Starting with Princess (5 kids ago) my cousin Julie introduced me to an amazing book called Potty Training in Less Than a Day, which worked on the previous 4 kids like a charm. Yes, the day I worked on it with them was long and frustrating, but by the end of the day they were all in undies full-time and never went back to diapers again, even at night!
Since X is now well over 3 years old, I knew it was time to review the book again and get ready for a long day of hanging out in the bathroom with him. I knew it would be worth it because he would be all potty trained by the end of the day and I'd be done with diapers forever! *cue angels singing*
Well, Little X had another idea of how things should work.
First off, I showed him how one of our dolls could use the toilet. (This is all from the book I mentioned, by the way.) I sat the doll (named Star) down on the toilet and released a medicine dropper full of water behind it so it looked like it was going potty and then got all fake excited about it. "Look X! Star can use the toilet! Did you see his potty? YAY STAR! Star is such a big boy!" You know what he said to me?
"Dolls no go potty, Mom! You silly!"
"No, Star DID go potty! Did you see it? Should we give Star a treat for going potty on the toilet?"
"Moooooom! Dolls no eat treats. You crazy!"
"You're right. So, if I give you the treat will you wear underwear and go potty on the toilet like Star?"
After eyeing the treat, he agreed and the real adventure began. Part of this whole potty training program is that you ask the child like every 5 minutes if they are wet or dry and reward them whenever they are dry (or doing anything they are supposed to) with all the drinks they want (so they'll have the urge to use the toilet all day) along with some treats and more fake excitement over their dryness. I had a huge variety of drinks I knew he liked (sodas, juice boxes, capri suns, chocolate milk, etc.) so he'd be motivated. I had salty snacks as rewards to keep him thirsty. This has always worked in the past, but after about 4 hours of endless drinks he still had not wet himself or gone potty in the toilet. His bladder must be ginormous.
I'm sure Little X was really starting to think I was crazy with all of this talk about using the toilet over the last 4 hours. I kept thinking, why aren't you needing to pee?? But I just asked him again, "Are you dry?"
Me: Wait, are you wet?
Me: What are you then?
X: I'm Little X!
He continued to answer me every time with this so I gave up on the wet/dry questions and just asked, "Do you need to go potty?" To which he would always answer no.
Long story short, he was not anywhere near being potty trained at the end of the day. All we had was a 3-year-old on a sugar high and a frustrated, tired mom. The book says to just keep moving forward if this happens, picking up where you left off the next day, so that's what I did. The first thing he told me when he woke up in the morning was "NO drinks today Mom. NO DRINKS. Just treats." The kid is no dummy.
At one point I was using the bathroom (like I hope he will before college) and I came out to this:
He just doesn't get what I'm trying to teach here. Either that or I'm just not getting it.
I had to leave the house to pick some kids up at one point and I came home to X happily playing in a pile of dirt in the backyard. In the nude. When I approached him he yelled out, "ALL DRY MOM!!" Maybe he's on to something?
I am SO READY to give up, but I am not a quitter. Keep your fingers crossed for us, will you?