Monday, June 17, 2013

Mommy Mondays: Adventures in Potty Training

All right folks, it's confession time. As of tomorrow, Jack will be exactly 3.5 years old. And guess what?

He's still not potty trained.


(Spoiler alert: I will be talking about "poop" for the next few minutes. Don't say I didn't warn you.)

So Jack can pee on that potty like a champ. We are diaper free all day (still using a pull-up at night, which I think is okay, right? Someone PLEASE tell me it's okay or I'm going to have to jump off the nearest bridge). He naps for two hours without a diaper with no problem; he hasn't had an accident in months. He flew to Geneva and back sans diapers (four three-hour flights). We've used countless public restrooms and his aim is award-worthy.

But when it comes to pooping, the kid simply will not use the potty. He has total and complete control of the situation. He runs in, demands a diaper, poops, and demands to be changed all within five minutes. If I withhold the diaper, he withholds the poop. For days. He pulls the ol' stiff-as-a-board maneuver once reserved for the car seat if we try to force him onto the toilet. He's so strong even John can't hold him down, and I'm guessing that duct taping him to the toilet isn't really advisable. We've tried threats, bribes, and downright begging. We've tried books, movies (I actually broke down and looked up potty training on YouTube against my better judgment; Jack was all about the kids pooping on the potty, but he'd be damned if he was going to do it himself), potty charts, and shame ("All your friends are doing it." "There are two-year-olds who can poop on the potty." "I've been changing diapers for THREE AND A HALF YEARS!!!"). But when it comes to the poop, He. Will. Not. Be. Moved.

John and I are out our wits' end. I am living under a black cloud of parental shame. I'm desperate for ideas, people. Just to give you a little bit of an idea of what we're dealing with:

While you think of solutions, I'm going to go in search of a bridge. Let me know when you come up with something.


Mommy said...

I could have written this very post word for word as it perfectly describes my son's potty training experience. No joke. Requesting the diaper for #2 and all. Believe it or not, he is 4 and we still do pull-ups at night. He hasn't had an accident in many many months but I am on single mom duty at the moment while hubby is deployed and I work full time and just don't feel like spending a morning cleaning up pee.

Anyways, about the poop. I found some interesting psychology behind the issue that helped ease my worry. But who cares--you just want it done at this point! Here's ours went down:

I was at the gym and he was at the gym daycare. I was called down over the loudspeaker and upon arrival my child was writhing in pain and sweating bullets. He had to poop. I took him into the bathroom and held him down on the toilet and spoke soothing words to him. Oh, he fought me. He screamed and cried. But I knew the poop would beat him and it did. He could no longer hold it in and had to go on the toilet. Even he had a sense of relief after and we celebrated and OMG it was done! He was a toilet pooper from then on.

I know you've tried the holding him down thing. Have you tried withholding the diapers when he requests them? He will try a fit I'm sure but eventually he'll have to go. It may take having him go a few times in his underwear for him to realize he just needs to go on the potty.

Good luck but don't jump off a bridge! This is normal believe it or not.

Christy said...

Mine will be 4 in September and he also uses a pull up at night. totally ok! He's often dry and will get up on his own at about 5 am or so to go so I guess when we run out of the current box it might be time to try night potty training, but I'm not looking forward to changing the sheets every day. I don't have any ideas for the pooping issue as that wasn't one we had to deal with, but it sounds like figuring out why he doesn't want to is probably the key to solving the problem. Good luck!

Jeannette said...

I always love your mommy posts - you're so honest about everything!

First of all, my son is 6 and still in a diaper at night. I think with boys that's pretty common. :)

Though my own kids potty trained with (relatively) few grey hairs on my part, I have a girlfriend whose daughter was EXACTLY the same as your little guy with the poop. And you know what worked for them? They stopped making a big deal about it. They refused to aid her (she had to get her own diaper out and put it on), but they changed her afterward without comment.

It still went on for a couple of months, but she just grew out of it. When she finally DID use the potty, they kept up their act. Like, "yeah, big deal, that's what 3 year olds do". My girlfriend is convinced it was a power/control issue, so they took away her ability to manipulate them and it seemed to work.

Or maybe she just grew out of it on her own. Who knows with kids? ;) Either way, it will happen for your little man, don't despair!

Mara Rae said...

Thanks ladies! The beauty of the Internet is that if you get up the courage to share your most embarrassing secrets, someone out there WILL relate!
Mommy - I keep hoping we'll end up in one of those desperate moments! So far he somehow manages to suck it back in if we won't give him the diaper, so maybe it just hasn't gotten desperate enough... LOL
Christy - Thank you for the night time pull-up solidarity :)
And Jeanette - I absolutely think it is a control thing with Jack. He's had a lot of turmoil in his life, what with moving to Russia, Mommy going back to work, and having to listen to a strange woman spout Russian at him all day, so I think he may just be hanging on to his last shred of control. I like the idea of making him fetch the diaper and put it on himself. I'll try that. We tried the "you have to wipe yourself" thing yesterday and that was a little too messy for my liking. Ugh!