The Tovsky Tribe

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No More Diapers (at least not for them!)

"They" say boys potty train around the age of 3. Since "they" claim to be experts, parents of appropriate aged boys start to feel angst over their three year old diapered sons.
Every parent may take a different approach, choosing the one(s) they feel best matches the personality of parent and child alike. Bribes, diaper fairies, and the cold-turkey approach are amongst the few.
Although a bit of each of these methods were employed in our situation, ultimately the approach used was the boys simply being ready.
There were times when I was in a hurry for them to train, becoming fed up with the factory line of triple diaper changes. But, partly because I believe kids do things when they are ready not when their parents are, and admittedly, partly because I do not have the patience nor the personality to do the "three day train method" putting them in underwear and dragging them to the potty every twenty minutes, I did not force them to train. I followed their lead.
Of course there were many times when I was fooled by the signs and would put them in underwear only to discover ready they were not.
But then, one day they were. For Chase it was a Tuesday morning exactly one week before their third birthday. He had woken up just a little bit before and was watching TV. He looked at me and said matter-of-factly, "I want to wear underwear now!," like the idea came from him from one of his TV heroes. I obliged. And so it went. He no longer wears diapers. Well, sort of. I'll get back to that.
Ryder watched as we applauded each pee made and awarded Chase with M&M's, and he just waited his turn. Five days later, also in the morning, he fought me as he often did on a diaper change then said, "I think underwear would be a lot easier!".
I wanted to throw a sarcastic "oh, do you think?" at him, but instead I smiled and said "good idea Ryder, I think so too!" He has not worn diapers since. We gave all of their diapers to Turner.

But, it was not this simple.

I was not above bribing. I tried it. Two M&M's for every pee and four for every poop. Not that pooping was really an issue, at least for Chase, but I will get to that. I also talked about the diaper fairy, who was Elliott, the magical dragon from the movie Pete's Dragon, which the boys were obsessed with at the time we were discussing potty training. A visit from the dragon meant a donation of diapers to their baby brother and a delivery of a potty present. They got to choose their potty presents. Chase chose a visit to Chuck E. Cheese and Ryder chose a strap for his acoustic guitar. I agreed to these presents and said after three days of underwear and one poop on the potty they could have these gifts.

Chase did fantastic on the potty right from the start. On day one I felt the need to set a timer and take him to the bathroom every 30 minutes. He did not need that and on day 2 he told me so, "Mommy, I do not need to go, stop asking me!" With that, he also started going alone to the bathroom and still, when at home, rarely needs his mommy to escort him. Unfortunately, however, he can't poop on the potty. Perhaps he can and won't? I am not sure. What I do know is he only poops in his underwear and it's a good thing Mom-Mom Joan bought the boys a lot of underwear because we go through it! Lately, we have had minor improvement in this area in that Chase will now ask for a diaper (a pull-up) to poop in, which is much better than his Handy Manny panties. He says he is not ready yet, he also says it will hurt. Despite my telling him otherwise, I know he won't do it until he is ready! As a result, we have not yet gone to Chuck E. Cheese's. He wants to go, but apparantly that Is not enough to get him potty pooping.
Ryder also has done fantastic. He pees and poops on the potty pretty much all on his own and he has from that very first day. He gets so excited every time he poops that i am a little surprised that Chase has not wanted to try it just to see what it is that makes so much for fun for his brother. And, with his successes came his potty present. His guitar now has a strap! He can play and sing and use the microphone all at once. Though, he does not seem to want to play as much as he used to!!

All of this has not happened without some accidents. Of course. They have peed on every floor in the house and in every shrub in our yard. Sometimes they are accidents, other times I think they just do it to do it, to press my buttons. They really do know what they are doing.
Amazingly, they are both night trained. Two days in to the underwear wearing Chase insisted on sleeping in underwear because, afterall, "I do not wear diapers anymore!" So, I let him. And, he was dry. And he has been dry every night since. Ryder too. He went right to sleeping in underwear and despite waking up wet twice, it has basically been a breeze.

Another transition complete. Now, if only I could get them to go to bed at night?!