July 21, 2009

Potty Training Confessions

I should probably be embarassed to admit this, but I'm not. Here is my confession: my daughters are nearly four-years-old and only two of them are potty trained. I can hear the gasps around the country. I have been casually working on potty training for more than a year. I am NOT going to be a potty training obsessed mom.
Before you write me off as a bad mom, let me explain. When one wants to go, they all want to go. I absolutely let everyone sit on the potty. But I don't have the time to let them sit... and sit... and sit... only to be told 20 minutes into it that they'll "try again later." When it comes to peeing, I don't believe in pushing it. I would rather have my daughters pee in a diaper than feel pressured to use the potty. Basically, I'm letting them decide when it's time to become "big girls."
I was fortunate to be able to put my daughters in preschool through our local school district. Very few preschools will let you attend if you're in diapers. But because this is through the public school system there are going to be special needs children who, to put it bluntly, may be in diapers for the rest of their lives. Preschoolers in diapers are no big deal to these teachers. I really thought once my daughters started school and realized they were among the few in pull-ups they would quickly decide to use the potty. Yes and no.
Tortilla was the first to be potty trained. The day she started wearing underwear Cakes was livid and wanted underwear, too.... so she immediately began using the potty and has had maybe one accident in the 7-8 months she's been wearing underwear. (Side note: Cakes is a diaper-free girl. She doesn't even need a diaper at night).
Roo and Sue-Sue are a different story. It doesn't help that they are typically my most stubborn children. Roo and Sue-Sue will always use the potty at school... but when they come home they could care less. They would rather sit all day in a wet pull up than stop whatever they're doing to use the potty.... until this week.
I'm resorting to peer pressure and bribery. I bought new underwear (my daughters have finally put on some weight and outgrew their 2T/3T underpants). Every morning I make a big deal out letting Cakes and Tortilla pick out their underwear.... Dora, Minnie Mouse, Tinkerbell and the Disney Princesses. You know what? It's working. Based on the past two days I'm planning to put Roo in underwear tomorrow. I'm hoping to have Sue-Sue in underwear by the end of the week. I cannot wait until the day I walk into Sam's Club and walk out without spending hundreds of dollars on diapers and pull ups.
Very few parents like my method of potty training. I don't care. It has (almost) worked for us. Did it take a loooong time? Yes. But now they think it's a big deal to use the potty... so I guess as long as it's fun that certainly has to count for something. Right?


MaryAnne said...

My daughter wasn't potty trained until her third birthday, and if she hadn't decided she was ready then I wouldn't have pushed it - especially if she were one of four! My primary motivation to do anything about it at all was that I didn't want three kids in diapers this summer... I should add that she wears pull-ups at night, and I have no intention of doing anything to stop that in the near future unless she starts staying dry on her own.

Peer pressure and bribery definitely provide some parenting benefits :)

Quadmama said...

At one point I basically told Hubby if the girls wanted to go to college in diapers then I was fine with that. Yeah, I'm joking but that's how I felt for awhile, which is why I just decided to back off. The ONLY reason Cakes is diaper free at night is because I realized she has never once wet her diaper at night when she switched to underwear in the day, so I decided to stop wasting a diaper. Tortilla is mad that she's not wearing underwear at night but she still wets.

LauraC said...

Who cares what other parents think? That's how we potty trained the boys - waiting for them to take the lead and be ready. There is just no reason to spend all day cleaning up pee off the floor!

Sadia said...

I tried all sorts of things, but your method is what my daughters chose. However, I'm beginning to realize that the "training" actually becomes work after the switch to panties. I have to teach public bathroom usage rules and figure out commute potty solutions. My girls went straight from diapers all the time to diapers never. Two weeks, and no nighttime accidents!

Quadmama said...

Laura, I actually tried a "boot camp" and simply put the girls in underwear one day. I must have tried way too early because I turned around and each of them had peed on the floor.
Sadia, I have to plan outings around the potty. Cakes and Tortilla HATE using public bathrooms. They will hold it for as long as they can, rather than have to sit on a public toilet. Don't know why.

Stephanie B said...

My son was very challenging (just before he turned 5) despite years of trying. Underwear, real underwear NOT training pants, turned out to be the key. Once we put those on him, he was potty-trained in two days.

Panties (yes, unabashed bribery) turned out to the be the key for my eldest daughter at a much younger age, but she was ready and, again, trained in two days. She WANTED those panties, to be a big girl.

Jury's still out on Roxy, but she is fascinated when anyone uses the bathroom and has already figured out how to take off a diaper so she might be another early one. If not, well, we'll wait longer. Pushing too hard when they're not ready (as my son demonstrated) only drives the parent nuts.

Quadmama said...

If only panties had been the two day cure for us. They were so excited when I bought underwear for them... and then couldn't care less if they could actually wear them.

Anonymous said...

I think you're doing a great job with the potty training! There's no sense in stressing them out or making them use the potty before they're ready. I'm the youngest of 5, and my Mom tells me we all potty trained at different ages. She was convinced she'd have to send one of my brothers to kindergarten in diapers. He, like everyone else, started using the potty when he was ready.

Quadmama said...

Roo is on her first full day of underwear. WOO HOO!!! Now just one to go. Sue-Sue wants the underwear but doesn't want to do the work.

Post a Comment