Every parent I know struggles with the whole toilet-training issue. I’ve lost track of the stories I’ve heard from friends and relatives alike about the trials and tribulations that go along with trying to convince your toddler it’s now a bad idea to do something they’ve done their whole life (pee/poop in a diaper) and to start doing something totally new in a new environment that is a lot more inconvenient.
But it’s something that has to be done in our society so we all do it as best we can.
With the twins we have a somewhat unique situation because of the differences between Ty and Stone. But we have been working with Ty especially for quite awhile to get him completely potty trained and it’s been a long process (longer than it should given his age).
Although it took awhile he finally suddenly decided he could go pee in the toilet last summer and that routine/transition happened pretty quickly and easily. Of course offering him M&Ms if he finally went pee in the toilet had an impact. But trying to get him to poop on the toilet wasn’t nearly as easy. We tried the M&Ms and they did nothing. Next we tried coming up with a series of other bribes – including offering to buy him a new bike if he finally pooped on the toilet. Although he was excited about the prospect of having a nice new bike to ride, he just freaked out whenever we tried putting him on the toilet. The weeks turned into months and we would occasionally make another run at it. Grandparents would visit and we’d enlist their help, thinking that maybe he was just tuning out parents at an early age. Still, no dice.
I even bought one of those special “Big boys go potty” books that included a real-life toilet flushing sound (which is way too loud and way too obnoxious when you hear it again and again). Ty loved the book and read it dozens of times between Renee and I – including sessions on the toilet. He just had a block against it.
Finally, last Saturday the breakthrough happened. And of course it was tied to absolutely nothing we said or did. We had just come home from a trip to the park and Ty said simply “I need to go to the bathroom with a book.” Renee and I looked at each other and wondered if this was *the day*. Sure enough, he sat on the toilet with his “Big boys go potty” book and after reading it a couple of times, finally did his business.
Of course we were thrilled and proceeded to go nuts – totally overreacting to the situation and clearly embarrassing him. But he knew we were proud of him. And he also knew what was on deck: a brand new bike.
Sunday morning he woke up at 4:30 am because he was so excited to get his new bike. It was one of the few mornings I didn’t mind waking up so early. We took the Ty and Stone to Toys R Us later in the morning and picked out the perfect bike for him: “Lightning McQueen” (the main character from the movie “Cars” – which is also Ty’s favorite). We brought the bike home and Ty immediately broke it in on our street (which is ideal because we live on a double dead-end…very little traffic). He’s now a bona-fide cyclist as he wants to ride every morning before school so the reward has clearly had an impact on him.
And he hasn’t had a poopy pull-up since that memorable day.