It’s Thanksgiving in Canada and I am thankful for all the blessings in my life. But most of all, today, I am thankful for poop.
As I type, the little man is in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet.
That’s right friends, we have achieved the impossible. The unimaginable. The dream of all potty-training-challenged parents everywhere. The little man is pooping on the potty.
After one year and nine months of pants bombs, trouser grenades, Code Browns and poop-splosions, we are now on day four of toilet poops.
If the past year and nine months has taught me anything, it’s to not get my hopes up. I am taking this day by day and not assuming that the accidents are behind us forever, but holy mother of GOD does this feel good.
There have been a couple of steps forward and many steps back in the last month, but it started to finally feel like we were doing something right. We had a visit with the pediatrician a few months ago and explained the hell we were living (not in quite those words), and he “prescribed” a six month course of not talking about poop. Now, for anyone that’s been reading this blog for a while now, you know that that’s virtually impossible for me. And his advice wasn’t to necessarily banish the topic, but to just not make it a big deal. If accidents happened, clean them up and move on. And we were to not spend any length of time discussing the situation, either with the little man, each other or anyone else.
While this did not magically end the messes, it did lift the stress right off. Our home became more relaxed and everyone involved got happier. Now, patience has never been one of my virtues, so it won’t be a surprise to anyone that we didn’t wait the FULL six months. But we followed the cues the little man gave us, and we started a whole new plan.
We were at Costco one day (imagine that) and found a set of interactive books called Ready to Read. Kind of like LeapFrog, this set comes with a “pen” that reads the coding on the pages and plays words, songs, stories, etc. Some of the books are more advanced, so those went up on the shelf. These became our potty books. They could only be read while sitting on the toilet. Pretty soon he wanted to sit on the toilet all the time, as he loved them so much. He wasn’t actually trying to go, but it was a HUGE step forward from where we’d been.
At the same time we instituted a reward chart. Our initial challenge was that for months he had absolutely refused to sit on the toilet. He would lose his mind if we even suggested it, so at first the reward stickers were for sitting. For every five stickers he would get a (small) Lego set.
We very quickly realized we were going to go broke fast with the current system. Mr. Awesome is a bit of a Lego-fiend, so he wasn’t terribly upset that we were amassing a large amount of the stuff, but the stickers became for actually trying. And over the past month or so, there have been a few successes. Sort of a “one step forward, two steps back” situation, but still progress where none had been.
Then, four days ago, just before bed, the little man said “I think I have to go poop.” In he went, sat himself down, and started his reading. Then something changed. He got a look of concentration on his face that we hadn’t seen before. And he did it. Because it was just before bed we all happened to be in the bathroom at the time, and man, did we celebrate. I was on the verge of hysteria, almost in tears, laughing and screaming for joy. Mr. Awesome kept saying things like “Dude, that’s awesome!” and “Buddy, that’s fantastic! I’m so proud of you!” And the little man loved every minute of it. He was laughing and loving our impromptu “potty party,” so very proud of himself.
It was like a switch needed to be flicked and he finally “got it.” I equate it with the moment I finally KNEW what I had to do to succeed with Weight Watchers. True and lasting success only comes when one is really ready for it. No one can make that happen for you. And just like a weight loss journey, there may be setbacks.
Like I said earlier, we’re on day four. Four days of telling us he had to go, sitting on the toilet and actually going. And I’m good with that.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and thanks be to poop.