Friday, December 31, 2010

Training, take 1453

Of late, I have come to the realization that my children are going to read this blog. In fact, sometimes Toby reads it over my shoulder and drives me NUTS. "What does precocious mean?"

Anyway, I expect some grief from an awkward preteen Brynn about this one.

My mom is staying with us for a few months, and has taken on potty-training Brynn as her most ambitious goal, second only to getting the kitchen floor clean. Either one of those things would send me into a joyous frenzy, but honestly, the potty training is the stuff of dreams.

I've tried, you know. God knows I've tried. To my memory, this is the 5th or 6th serious attempt. It always starts with her showing a vague interest on her own, which thrills me, and so I go and buy potty seats and little training pants and princess wipes and such, and she kills it for a day. Then she decides to take a more casual approach, and stop by the bathroom immediately after she technically needs to have been there.

I once continued a campaign for 3 weeks. In my mind, I thought eventually it would kick in and she'd get it. I refused to put her in a diaper. After 3 weeks, I quit. I quit with a vengeance.

So Mama comes and she has strategies, involving guilt and peer pressure and eternal vigilance. I threw in a bribe of a ballerina music box, which Brynn won after several days of no accidents. Since she got the music box, things have gone downhill. I repo'd the music box. Now she thinks it works like she can get the box back every success, and then just trade it in for the luxury of an accident. This kid.

She is smart. Really, really smart, so it's not about intelligence, or her prematurity. I don't know what it is, but somehow, we are going to win this one. OR, we will quit and wait for her preteen friends to SHAME her into it.


  1. DANG that is intense!
    I've got a recently 2 year old princess who could totally pee on the potty and all the jazz....if she wanted to. We've never made a very serious attempt. I tell myself I'm waiting for the summer...and hopeful of hardwood floors in our new house.
    But it's just so crazy to me that she totally and completely GETS IT and even when bribed "If you sit on the potty you get a treat! Want a treat?"
    She says yes.
    "Okay go sit on the potty."
    "Okay no treat!"
    "Ok, no treat."

  2. One of my children was the same way. We had potty training totally accomplished for almost 2 months, and then one day came the big announcement, "I want to wear diapers." To which I responded, "No you don't! You want to wear big kid undies." "No, I want to wear diapers." Needless to say, I lost.

    Four months later I had had enough. I announced that there would be more diapers. "You're three, you don't need diapers, and you aren't allowed to have accidents." And yes, I punished my child for messing their pants. I know that's frowned on, but so is sending a 4 year old to Sunday School in diapers! So, I punished. I felt guilty, but I did it. In just a couple days the child was resigned to it and life went on.

    I still feel guilty when I think of it, and wonder if it was "right", but that child is now an adult and living a successful life going after God, so I guess it didn't do too much damage... Ah, motherhood!

  3. Bonnie
    Potty training children is more difficult than teaching them to read. I had someone share with me in the throws of potty training to not get discouraged and to remember they will not be in diapers at 21. That was reassuring. I relaxed and voila before I knew it mission accomplished.


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