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Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Unconventional Potty-Training Method

So, when I said it was a unique potty-training method, I meant it. About a week and a half ago, I got fed up with Buddha pooping in pull-ups and claiming that he couldn't get his poop to come out while sitting on the toilet. So, The Chief's mom gave us an idea. She said to make Buddha clean himself up after pooping. Well, I'm sure you can all imagine how messy that would be, so the first time I made Buddha do it, I commanded him into the shower. He doesn't like being distracted from playing, so the first couple of times showers were dreaded. However, after a few "accidents," he no longer cared that he had to get in the shower following a poopy diaper. He loved playing in the warm water, washing his little belly over and over again with "his" soap, running down our hot-water supply and running up our gas bill. So, of course, with my typical lack of patience I quickly became fed up with that, too. One day I said to him, "Buddha, we're changing things up. If you poop in your pull-up, you will get washed with cold water in the shower." I don't think he believed me because, sure enough, later on that same day my nose discovered him wandering around with a little present in his pull-ups. In the spirit of "don't threaten anything unless you're willing to follow through on it," I walked him straight to the shower and asked that he remove his clothes and poopy diaper. He refused. I counted to five. He still refused. Out came a quick burst of water. Buddha screamed. I closed the bathroom window and started counting to five again. Buddha still refused. Second burst of water found Buddha hastily stripping down to his skivvies. Poop went in the toilet and we wrapped up the episode by spraying down Buddha's tookus amid screams of indignation.

Now, don't judge. It sounds worse than it was. I actually didn't have the water on cold...room temperature works perfectly fine. And I didn't make him linger in the shower; I just kept the stream of water on him until all the poop had disappeared. After two or three cold showers, Buddha successfully pooped on the toilet and hasn't looked back since. With high-fives all around he is now wearing big boy underwear, waking up at night to poop and peep, and even learning to pull his own shorts back on after using the restroom. I am one ecstatic momma, let me tell you.

Moral of this story:

We really did try everything to get Buddha to poop on the toilet. We knew he could do it. Finally it came down to finding the right (translate: unconventional) method for our very unique child. He just needed enough motivation to try it once and get it right once. After that, it was all downhill. I can't believe it took me this long to figure out; Buddha has always responded well to firm discipline.

Now to figure out what will work for Bugga.... :0)


Melissa said...

Wow what a remarkable mom you are! Way to go! That is such a tough situation for a stubborn little guy, but I think you did the right move- who know cold showers could solve all our problems?? I'm going to try that the next time I have a hard time disciplining Josh. Ha ha- I can just imagine. Congratulations and tell Loren that he is amazing for finally doing it right!

Katy Truman said...

I made Grant clean up his mess the first few times and he didn't go back either. It's so nice when they get potty trained. It makes for a happy mother for sure. So way to go Liz!!

Alicia said...

I think it would be more cruel for him to go to school in diapers, so hey I think if it works go for it! Kids are resilient, so he'll get over it with the joy of being a "big boy". I'll have to remember that in case i have the same problem with Logan.

Tiffany said...

Amen to unconventional methods. We had been using the cold shower technique too. I told Zackery I wasn't dealing with 3 in diapers or pull ups and that he would need to clean himself. Zackery has been going poop on the potty for two weeks now.

Scott and Megan said...

I love it!!! What a brilliant idea!!

Barbara said...

You should write a book called "The Unconventional Child!"
Three cheer to you for this one!!!

Marcia said...

Good job Elizabeth. I did some unconventional things with you kids and bed wetting. All of you were dry before school started. There are answers to everything.

Isn't Anders just two?

She-She said...

Both Ethan and I raise our arms up and yell "Hooray!" (Ok, so maybe Ethan isn't yelling... but his arms are up in the air and his mouth is wide open, telling me he's trying!)

Scott and Karin said...

That kid is just too smart for potty-training. That's how it goes. But, CONGRATULATIONS! I know how happy you must feel!