Thursday, September 16, 2010

Potty: Winning the War

In a lot of ways, Potty Training is kind of like playing the game Risk. While it's possible to win the game quickly, with bold strokes and easy combat, the most likely scenario is a long slog. Win three battles, lose two, win three battles, lose two. I'm happy to report that we're in the process of winning the war.

Don't get me wrong: we've got a long, long way to go. But, over the last two days, we've had a lot of big victories: times when The Boy takes himself to the potty, and times when he actually takes himself to go poo on the potty. He doesn't wipe himself yet, and he doesn't like going to the potty when he's wearing pants, but he will take himself when he's just in underpants or naked.

What winds up working now is delaying things until he goes to the potty. "Okay, The Boy, we'll watch another Mickey after you go potty." If he waits a few minutes before he has to go, fine. I'm not going to drag him into the room, kicking and screaming, and force him to sit. It doesn't work like that. He's a little me, and I don't get forced to do anything. "You can have some juice after you go potty." If he's not thirsty, he'll go away. If he's really thirsty and doesn't have to go, he'll give a try and then get his juice. The trying is the important thing. With The Boy, he has to have a reason for doing things; the reward or the consequence must be laid out in advance and be better than the current activity.

(Edit: I wonder how that can be adapted to his sleep issues. How can we convince him to stay in his own bed all night long? What consequence or reward is more attractive than snuggling with Daddy? That's a toughy.)

I haven't had the fun of teaching him to pee while standing up yet. I'm looking forward to that. "Here, The Boy, go pee on that." "Okay, Daddy." Heh.

I wonder what it's going to be like when he reads this, in ten or fifteen or twenty years. I'm sure that potty training is absolutely scintillating reading for anybody, much less the impressionable, easily-embarrassed teenager he's going to be.

Younger Bro is doing well. He slept until after 10 o'clock yesterday morning, his morning home from the hospital. His naps were screwy - noon to 2 and five to seven, so he was awake past 10 o'clock at night... as was The Boy. Nothing better than trying to put two kids to sleep at 10:30 at night. It didn't go well. The Boy has been resisting and resisting going into his own bed lately, and coming into our bed earlier and earlier; it's gotten so that he's only staying in his own bed for an hour at best. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

No comments: