Yep, I said it. I'd rather have four kids in diapers then go through this potty training thing. I'd rather have four infants who are on a three hour feeding schedule than potty train. I would rather have a root canal than potty train...actually, I haven't had one, but I'm pretty sure if given a choice, I'd go with the root canal.
This. Is. STRESSFUL!
And also the number 1 most frustrating thing I have EVER tried to accomplish. Ever!
We now have 2 out of 4 potty trained. Abby is on deck and starting tomorrow. But lest I forget all of our potty training adventures before everyone finally has a turn to earn M&Ms, allow me to regale you with tales of the first two: Ellie and Elijah.
I started off with the best of intentions. I thought, "This is going to happen, and we are going to rock it!" I was super prepared, and I was going to train all four at once. Oh yeah, let's get this party started:
Elijah, Abby, Caleb, and Ellie
Clockwise from top left: Ellie, Abby, Elijah, and Caleb
Day 1: So that fateful Monday morning, we were up and ready to hit potty training running. I wasn't going to force it on anyone, but I wanted to give everyone the option to try. Ellie, Abby, and Elijah were all game. Caleb wasn't interested. That's cool. I can roll with that. We will start with three kids. Look at me being all laid-back.
Elijah, Abby, and Ellie...enjoying breakfast on the potty
So there we sat. And nothing happened.
Eventually, I let kids get up and wander with instructions not to pee on kitty cat (Hello Kitty), princess (Princess Sophia) or Mickey Mouse.
Apparently, it takes more than that to keep kids from peeing themselves. Let's just say that my vinyl tablecloths that covered the couches and floor rug ended up coming in very handy. Except when Abby decided to venture upstairs. You know how normally when kids have an accident, they freeze in place with the "Oh crap!" expression on their faces? Yeah, not my Abby. Abby had an accident while upstairs playing in her closet. Instead of doing the freeze thing, she decided to run through the house while continuing to pee. Through the house. There was pee in the closet, in her room, in the hallway, down the stairs, and through the living room. By 9am that Monday morning, my whole house had been mopped.
Meanwhile, Elijah and Ellie were peeing all over the place downstairs.
My mom arrived at about 10am that morning to provide backup, and I'm pretty sure the direct quote out of my mouth when she opened the front door was, "I hate my life." She laughed. I can't wait to be a grandma.
Okay. Too many kids. Too many kids trying to figure this out at once and only one me.
"Elijah. Buddy. I think we better put you back in a diaper and focus on the girls first. You'll have a turn soon. I promise."
So by lunch on day 1, I had already reduced our potty training adventures by one child.
Unfortunately, day 1 finished with nothing actually IN the potty.
Abby and Ellie
So I let them up to play and put them back on the chairs every 20 minutes to try again.
Eventually, I had a whole other problem that I hadn't really figured into the equation. *I* had to go to the bathroom, and I couldn't hold it much longer. I put both girls on their potties, told them to stay there, and ran upstairs. By the time I came back down, both girls had relieved themselves. On the floor. It seems that Abby sat there until she had to go, then stood up and peed directly in front of her chair. Ellie peed across the room.
You have got to be kidding me!
But I soldiered on, pushing far more juice than I like to under normal circumstances. Thankfully, we got two successes out of Ellie, so I guess the juice was worth it.
Cita helping us pass the time. Caleb is on her lap, Ellie and Abby on the potty chairs
A few hours later, I finally had Abby sit there long enough that pee ended up in the potty. I clapped and cheered, my mom clapped and cheered. Random other kids who were standing around clapped and cheered. We pointed at the pee. We clapped some more. We handed her "chocolate". We cheered some more. And Abby was more confused than I have ever seen her in my entire life.
End day 2.
Day 3 dawned with one child in underwear: Ellie. Abby just wasn't connecting the dots. She's like our 6 cylinder baby who fires on 5 cylinders. Maybe we just need to wait a little longer until PEE + CHOCOLATES makes sense in her brain.
So Ellie was up. And on day 3, she had zero successes. Why me??????
Day 4, she went back in a diaper. Caleb had heart surgery on day 4, and that weekend was spent saying goodbye to Sean's grandma. *sigh* I may have tried to take on too much that week.
But the following Monday, Ellie and I buckled down to get this done. It took three more days, but then she got it! And she even started pooping in the potty that week as well. I was so proud, and so thankful we finally got one kid done! We took the rest of that week and the following week to perfect the art of peeing in the potty, and her accidents are few and far between now. She is very proud of being a big girl! We save a little over $50 a month every time a kid learns to go in the potty, so I was pretty thankful that we could at least eliminate those diapers
Elijah's Turn: Elijah wasn't supposed to be the 2nd kid to potty train. Everyone "knows" that girls are easier to train, so I assumed that I would be going back to Abby next. But with Abby's confusion, and Elijah's interest in the potty, we decided that he was probably our better bet.
Friends. Girls and boys DO NOT potty train the same way.
First of all, there is that whole dingaling thing. Second, there is still the dingaling thing.
It's not just a matter of getting a boy to go in the potty, you have to teach proper aim at the same time. Proper aim with minimal handling. You know what I mean?
So I dove into potty training Elijah thinking maybe we could do this in 3 or 4 days since he had watched Ellie succeed, and I knew he was gunning for the candy. Yeah, not so much.
I will say this for him though, that kid perfected the art of holding it and not having accidents on day one. In fact, he did so well, that he held it all morning and all evening for eight solid days. I get that some of y'all like to cold turkey the potty training and stop diapers even for naps and bedtime, but I am not that brave. So because I was a chicken, he would pee the second he got a diaper on for nap or bedtime.
At the end of day 7, I told Sean that maybe we should wait a little longer on him. 7 days is a good try, right? However, Sean pointed out that we were saving money on diapers since he wasn't peeing in them, or peeing anywhere else. Good point. So on day 8, I put him in underwear again....and the kid peed in the potty mid-morning! No one was more surprised than I was. And Elijah was incredibly impressed with himself for peeing like a big boy.
He has peed in the potty every time since then, and loves it!
Unfortunately, he is also a very smart little guy. He figured out immediately that the more he pees, the more M&Ms he gets. So he now pees, literally, every 15 minutes. He squeezes out a teaspoon or two, then get's his 2 M&Ms, waits 15 minutes, and repeats. All. Day. Long.
I don't know whether to be frustrated that I'm spending more time with his pee now than I was before he started going in the potty or impressed that he has figured out how to maximize his candy intake. So instead of putting the kibosh on the 15 minute pee intervals, I bought the party size bag of M&Ms at the store this weekend. I keep telling myself that a bag of M&Ms is cheaper than a box of diapers.
So we are now two kids into potty training, having a lot of successes, saving a lot of diapers, and going through an unbelievable amount of candy.
Ellie and Elijah
Abby is next up tomorrow. And yes. I will probably shut the door to her room so that she can't go pee in her closet again.