Posts tagged frustration
Potty training Nathan has been a long, bumpy road. I first started potty training Nathan when he was 2 1/2, but even then I knew he wasn’t really ready yet. It was a long, slow process, and we had to take everything in baby steps. First, I had to coax Nathan to sit on the potty fully clothed. (He would usually freak out.) Once he became comfortable, we spent a few weeks sitting on the potty with his pants off but his diaper still on. After that, we finally progressed to sitting on the potty bare-bottomed. But it took a long, long time before he first peed in it. And poop? Wow, his first poop on the potty wasn’t until around December or so of ’12, shortly before he turned four.
The reason I remember is because he had a stomach bug that day, and I was on the phone with my brother while Nathan was peeing in the potty. Suddenly, Nathan jumped up and exclaimed he had a “tiny, tiny poop.” I checked and sure enough, there was a very small amount in the potty. Excited, I told my brother that was Nathan’s first bowel movement, and I coaxed Nathan into sitting there to see if there would be more success. There was! I was ecstatic!
So anyway, backing up to before his first poop in the potty, whenever there was a potty success, I’d jump up & down, clap, dance, and just make a huge deal out of it. Nathan loved the attention of it all, but he was still never really motivated enough to go on his own. Around age 3 1/2 or so, he finally started to go pee in the potty more often than not. But not pooping. Nope, not that elusive poop. I tried everything I could think of; bribing with candy (one piece for pee, three or more for poops), tv shows, and even a Poop Prize Box full of special prizes for poops. I tried going cold-turkey on the diapers and putting him in big boy underpants since other parents swore by this method. EPIC FAIL. I tried for a couple weeks, but it was a total flop. Then I tried keeping him in underwear but putting a plastic diaper cover over them, but that was a disaster as well. Nothing seemed to work. And it was *incredibly* frustrating.
I found myself wondering if he was the exception and would be in diapers forever.
And all these parenting experts that warn against getting frustrated when your child doesn’t go on the potty have probably not been trying to potty train for a YEAR AND A HALF. It was incredibly hard to keep calm because I knew that Nathan knew where his poop should go. And changing a four-year-old’s diaper is hardcore gross, let me tell you. I’d been changing his diaper for four long, tedious years, and now that I was pregnant, I was done.
One day, shortly after his 4th birthday, Nathan had pooped in his pull-up yet again, and I had enough. For the hundredth time, I told him this was beyond ridiculous; he was four years old now and perfectly capable of putting his poop in the potty. I said other kids his age put their poops in the potty, and he needed to as well or he’d run the risk of being made fun of. I don’t know what was so different about this time versus all the other times I’d told him the same thing, but it was like a light switched flipped in his brain.
After that, he all-of-a-sudden started peeing AND pooping in the potty. Consistantly. After a few successful potty trips, I started putting him in underwear during the day. He had two accidents and peed on himself the first week, but those are the only accidents he’s had. He very quickly transitioned from the training potty to using a seat on the big potty, and from there he transitioned to peeing while standing up. Without peeing all over the place! He’s not even had an accident at night. We kept him in pull ups for a few weeks, but went ahead and made the switch to underwear with no problems at all. There was evwn one time a couple weeks ago where he stumbled out of bed at 2am to go pee. I was shocked.
It’s the craziest thing. Literally, it was like a light switch flipped in his brain. He decided he was done with pull-ups and that was that. He hasn’t looked back since, and we couldn’t be any more thankful. Potty training for us was a long, hard road. Now? Every morning, the first thing he does is pee in the potty. And I will only sometimes have to remind him during the day to go potty only because he occasionally gets so engrossed with playing that he’ll forget to go.
Hopefully the new baby will be a little less stubborn than his big brother, and potty training will go more smoothly the second time around. And to any parent out there struggling with potty training- it will happen eventually. Not on your clock, though, but on theirs. When they’re ready. I don’t really think there’s a way to speed the process along. And believe me, I know how frustrating it can be. Just give it time.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there! We’re having a laid back, relaxing day today just hanging out with each other & enjoying being together!
In other news, Nathan & I went to a picnic Friday hosted by the mommy group we attend. Finally, after months of trying, I talked Nathan into eating a hamburger. He loved it! The picnic was so cool; it was held at a playground and they had blown up about 15 beach balls for the kids to play with along with bubble blowing and face painting. Nathan’s favorite part was the bubbles. They had two 5-gallon tubs filled with bubble soap, and Nathan thoroughly enjoyed dunking his hands into it. The only downside to the day was once we made our way over to the playgound, Nathan had an encounter with a mean kid (who was not part of the group.)
I don’t like mean kids.
He first tried telling Nathan that he wasn’t allowed to be in his little club. The kid also had a toy space shuttle, which he would literally put right in Nathan’s face. Nathan loves space shuttles, so every time the kid stuck it in his face, he wanted to play with it. The kid would get mad & snatch it away, saying Nathan wasn’t “allowed” to play with it because he’s not five.
So I stepped in and firmy told the kid he was being rude. I said he didn’t have to share his toy if he didn’t want to, but he had no right to shove it in my child’s face then get angry when Nathan wanted to play with it. I suggested if he didn’t want to share it, he should put it away and not taunt others with it.
Then he said Nathan wasn’t “allowed” to play with him because Nathan didn’t have a bike like he. I told Nathan that cool kids don’t make up ridiculous rules. Then the kid told Nathan he wasn’t “allowed” to play in the playgound’s plastic castle. Only his secret little group could play in it. I nicely but firmy said that *I* say what Nathan is & isn’t allowed to do, and anyone that wants to play in the castle can play in the castle. I told the kid this was a community playground & if he wanted to have his secret group with his silly rules, he should just leave because its rude & hurtful to exclude other people like that. I asked him how he would feel if someone treated him that way. I later I told Nathan that some kids are really selfish, rude, and not nice and to see this as an example as how not to treat others.
The kid was there with his grandfather, who was apparently oblivious to the kid’s smartass attitude. I tried to be nice yet firm with the kid because I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of home life he might have. I’m not saying the kid had a bad home life, but you just never know. Regardless, it really irritated me to see someone be so rude to my child. Nathan is such a kind little soul. I hope he doesn’t go through a mean phase, but if he ever does, it’s my job as his parent to teach him to empathize with others & to treat them with kindness. I’m a big believer in the Golden Rule, to treat others how you would want to be treated.
I’m sure this will not be the last time he encounters a mean kid- and eventually, I know he’ll run into kids who are even meaner. I hope I can be a good example of how to be nice yet firm, refusing to let someone push him around. I can’t stand the bully mentality. And I clearly remember from my own childhood just how cruel kids can be. But if you stand up to a bully, chances are they will go find someone else to take their misery out on.
Well, Nathan didn’t learn his lesson from being grounded from his TV shows yesterday. He still snuck out of bed last night. See if he was just sneaking out of bed to simply play with his toys, I wouldn’t be so frustrated. But he sneaks out of bed and messes with the heater and humidifier we have in his room. (We don’t have central heat and air, so we have to keep a heater in his room at night or it gets way too cold.) Those are dangerous for him to mess with, and sooner or later, he’s going to learn that Mommy and Daddy mean business when we tell him not to touch them and to stay in bed at night.
I don’t care when he gets up in the morning and plays with his toys. We hear him and immediately go in his room and remove the heater and humidifier. But night time means bed time.
It’s funny because I remember when I was a kid, I used to sneak out of bed to play with my toys, too. I could always hear my parents walking down the hall to check on me, and I would scramble back into bed, throw the covers over me, and pretend like I was asleep. I used to also sneak out of bed to grab a book and a flashlight, and then I would curl up under the covers with my flashlight and read.
Nathan’s not quite at that age yet. He always gets caught because he’s so loud. His little footsteps stomp all over the floor, echoing with freedom as he runs around the room with excitement. We can also hear the clicking noise the heater makes when the buttons are pushed. And last night I caught him messing around once again with his humidifier. It’s a penguin-shaped humidifier, complete with a swiveling head.
Nathan decaptiated it last night.
I walked in him to find him standing near the humidifier with the penguin’s head in his hands. “Look, Mommy!” he exclaimed upon seeing me. “I found this!” And then he proceeds to ceremoniously hand me the penguin’s head. As if that would get him out of trouble. Like the head was just LAYING around on the floor in some dark corner, lost for months, collecting dust and providing a home for tiny spiders and he JUST SO HAPPENED to have stumbled upon it.
So he’s lost his TV privileges again for today. Along with the stories I read to him before bedtime. If he keeps it up, we’ll take away his dinosaurs (oh how he loves his dinosaurs). I hope he stops being so head-strong about this because he’s just going to get into more and more trouble. I hate that for him… but regardless, we still have to teach him about consequences.
In other news, Nathan ran up to me for a hug the other day. I squatted down to accept it and he wrapped his little arms around me. As he was hugging me, he patted my back and said sweetly, “You’re so precious.”
Precious? I couldn’t help but giggle. I sure do love that kid. Mischievousness and all.
Well, potty training is not advancing as quickly as I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, Nathan loves sitting on his potty. WITH HIS DIAPER ON. The moment I take his diaper off, however, he starts crying and refuses to sit on his potty anymore. I don’t make a big deal out of it, because Nathan is so strong-willed that if I do, he will do the exact opposite of what I desire. So I just act like it’s no big deal. In reality, however, it’s a little frustrating.
I’ve been taking Nathan to his potty for about two months now. He gets really excited about going to the potty, but will only sit on the potty fully-clothed for a few seconds. And the last couple weeks or so, he’s started to act disinterested. He’s simply not ready yet. I am more than ready, but he’s not.
Surely he won’t be in diapers forever. Right??