Sunday, September 14, 2008

Becca's potty training saga: Day 1

Today was the official launch of Rebecca's potty training. In truth, the brainwashing has been going on for months - but today is the point of no-return.
We started after breakfast, with much fanfare. Rebecca got to wear a pull-up type training pant, and the diapers were banished. I also flipped up the change table part of her chest of drawers and screwed it into place, so that all temptation to backslide is eliminated. I made a lovely potty training success chart on which I eyeballed a picture of the Little Mermaid (it's not too bad). There are three areas where stickers are placed - "execution", "communication", and "just because". I have Cinderella stickers, Hallowe'en Dora stickers, and dinosaur stickers.
Execution is for getting anything in the potty, pulling training pants on and off, wiping, washing hands etc. Communication is for telling me she needs to go, or that she has gone. Just because is to sustain her interest and to acknowledge fruitless efforts. She seemed very keen and excited initially, especially when we finally opened up the box of flushable wipes. Before breakfast, we watched the potty dvd.
We talked about potty training. I tried to convinced her to train her Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear to use the potty as well (nothing reinforces like being forced to teach), but she had absolutely no interest in doing so. It's only 4pm, and she is having trouble settling for her nap - God knows why, because she has a cold and is very obviously tired. At any rate, it was a good opportunity to blog my frustrations and attempt to analyze progress so far in a more objective manner.

  • She doesn't listen to me
  • She has her own agenda
  • She has a cold and is mercurial
  • She seems to have lost her initial enthusiasm and has started to actively protest the hourly potty sits (she runs away)
  • I have to encourage her, maintain her interest, but not come on too strong, keep it relaxed, and not lose my patience (this is extremely challenging)
  • She is easily distracted, and won't bother stop what she's doing to go to the potty
  • Clearly doesn't like being wet, but would rather remove a wet pull-up than attempt to use the potty
  • She doesn't tell me when she's taken a pull-up off
  • She was unhappy that I altered her room by dismantling the change table.
  • I don't think Rebecca is making much of a distinction between diapers and training pants.

  • Landed a micro-turd in the potty this morning. The rest were in the pull-up.
  • Told me she had pooped (within seconds of doing it).
  • Was bothered by a wet pull-up.
  • We banished diapers forever.


Rebecca invited me into her room to play. She was sweetly arranging toys on her table - little model-type toys - a mixture of Disney princesses, Winnie the Pooh characters, and dinosaurs. Then, she took a huge inflated T-Rex and savaged them all, knocking them onto the floor. All the while , she was yelling "Oh no! What happened?!?!". Then, the little people and animals hid inside her Fisher Price castle. But T-Rex found them again and ate them because he was "angry". Not hungry. Just angry. All of the sudden, Rebecca stopped and said "Poopy diaper". I asked her if she needed to go to the potty or if she had poops in her pull-ups. She made an incomprehensible expression of frustration. Then, she pointed to the parasaurolophus model, and repeated "poopy diaper". I said "Oh... the dinosaur has a poopy bum". Then she took the inflated T-Rex and had it sniff the other dino's bum, and T-Rex confirmed by saying "Poopy diaper" (a very doting and considerate T-Rex, given it had been eating the dino just moments previous). Afterwards, both the T-Rex and the parasaurolophus used a makeshift lego potty and wiped their bums. This was followed by hand washing and drinking milk out of a Woodsey bucket.
That event gives me a little bit of hope. It might just be possible that some of the things I say are accepted and processed by my toddler. However, in general, I am feeling frustrated and disappointed. Obviously this will go a lot slower than I had hoped. I will have to content myself with the little milestones. I am trying hard to be positive. My original intent was to make this a fun bonding day, in which fun featured prominently. In reality, it was a struggle just to get her to eat her lunch (this is not normal). Here's hoping tomorrow is easier.

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