Thursday, May 29, 2014

Adventures in Potty Training, Part 2: The Ultimate Potty Training Chart

Oh geez. Potty training. Not fun. Before we started for the third time, yes you read it right, we tried twice before with no success- and I mean no success unless success means a wet floor, a crying child, and at least 3 pairs of wet superhero underwear with no extra fluid in the toilet, unless my tears count. Uhm.. tangent alert. Anyways- so before we started again I read a TON of blogs and such. For reals. One day I was at Seagull Book and they had this little pamphlet thing about potty training and I just stood in the store for 15 minutes reading it because Jake doesn't believe in buying things like that. And what did I learn from it? Uhm, first that Mikey must actually be an alien that doesn't potty train or belief in sitting on the toilet because that is just where toys go to play (and tick Mama off) and second, that I wasted 15 minutes reading a stupid pamphlet. Gah. Now don't get me wrong. I am sure that book worked for somebody but not this body. I read other mommy blogs (which I try to stay away from because they bug me but that is a story for another time) and googled it and asked advice from friends with multiple potty trained children, cause I mean really, they've gotta have done something right. And what did I learn? Every kid is different. I have a niece that took to potty training like it was her life calling and another one that is so stubborn, she pees her pants just because her parents want her to sit on the toilet and she doesn't want to. All of the blogs and advice I read talked about constant encouragement and positivity and rewards like cookies or m&m's or bubbles. (I'm not a big fan of the bubbles. They seem to flip this switch in my boys heads which makes them completely uninterested in anything besides bubbles and I do not have that much patience- but once they can successfully blow them themselves, I am confident I will love the bubbles) 
Well it turns out those typical rewards do not matter to Mikey at all. We would clap and cheer and do a bathroom dance when he would sit on the toilet and, I kid you not, he was like whatever mom, rolled his eyes, and walked away. Way to make a grown up feel 2 inches tall little man. Kudos. That deserves a cookie. I would give him a cookie for peeing in the toilet or let him pick a sticker- and not just any sticker- my expensive scrapbooking stickers and no matter how many times I told him it was a reward for the bathroom going he didn't get it, or he chose to screw with me and pretend he didn't get it. We got him "pee books" to read so he would sit on the toilet- yeah, he just dropped one in so we nixed that quick. NOTHING worked. I cried. A lot. Jake rubbed my back and told me that we didn't have to do this yet. He could wait. But I was sick of changing 18 diapers a day. He was getting better but not by much. It was like he was throwing us a bone once a day just to see us freak out and cry tears of joy because I didn't have to scrub the carpet. And then, we turned a corner.
We got the Ultimate Potty Training Chart from Victoria Chart Company which, I'm not gonna lie, is not my kind of thing but for some reason, this worked.We had tried regular paper, sticker books, putting stickers on the wall- nothing. But we found a perfect combination of putting shinies (coins) in the piggy bank and using the chart and oh man am I glad for it!
The chart is actually pretty cool. It has 7 different categories (6 are constant and the last one you can change) and if they do any of them they get a sticker. Now maybe, I'm daft but I didn't think that I should give Mikey a sticker for flushing the toilet but it's a spot on the chart and he LOVES to flush now. It comes with happy face stickers and gold star stickers so they can get special stickers for different levels of achievement I suppose and honestly, Mikey was so excited when he got to use the gold star stickers. Another really awesome thing about this chart is it's reusable. The stickers peel right off and if you are careful and don't let the kids put them directly on top of each other (like Mikey did) you can even reuse the stickers. Seriously friends, check out the chart. Buy it even. It is totally worth it. I have a potty trained child and I honestly believe that this chart helped.

Now the next thing on my kids to do list- teach Mikey that pants are cool. It's a tricky one but I think I am up to the challenge.

Thanks for reading!

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