down too early. But, he's stayed dry all night both nights and has been going well for me.

There are a couple of things I have learned potty training boys.

First, you have to obsess about potty the first few weeks (years?). I'm always thinking about Noah and the toilet. Even when I'm in meetings at work, the back of my mind is worrying about his bathroom schedule. There is like a psychic connection between his bladder and my brain. I know the signs.

Second, you have to be very direct and specific with the child. ("No, tooting does not count as going potty. No, I don't care that you're doing that in the potty. I want the pants to stay dry and pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty.")

Third, you can't accept excuses or diversionary or delaying tactics. When they're babbling on, you have to just remind them of the goal ("Look, kid! I want water coming out of that hole there right now!").

Fourth, demand and seek proof. ("No, you did not just go potty. You just grunted real hard. I want results!")

Potty On!


Em said...

Now that's a gamble I should have taken! I could have had my feet up sippin my own Capri Sun. Hmmm, perhaps I will bring this up before we begin the process with big E.


Grammy said...

HILARIOUS! I laughed out loud so much that Gramps heard me and had to come and see what it was all about. We both had a bunch of good laughs. As you describe it, we can see it. LOVE You. Keep the laughs coming.
Grammy and Gramps

Charisa said...

I laughed my way through your post. Funny thing is, I might try this out on our second-born. He's not taken to anything but sitting on the potty yet.


Whitney said...

Thanks, Babe! I love you!

RSR2003 said...

You make it sound so....easy. Can we get a price/fee locked in before you get SO popular and realize that you can raise your prices REAL high for this sort of thing?
Rosie and Ryan :))

jana said...

Love the play by play. Glad to hear it went well - congrats to you and Noah!

Amy said...

Okay, so I'm overly tired at the moment, but as I read this laughing aloud, Ken comes over to see what I'm reading.

Is this why you adopted a girl? :)

Go Noah!

Jackson said...

i have a video for you to watch.

Being a Star said...

Marissa is getting close to potty training as well and even her being a girl i feel its going to be a big challenge.
Michelle S