Wednesday, January 28, 2009

30 days to make a habit??

It's has been a while since I've discussed the highly important topic of potty training. For those of you non-parents, well.... deal with it! Before becoming a mom, I figured I wouldn't be one of those mom's who only ever talks about poop and puke, and all that grand stuff. But I am.... and it's just part of the job of being mom.... oh well!

So it's been a month since Blake's birthday, and while I have been tempted to quit this crazy ritual called "potty training" more than once (more than 10 times, I'm pretty sure!), I have not quit. And now, given our current status, I think that is the key.

We had a span of 3 days around the 10th-12th of this month where B stayed COMPLETELY dry. For 3 whole days! I know this because we stuck stickers on a calendar... and he was SO excited to get stickers. But then something happened.... and it was nothing specific. But B decided to be B, and he wasn't ready to be dry all day every day. But we kept at it.

We've gone through days where we wear underwear and try to stay dry; and days where we wear pull-ups and try to stay dry. We've had a few successful days where we are completely dry all day long, and many more days where he does well for most of the day, but has 1 or 2 accidents. Really, for a 3 year old, not bad at all.

The tricky part with B is that his motivation changes CONSTANTLY. Each time he goes potty, the desired reward is different. A sticker, a piece of candy, computer time, reading a story with Mommy, etc. But he won't tell you what he wants, he expects you to know.... just by reading his mind!! And he gets VERY offended if you offer him the wrong reward!

We've also made forward progress on a number of other related fronts. He willingly went potty somewhere besides our house. In fact he used the potty at both Dana's and grandma's. And he's willing to go potty for grandma when she is babysitting and Daddy when he's the only one home (if I'm here, I still get the job!). Both major progress points in my opinion!

As a past post indicated, for some reason B was staying dry more consistently in pull-ups vs underwear. So we let him wear pull-ups pretty much all the time. Recently, as of the end of last week, we went significantly down hill and he was peeing in the pull-ups often and repeatedly, and saying he didn't care. So Saturday when he got up, I informed him he was going to wear underwear. There was no meltdown, no major resistance, he just dug through the drawer until he found a pair he wanted (Elmo of course!). What happened next.... 1 accident followed by 3 straight dry days! The streak would have been 3 1/2 but he lost it this afternoon for some reason when Daddy wanted him to go potty and I wasn't home.

In addition to 3 dry days, he also hit one more milestone today. We did all our morning errands (3 stops) while wearing undies!! No accidents!!! We did come home during our errands (after the grocery store-to put away frozen meat) and he peed then, but otherwise, he stayed dry all morning and didn't have a problem!!! So I really feel like we're making progress....

And the interesting thing I realized this morning. It's been exactly one month today since his birthday. And we started this latest potty-push, on his birthday. Don't many many people say that when you are trying to make or break a habit you have to do the new behavior for 30 days? I believe that's how the saying goes. And it seems, that Blake is one of those people who needs to do the new behavior for 30 days before it is even possible to consider the behavior becoming a habit. But I think he's considering the idea now!

So, we will continue on our mission, and I truly feel that success is eminent this time. However, tomorrow when he refuses to pee for Daddy (while I am at a work meeting) I may need to re-read this post to convince myself again! In the meantime, I will enjoy the fact that I have not washed a load of diapers in a month!!


Angela said...

woohoo...Yay for not washing diapers for a whole month. which reminds me I need to send Ann an email.

Elizabeth said...

sounds like there is a light at the end of this tunnel afterwards! congrats B for making such great progress and congrats to mama for sticking with it!!