Thursday, July 30, 2009

#Pottytraining #Fail

We started toilet training Max on Tuesday. Wait. Let me pour myself a stiff drink before I start this tale of feces and woe.

We started toilet training Max on Tuesday. I have the grey hair to prove it. And sticky floors. And now that you mention it, I am pretty much caught up on all of my laundry because I've been running my washer and dryer non-stop for the past 2 days. Who knew that one little boy could produce so much excrement? Who knew that parking a child on the toilet every 15 minutes could be so dog damn exhausting? Add to that, we are tracking every toileting attempt and every accident, modeling how to pee and poop in the potty, doling out M&M's for our successful eliminations and patting ourselves on the back for going #1 and #2. Actually, we get really excited when we go #2, and we point it out to Max, do a little dance, and comment on how wonderful it is to go poop in the potty. It's good times in the Carefoot household.

Toilet training a regular kiddo is challenging. Toilet training a child with Autism is something else altogether. You can do it right (basically go hard at it for 10 days straight until your kiddo aces it), or you can torture your child and your family by doing it half "ass" (get it?) and not providing your child with the intensity he needs to master this new skill. So far, Max has successfully peed once (at daycare) and pooped once (at home) in the toilet. That was on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. If Thursday was a twitter message it would read: "seriously, this sh!t is going to kill me - Max 1, Mommy 0, #pottytraining #fail".

Now that we've started, there really isn't any turning back. While toilet training is extremely stressful and I am super tempted to quit and go back to diapers, it can suck now or we can change diapers for two more years and it can suck when Max is 5 and even bigger than he is now. The most challenging part about all of this is putting Max on the toilet every 15 minutes is hard on him (too many transitions for his liking) and it is very disruptive for his therapy sessions. As the emails flew back and forth between Max's team at blueballoon today, I felt like I was going to have an anxiety attack. What would we all do? How was this to be handled? He has an intensive therapeutic listening block coming up, and Music Camp, and he's supposed to be transitioning into the preschool room!!  And why did I think this was a good idea in the first place?!!

At the suggestion of Max's head therapist, it looks like we are going to hire a respite worker to stay home with Max for the next week to train him intensively. This way by the time he starts his intensive block on August 10th, he'll be able to make it 30 to 40 minutes between bathroom visits. His therapists have assured me that this will work. Never having toilet trained before I'm going to try to relax (which everyone keeps telling me to do) and have faith. Can one be zen about poop?


  1. Good luck, Kat!

    You're a really talented writer, by the way. There's something really tongue-in-cheek about your style, and I enjoy the sarcastic undertone. I love the fact that you can write about so many different topics but your writing is excellent no matter what. Keep up the great blogging, I am really enjoying the reading.

  2. Cory - thank you so much for your kind words! I think the only thing that could top this comment is if Max woke up in the morning with a dry pull-up and walked into the bathroom and took a dump in the toilet. High praise in this house let me tell ya!

  3. Anonymous10:59 p.m.

    Potty training bites the big one. The end.

  4. Anonymous11:05 p.m.

    I offer my sympathies and a LARGE stiff drink. We just got done with Jimmy a couple months ago. Where Bri was totally trained by her 3rd birthday, he had no interest at 3. We let him tell us when he was ready.
    BTW, when I asked the Twitterverse for any books that dealt with special needs potty training, NO ONE could give me ANY suggestions. That's the book we need to write.

  5. You're right Jennifer A - we should write that book. Assuming I'm still standing at the end of this. The respite worker we were hoping to get in isn't available, so I am really not sure what we are going to do.

    Oh what fun. I keep thinking that I need to focus on the future. It isn't like he's going to be 18 and not pooping in the potty!

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  7. Cold Turkey is the only way. THE ONLY WAY. Keep the faith sister.

  8. I am still potty training my son for past 3 years. He is almost pee train at the age of 5 (he turned 5 on Aug 9th) but for bowel movement he has to have a pull-up otherwise he would constipated. I wish you all the best of luck.