Monday, April 21, 2008

Fight for Your Right to Potty

Will Charlie ever be potty trained? I'm beginning to have my doubts. Visions of him in a cap, gown and a pull up are becoming more and more realistic to me. Sometimes I imagine a college-age Charlie in his dorm room, asking his roommate to toss him a diaper so that he can take care of business...because it seems highly unlikely that Charlie will ever attempt to go #2 on a potty of any shape, size, color, or type. I think I just might be doing something wrong in the potty training department? Truthfully, I think the person who is the most in need of training is me.

Tell me your secrets, all you potty training wiz kids out there (no pun intended), I need your expert advice, please! Do I need to have a potty party? I actually bought the book Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day at the beginning of this potty journey and started to read it. It reads like a high school term paper about going to the bathroom and throwing parties. If, for some reason, your personal hobby is learning about potty training through the ages (Did you know "in the mid-1960s children in London were starting their potty training before they were five months old, while Parisian children--just across the English Channel--weren't starting until they were almost eight months old"?), then you will love the section of this book entitled "Changing Traditions." If you're like me, and just want your child to get his pee pee out of the tunnel (as in, "Charlie do you need to go pee pee? No, Mommy, it's in the tunnel."), then this section could easily be skipped. If you are one of those moms who likes to research a little before making a major purchase like a plastic child's potty, then there is a great chapter on which potties are the most popular. I was proud to see that our Safety 1st Potty 'N Step Stool made the cut (phew!). There is also a section explaining how to trace your child's bum so that you have a little bum pattern to take with you on your potty shopping trip (because "one size doesn't fit all").

Finally, chapter 5 gets us to "potty party day!" Now, we're finally getting down to business. This is the chapter that promises to unlock the secrets to potty training Charlie in one day. Here is the Potty Party Checklist:

  • "Acquire all items on the Potty-Training Essentials list ( potty chair, baby doll that wets, doll underwear, training pants, disposable pull-ups, big-kid underwear, potty chart, flushable wet wipes, waterproof mattress covers, waterproof blanket)

  • Purchase the items on your chosen party theme list (I think our theme will either be "spiderman scooters" or "super dinosaurs.")

  • Buy and wrap a present for yourself that you really want (totally on board with this one).

  • Wrap the doll.

  • Wrap and hide your child's big-kid underwear.

  • Cut fabric or alter big-kid underwear to make a dozen big-kid underpants for the doll--these underpants should match or have the same theme as your child's big-kid underwear.

  • Place the potty-chair in the bathroom.

  • Decorate the bathroom and party room with the chosen theme.

  • Wrap party prizes.

  • Wrap your child's Grand Finale Big Kid Celebration gifts from you and your family members.

  • Prepare a variety of enticing bite-size treats.

  • Stash a handful of potty-training books in the bathroom and a handful in the party room.

  • Stack the potty training videos next to the VCR.

  • Purchase a variety of drinks and prepare ingredients to make fruit smoothies .

  • Place the waterproof blanket or rug on the sofa in the party room."

I estimate that this potty party will cost me about $500 and will take about six months to prepare for. I think I'd rather change disgusting underpants for the next six months than spend the time sewing tiny doll-sized spiderman underwear and acquiring potty videos and books by the handfuls. I do like her idea of buying myself a "present that I really want," but do I really have to wrap it?

I also worry a little about post-potty-party letdown. I'm not sure I can maintain the potty joie de vivre for the time it will take to make this no diapers thing a reality. The author recommends having a "potty parade" the day after the potty party. I guess I will consider that option. I don't know...there has to be an easier way. Right? I have a few more minutes left before I have to go pick the kids up from preschool...just enough time to run to Target to pick up some more diapers and wipes for Charlie. Or I could use the time to study up on potty party themes and surf the web for places to buy a waterproof blanket. Stay tuned and I'll let you know which way I decide to go...


Anonymous said...

Sister, our kids must be cut from the same Poop-free cloth. Now we are dealing with the tummy ache that he just doesn't believe is called constipation. I literally made him put his fancy firetruck reward that he picked out in the dumpster today (I did have my husband fish it out as I couldn't let go of the $29.95 it cost me at the beginning of this's cost has gone up incrementally with each day of failure). If you figure it out, please share because I, too worry that marriage will never come to him since no woman in her right mind would be attracted to the fluff-butt look.

Robin said...

Hang in there, friend. I have no advice to offer beyond asking Charlie to aim at Cheerios (#1 or #2, although I think conventional wisdom would say it's pretty easy to hit a Cheerio with #2)...I think men 10 times his age would still think that enormous fun.


Phillips Family said...

I laughed out loud over the cost and months needed to plan such a potty training day...I have found that particular book to be a bit unrealistic for our life.

Keep trying and hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I tried that book and thoroughly exhausted myself, bored my kid and forced my husband to keep kid #1 out of the house for 10 hours whilst kid #2 and I got down at the potty party. Guess what, he totally didn't get it. AT ALL. Enjoyed the cupcakes and presents though! Sure did!

I will say that if you email Teri Crane, the author, she will actually CALL YOU ON THE PHONE to give more helpful advice. In our case her helpful advice included "Maybe he's just not ready" and "I think it would be best to put him back in diapers for a while." Argh.

Kid went to preschool 3 weeks later, was totally diaper free 2 weeks after that. Go figure.

Elizabeth said...

That is so funny that Teri Crane actually called you. I haven't talked to her, but I imagine she would say Charlie's not ready and to put him back in diapers, which I have done. I found some Diego feel 'n learns, or wet n' sees, or whatever they're called, on sale and figured it was a sign that I was supposed to buy them.

Charlie got really excited when he saw his Lightning McQueen "panties" today and I told him in this really detached way that he could wear those panties again when he was ready to go potty. I'm hoping if I'm not so hyper about the potty and sort of act like I could take it or leave it, then maybe Charlie will think it is cool again. And that's the big issue I have with the potty party concept. It seems like making such a big deal about it would just turn the kid off and make them go, "um...this potty stuff is totally annoying." I'm just trying to keep the faith that he will figure it out eventually.