Saturday, November 1, 2008

Potty Training Part 3

Jackson has had the "front end" of potty training down for a while. He stayed dry for two weeks straight to earn Rocket from Little Einsteins, which he was so excited about, and continues to remind us, "I EARNED that!" This is the cute little sticker chart I made for him with the picture of Rocket.

Anyway, despite our "front end" success, the "back end" part continued to give him trouble. We bribed him, cajoled him, reasoned with him (which involved way too much frank discussion of bodily functions for anyone's comfort), and even threatened him, but nothing seemed to do any good. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that it dawned on me that he didn't just not want to poop on the potty - he didn't want to poop AT ALL - anywhere or at any time. It's ironic because I work with stool withholders all the time at work, but it never crossed my mind that this could be Jackson's problem. Anyway, after a little trial and error and TLC (AKA regular doses of prune juice), he finally started pooping on the potty! After months of trying to get him to do this, we had pretty much promised him a pony and a BMW for pooping on the potty, so he started cashing in on all his promised rewards at a rapid rate. Ice cream? Sure! A big mylar balloon? Here you go!

So on Thursday we picked him up at school and he came running up to us announcing, "I poo poo on the potty! I get ice cream! I get ice cream now!" We tried to shush him so his teachers wouldn't figure out that we parent through bribery, and shuttled him home. He had been settled into his seat at the table with a big bowl of rainbow sherbet for only a few minutes, when his eyes fell on a giant orange pumpkin sitting on the counter and filled with awesome Halloween candy (no cheapies around here!). He immediately demanded, "I want candy! I want that candy! I want that candy now!" "Well honey," I said sweetly, "Maybe the next time you poo poo on the potty, you can earn a special piece of candy from the pumpkin!" I then sat back quietly and marvelled at my brilliant parenting. He sat back quietly too. Then he announced suddenly, "I have go poo poo! I have go poo poo on the potty!" and ran off to the bathroom. About 10 minutes later, Matt walked in the front door to discover his son sitting at the kitchen table eating a bowl of ice cream and munching on a "fun size" bag of M&Ms (which hold way more candy then you would ever think). The truth is, however, that we were both SO EXCITED to be done with diapers that we almost didn't care when he didn't eat his dinner that night. Yay for no more diapers!


C. Beth said...

It's great to have you back!

And speaking of back, our back end training is the same--Ana is totally withholding poop. She NEVER used to do that, but when we started potty training she got terrified. She went on the potty on Thursday, but it was really a matter of just keeping her on there long enough (watching a video on the computer!) when I knew she was in pain from holding it--and I think she finally COULDN'T hold it and was just in the right place. We gave her two toys and some candy. But Friday (yesterday) she went 3 times--once in her panties (which she hates doing), and twice in diapers (which we put on her just because she couldn't seem to go on the potty and she was in so much pain from holding it back.) I think she got pretty well cleaned out but today she has still been showing some signs of needing to go, and she hasn't gone yet.

It's definitely not a matter of softness; she's always had soft stools, and I'm feeding things to really ensure that lately. It's just she's withholding. So, great psychologist, any other suggestions? I'm struggling so much here! Definitely doing the bribery thing, and oscillating between calmly telling her it's up to her and decisively telling her she NEEDS to poop if she doesn't want it to hurt again. Man, I've never felt like such a rookie mom. Please let me know if you have any suggestions--either here or at cbethblog (at) blogspot (dot) com!

Sorry this is so long...this is a sore spot for me right now (and for her...hee hee!)

C. Beth said...

Oops--sorry--wrong e-mail. Should be cbethblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

Gwen said...

Congratulations! That's a huge deal. And I don't know of a parent who doesn't use bribery, so don't worry about it! :) Kids need motivation...