Saturday, August 01, 2009

Drink Up.

We're on Day 5 of toilet training Max. Part of this process involves pumping him full of liquids so that he has to go to the bathroom a lot. I'm also taking this opportunity to pump myself full of liquids. Take that any way you want. During my 3.5 hour marathon session with Max in the bathroom last night I may or may not have texted Scott to bring me a drink NOW! I'd challenge anyone to hang out with a 3 year old in a 5 x 4 room for the better part of an evening and not make the same request.

The great thing about toilet training is that everyone is full of advice. Dr.Phil can apparently toilet train a kid in 3 days. I invite him to join us Chez Carefoot to show us how. I've been told we should be modeling peeing in the potty for Max. Dudes. We've been doing that since the kid was born. There is no privacy once you have children. There is no peeing without someone trying to crawl in your lap. My kids know about doing the business in the toilet. And just like most things in life, knowing how and following through are two different things altogether.

The thing to keep in mind, is that for the majority of children (regular or special needs), toilet training is hard. Sure there are the brilliant BMers who put on a pair of gaunch and never look back, never have an accident, never wet their beds...these are the same mythical children who slept through the night as babies with nary a peep from the day they came home from the hospital. And you know what I want to say to these parents who think they have cracked the nut on toilet training? GFY. That can mean "Good For You", or something entirely different, you choose.

We are using the Behaviour approach to toilet training. This means that we don't use pull-ups during the day. Max wears only underwear and shorts. We put him on the toilet every 15 minutes, and we keep him on for a minimum of 2 minutes. Then we chart whether or not he was wet, dirty or dry and if he urinated or BM'd during his bathroom visit. If he's wet, we make him touch his wet shorts and underwear so he understands that him peeing made his pants wet, and we tell him "pee goes in the potty".  If he urinates or has a BM, we make a big happy to do about it and reward him with M&Ms.  Then we help him get dressed, wash his hands and try to get him to drink more liquids so we can do it all again in 15 minutes. Yeah it sucks. Yeah it's exhausting. But the kid peed in the potty 5 times today. Not bad for only 5 days into this Potty Training Adventure.

Scott and I are completely wiped out. Our team at blueballoon is providing intensive support right now, and on top of his regular IBI session this morning, two of his therapists spent the day at the house to keep him on track, do some parent coaching, and make sure that he has enough successful trips to the bathroom that he starts to understand how to make the magic happen. They are experts at handling his objections and his tantrums, and they also know how to make going to the potty fun. Seriously, I never would have thought about having a bag full of fun toys that you only get to play with when you are sitting on the potty. Max now wants to go to the bathroom because of all the cool stuff he gets to do while he is parked on the can.  Kind of similar to my Vanity Fair sitting on the back of the toilet for me.

For the next two days, Scott and I are flying solo on the potty training (though we have an emergency blueballoon help line set up to call for advice should we have any problems). Then Tuesday through Friday I will be staying home with Max in the mornings to keep him on track. Our goal is that after 10 days of intensive toilet training he will be able to stay dry between scheduled visits to the bathroom (which will be every 30 to 40 minutes). The increased hours in therapy are costly, but I'm looking at the big picture and thinking that the dollars saved in buying diapers will make it a positive return on investment in a few months. That and one less butt to change won't be a bad thing. Now excuse me while I go top up my beverage...


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  2. Hey Kat, if one more person brags to me that their babe has been sleeping through the night since birth or that their two year old woke up one morning, asked for a friggin' potty and never had one accident...well, I think I may need to quite frankly slap them! Don't these people know (if these children do in fact exist) that they could get really hurt by some crazy mama like me that hasn't slept in years and will probably be peed on today! Good luck with the rest of potty boot camp. :-)

  3. I know those parents whose children were pottee trained in the womb. They LIE!! The kid probably wets the bed in to adulthood, possibly due to the trauma of having parents who LIE about him.

    Keep going. It is a long hard battle and for us it keeps evolving in to some new battle. Now that we are dry during day and night, we have a new issue to deal with - HOW to get him to the toilet unprompted. He waits for my instruction to ask him to go or lead him. Otherwise, sticky floor. Aaah Auism.

  4. Today was a good day from a peeing perspective - 8 for 8. Poop is another story and somehow so much more disgusting when it is done in underpants.

  5. I suggest you keep a special flask in the bathroom for those special times you have to spend in there with Max. (Only half-joking.)