This past week, we began attempting potty training again, after a several month break. I have written before about the difficulty of potty training. Despite many assurances from family and friends that Burrito would not be wearing diapers at her high school graduation, I was skeptical. She seemed to not understand what it was all about. And if she did understand, she was pretty unwilling to try. So, I tried pushing it hard. I tried backing off. I tried a few days with her mostly in big girl underwear. To no avail. Even promises of rewards did nothing. Some people told me she should be potty trained by now. Some said, don't even bother to try if she's not ready. The doctor said it was ok that she wasn't there yet (to my relief!). Some people said take away the Pull-ups. Some didn't. There's a lot of advice out there and it can be confusing and fill you with self-doubt when you try to potty train your child.
But I am here to announce that FOR THE FIRST TIME...Houston, we have MAJOR progress! I seriously am currently feeling like a rockstar Mommy.
So, about a week ago, I decided it was time to try again. I gave her some choices: did she want stickers on a chart or on her shirt? For some reason, she was super interested in a potty chart. I found one here that she really liked. I liked how it emphasized both the need to keep diaper dry (and avoid a frown face) and go on the potty (and get a smiley face sticker). I also added the reward of chocolate chips. This was the reward that she picked last time we tried. She almost never got any that time though, because she didn't earn them. It was so frustrating for her, and her lack of success made her want to try even less. I felt bad for her. I knew she really wanted the chocolate chips but simply couldn't seem to pull off pottying.
Well, this time it has been clicking for her. One thing I didn't emphasize before was the need to keep the diaper dry and I think getting that concept in her head has made a difference. We started reading It's Potty Time-Girls (Time To...). I really liked how the book emphasized the need to stay clean and dry. She really liked how the book had a button that made a flushing sound, followed by a little girl giggling...and giggling.
Another book that was a big hit was How to Potty Train Your Monster. It is fully of amusing little jokes for both parents and kids. Burrito's favorites were when the monster likes to eat a book on the potty and when he eats his bedtime story...and, of course, the closing line that says the best part about potty training is "MONSTER UNDERWEAR!" My favorite was the reassuring joke that although most monsters are ready to be potty trained by age 200 or 300, some particularly stubborn monsters don't learn until 400! Whew! She has been loving having this book read to her on the potty and sometimes has had us read several it times a day. Kind of exhausting for Mom and Dad, but at least it is a silly and fun read, even if we have it almost memorized now. And honestly, does the line, "MONSTER UNDERWEAR!" ever get old?
So, anyway, she began to do it! We still have a ways to go with the more difficult of the bodily functions, but it is tremendous how much progress she has made. She started out going at least once a day. As she discovered that she kept earning chocolate chips, stickers and lots of praise, she began to start going multiple times a day. And then 5, 6, or 8 times a day! And today, for the first time, she kept her diaper dry ALL DAY! Did I mention I feel like a rock star Mommy?!
I am so proud of her, of her independence, of her learning. And so glad that on her graduation day I'm not gonna have to worry about a diaper change! Honestly, I'm gonna be too busy wiping tears...because I'm gonna miss her so much...