Tuesday, June 03, 2008

To Pee Or Not To Pee

Highlights from day one of my "there are no diapers here" attempt at potty training Ada:

8 am
Remove overnight diaper and tell Ada "There are no more diapers. You can pee in the potty, but the diapers are gone." Ada says she does not have to pee. I tell her to let me know when she needs to go. I also mention that we are going to the store to get chocolates, and she'll get chocolate as a reward when she pees in the potty.

Ada: Let's sit on the potty!

She sits, we read books and no one pees. (Still, a good start, and I am heartened.)

8 am - 10 am
Ada acts like she wants to pee, but declares she does not need to pee. We discuss whether Thomas belongs in the front or the back of her underwear.

Three notes on the Thomas the Train underwear:
  1. Ada requested this underwear. Although Ada doesn't watch Thomas, Monkey Boy has this underwear (reason enough for her to want it).
  2. If you click on the link you see that I am totally in the right, the train goes on the back.
  3. This begs the question of why you would put the image on the butt, rather than in the front where the child might be able to see it and the parent could avoid arguing that the child was wearing her underwear backwards.
  4. Does anyone (child or adult) really use that little flap? As a woman I don't have the option, but I have always thought the flap did not look to functional.
10 am
We walk the two blocks to our local grocery store to get chocolate. Once in the store I remember my friend Heidi's story that her mom potty trained her with potato chips, water and chocolate. Heidi's mom parked her in the bathroom and fed her chips until Heidi asked for water. Lots of water. Her mom waited a bit and then got her to pee. Voila - potty trained in two days.

I head to the chips aisle. I grab chips and seconds later Ada declares "I need to pee!" I drop the chips and rush to the front of the store to get the bathroom key. Ada refuses to pee in the store bathroom (rational, I think), so I pee instead and we head back to the chocolate aisle. Chips and chocolate in hand, we head home.

10:30 am
Ada finally agrees she needs to pee, and after considering the small potty seat on the big toilet, decides to use the potty chair upstairs. I follow with books, ready for another false start, but Ada pees almost immediately upon sitting. She turns to me, horrified and starts to cry. I reassure her and praise her profusely. I also reconsider my strategy, worried that I am scarring Ada in some subtle yet irreversible way. Ada hugging my leg, we head downstairs and I let Ada pick the colors of m&ms she wants. The chocolate works on her, and Ada relaxes considerably.
11:30 am
Risking a trip out of the house, we visit Monkey Boy. I know he's got a potty seat, so I feel pretty safe at his house. Ellen praises Ada for using the potty, and then Monkey Boy and Ada play outside for over an hour. At some point Monkey Boy declares he has to poop, so we all troop inside for a potty run. Ada says she wants to use the potty too, but by the time we get to the bathroom she's changed her mind. She does watch Monkey Boy's toilet technique closely, however.

1 - 1:45 pm
We head home, have lunch and head upstairs for nap. Fully committed to the lie that we have no diapers, at 1:40 I put Ada to bed with underwear on.

3:15 pm
Ada wakes up and I rush upstairs to examine the damage. Pants, underwear and sheets are dry. I take the opportunity to praise Ada for this, despite the fact that I don't think it shows strength of character. I certainly would not have criticized her if she'd been wet. But whatever, I take the victory as it comes.

4:00 - 5:30 pm
I pack up some wipes and an extra pair of underwear and pants, and we head to the park. I risk going to the park because: (1) it is incredibly gorgeous out and will probably be pouring tomorrow, knowing Portland; and (2) Ada wants to go and I am feeling so good about her peeing that I decide to risk it. All goes well until about 5:15, when Ada runs over to tell me she's peed. No problem, I have wipes, etc. We make a quick change and she's off again. Ten minutes later she's peed again (I wish I had video of her bow-legged wet-pants walk). We head home, which I'd wanted to do anyway.

6:15 - bedtime
Ada plays at Susie and Mike's house, with no accidents but no willingness to pee on the potty either. At this point I am hoping she's peed in the tub, because otherwise I might worry about her urinary tract. I start to wonder how many days a child can hold her feces without suffering ill effects. I hope we don't have to find that out from experience.
(Despite this decent start, things went downhill from here. More later)


  1. We went the "we're out of diapers" route too, also including m&m's.

    Sounds like a great start!

    Also, we have a mix of front and back pictures which only make it worse. We decided to stick with where the tag is vs. the pictures because she gets all mixed up trying to figure out which ones are front and which ones are back. Then there's the days I discover she's been walking around with the leg hole around her waist...

  2. Hang in there- the first few days are tough. I cried more than the little man the first day we tried. It only took a few days though, and we had no.1 down- it's been smooth sailing ever since (now why did I just say that and jinx myself?)

  3. Thank you for the flap question. It is a mystery. And, yes the images on the back thingy, dumb.

    Don't worry.