You know, I really struggled with guilt over not potty training Maggie earlier. I would give it a go and after cleaning up the fourth puddle of the day I would say "Forget it, you're going back in a diaper because I don't have time for this!" And in my defense, I did have newborn twins and was consumed enough with Delaney and Joe. However, when Delaney started waking up dry and was occasionally asking to sit on the potty over a month ago I knew potty training, part 2, was going to come crashing down upon us and this time there were NO EXCUSES. While Joe was not showing interest I figured I might as well knock it out in one swoop and get him in on the action because there was no way I was going to do this again in 6 months. Joe pretty much went along with it since Delaney wanted to do it, but after 7 days straight of setting a timer (minus Sunday) and putting them on the potty EVERY 20 MINUTES (You can imagine Maggie's life those 5 days..."Maggie, party of ONE"), I felt like I was going to check into the funny farm. I have cleaned up more "messes" than I care to go into detail about and have bribed my children like never before in order to get this potty training nailed correctly the first time.
So, you're asking, how is it going? Well....it's still kind of so-so. Like I said, I did the timer (I did stretch out the time by a few extra minutes during the last couple of days), put them in underpants (pull-ups at nap/bedtime) bought them potties (they liked them for 2 days--I don't like little potties anyway, but with twins I thought it would be easier than running back and forth between 2 bathrooms, like I'm doing now) and put a lovely canister of m&m's and smartees in the bathroom to entice them. For big rewards (like telling me they had to go and staying dry all the way to the potty), I busted out Dum-Dum suckers and the twins thought they had died and gone to heaven. In addition, I did get one potty doll and it worked pretty well with Delaney. I started about 5 days before they turned 2 and we're still fine tuning it. And believe me when I say I was consistent about the timer and the rewards. I dragged them crying to the potties if I had to and even resorted to setting up my laptop in the bathroom with youtube sesame street videos when the books got old. These days we'll go a day without one accident, and then the next day one of them (usually Delaney of all people!) will pee on herself during breakfast. It's the most aggravating experience to have spent all of that time just to continue to clean up messes in my own house. I am much more sympathetic to the traveling or outdoor accidents at this point, but the thing is usually the accidents happen at home! Ugh. In fact, in the last week I don't think we've had one away from home accident.
I must say, Joe is doing an awesome job. He's shown the most promise so far. In Delaney's defense she did come down with an ear infection last week (which is when the accidents were one after another for her), so I'm hoping she'll get back into the swing of things this week.
I hate reading articles or comments on the internet about what works and hearing parents say, "yeah, my child was potty trained in 3 days!" Well, I can't say that about the twins yet, but I'm definitely not going to cave and go back to diapers and erase the 7 days when I almost lost my mind trying to train them! I know with Maggie it was like something just clicked in her head a few weeks before she turned 3. She went right into underpants and the diapers were history and we have had a handful of accidents since. I'm not sure if that is ultimately what it is going to take with the twins, but I am hopeful with a little more time that they'll have it nailed I can at least feel like I successfully potty trained them. If you're wondering if I would do it this way again my answer is: Not on your life. I do not know if any more children are in our future at this point, but if another one (or two) come along I don't know that I will ever experience enough amnesia from this experience to go full force into potty training again. This might have confirmed the, "Wait until they're ready" theory for me!
Day 1 If you're wondering what they're looking at....
....it's my laptop.
Just some light reading material
This might not be your thing (not many people want to watch others on the potty), but if you want to know what challenge #1 was (aka: sticking things in the toilet) while potty training Joe, then watch this video. Challenge #2 was not sticking his finger in his pee stream
Challenge #3 Not peeing on my foot before I sat him on the toilet