Why are you scared of the potty?

Potty training stinks.

Yes, there is the smell. It invades your nostrils and lingers. Then having to wipe little bums covered in poo when they don’t make it to the potty. Getting said poo on your hand while you’re trying to wrangle little wiggly worms from escaping so the poo doesn’t get on anything else that they will sit on when they slip out of your clutches. Or trying to advert a major disaster; them stepping in the diaper that didn’t make it into the trash, then running throughout the house, over tile and carpet, ending up jumping on our bed with little poo covered feet. Yes I’ve been there, done that. Of course all that comes with diapering little ones, not just those potty training.

But with Little J it’s more than just that. It’s a nightmare to put it mildly. When I say, “Let’s use the potty!”, there are ear-piercing screams of some unknown fear when I set him down on the potty. “No! Potty scary!”  If you were to walk by our house, you would think I am murdering the poor kid. He gets hysterical.  It’s beyond throwing a tantrum. He kicks and flails. And it scares me.

It’s scary for both of us. It scares me because my sweet mischievous little boy becomes a terrifying monster. It scares me because I don’t know how to help him succeed with this. I’m not sure why he is scared of the potty, whether it’s sitting on a big hole or because he doesn’t understand what is happening when he goes. The latter may be true, but when we ask him about what goes on in the bathroom he tells us. We might have just drilled it into his head and he is repeating what we’ve told him.  However, I’m sure seeing Mommy not knowing what to do is also frightening. I get frustrated and sometimes let it show. I’m only human after all.

And so his he. Everything I can think of, I’ve tried. I’ve read so many methods and reasonings that my head might spin down the drain. Many say he’s just not ready yet; that he doesn’t know that it’s happening; or the diapers are hindering his next steps. I’ve done potty dance after potty dance. I’ve rewarded him with stickers and M&Ms. I have special potty seats. I’ve sang songs, read books, watched videos. Nothing has worked. He still refuses to go on the potty.  He knows when he has to poo. He goes and plays in his room, hiding from us, while he poos. While we are out of the house, he goes with no hint that it is happening.  If he is naked or wearing big boy undies, he doesn’t care that there is pee running down his leg. And he also blames it on W if we ask him if he’s gone.

I’m at a complete loss with this milestone of toddler-hood with Little J. I’ll just keep chugging along and hopefully he’ll get on board the potty train.  Maybe W will be better with the “poo-poo potty”. Fingers crossed.

!!!!!!!!!!SUPER BIG UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!

I had written this on Monday night (7/1) after a very frustrating day of no diapers. It is a compilation of what we’ve gone through for the past year of trying. Little J’s terrified screams are what got me the most.   That day there were lots of sippy cups filled with watered down juice and crackers and toasts in an attempt to keep them having to pee all day long. Along with that, I was running both boys to the bathroom every 20 minutes to try to go. I think lots of the yelling that day coming from Little J (and my headaches) was a result of being “forced” to go and me not trying to tailor it to his needs.

Tuesday we took a break. No forcing him to go, no excessive amounts of fluid. I let them all follow me to the potty. And eventually both big boys wanted to sit on it.

Wednesday, I started the day with them overly upbeat. First thing, we went potty. No screams! I left their diapers off. Then, I let them pick out a sheet of construction paper in their color choice. (they both picked blue) And we started giving stars every time Little J went potty on the potty and for W every time when he sat on the potty regardless if he went or not. I made every time a huge deal. It worked for the most part. Little J and W were both peeing on the potty! W got a diaper for naptime while Little J stayed bare bummed for quite time. All was going well, until I went in to my bedroom for a laundry basket. There on the floor was a pile of poo. With my help, Little J cleaned it up. And that seemed to do the trick.

Thursday, J was home because it was the 4th. Again, both boys were naked from the time they got up to the time we left to go out. Everything went great. Little J was running to the potty every time he had to go and would proudly come tell us. It was great. Then it happened. He came back out and proudly said, “Daddy, I poot.” (yes, he adds a ‘t’ to the end of words the end in ‘p’) We both nervously looked at each other but hurriedly followed him into the bathroom. And there in the potty was what J described as “man poop’. HE WENT ALL BY HIMSELF!!!! It was glorious! No icky diaper and minimal wiping.

Before we left home, we made an “On the Go Potty Book”, complete with its own set of stars for each boy. We did have a couple of  accidents when we journeyed to Grandma V’s but he was wearing clothes. We got right back at it when we got home that night and over the weekend. It was great.

It’s been a little over a week and there has just a couple of accidents, mostly pee and mostly while playing in the sprinkler. We’ll just keep giving stars and being super excited.

Hopefully, in a couple of weeks at least one of the boys will be totally diaper free! Keeping our fingers (and legs, potty dance style) crossed!

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