Warning: this post is totally dedicated to all things potty. It's gross.
I am going to attempt to write about our recent experiences in potty-training. It's been crazy, frustrating, funny, and totally disgusting all at the same time.
I was totally overwhelmed at the thought of potty-training Eli and Landon, but once we got going, I realized that it's just like every other skill they learn...you have to teach it to them and then practice, practice, practice. I would love to say that they are potty professionals by this point in time...after all, it has been over three weeks since we started. Unfortunately, we aren't quite there yet and it's still a work in progress, but we've come a long way and I'm glad to have the worst of it behind us.
I waited until after all of the holiday traveling was over when I knew we would be home for several weeks in a row and able to really concentrate only on this. We started on a Tuesday morning and we basically just threw the diapers away, put on "big boy underwear" and started potty training boot camp in the living room. We watched a LOT of Handy Manny that week. We brought some toys and books in the living room and just camped out there all day. Eli took to the whole idea pretty fast, but Landon started out begging me to put a diaper on him. When I told him that we didn't need diapers anymore, he sat down on his little froggy potty and refused to get up. And guess what...you have 100% success rate when you never get off the potty! I was totally okay with this approach, but after about an hour, he decided that Eli was having too much fun playing and he would join him.
That first week is kind of a blur. I checked the boys every 15 minutes to see if they were "dry" and praised and rewarded them if they were. Then we sat on the potty and if they went a little, we went crazy celebrating. I loved the way they encouraged one another and celebrated each others' successes. We did this for four days straight. It was completely and totally consuming. And of course, we went through a ton of clorox cleanup and papertowels...there were lots of accidents. I've never been so thankful for wood floors! When they did have an accident, I would just act disappointed (and try to hide my mounting frustration) and keep repeating that "tee tee/poo poo goes in the potty."
I got a lot of good and practical advice from friends, which we implemented. One piece of advice that I haven't been able to make myself follow is to take away the diapers and never go back. While we haven't gone back to diapers, we have definitely used pull-ups at times (which is just a glorified diaper anyway). Because I'm going to doctors appointments so often, Eli and Landon spend quite a bit of time in someone else's care, often in someone else's home. And I just can't do that to anyone...especially someone kind enough to keep my kids for me. I think this might be a lot of the reason they haven't done quite as well as I think they could do, but I'm totally okay with that.
I think the thing about potty training is this: you just have to do what works for you. You learn really fast what is going to work or not work for your kids and you just go in whatever direction that takes you. It's a really big deal when you're in the middle of it, but it's not bad as I thought it would be. It's just a really good thing that I have such a higher tolerance for nastiness coming from my two sweet children than I do in other areas of life. Motherhood is so glamourous!
So I know that's not helpful or all that detailed, but that's kind of where we're at. Here are just a few funny things for the record book that I don't want to forget from the last few weeks:
* While Eli and Landon started getting the hang of going tee-tee on the potty, it was five days before they went poo-poo on the potty for the first time. We finally had to sit them on their little potty, leave the bathroom, and shut the door. Turns out all they wanted was a little privacy to do their business.
* When Landon goes poo-poo on the potty, he takes a deep breath, raises his eyebrows, and says "here it comes, Mommy". Then he puts his hands over his eyes until it's all over. SO funny!
* Trying to maneuver the whole public restroom situation with two year old twins is downright impossible! They want to touch EVERYTHING, pull all of the toilet paper out, crawl on the floor, look under the stalls, and I'm told they are very intrigued by urinals. It is my fervent prayer that we make it through this time period without any restroom-related diseases. SO gross! And it just so happens that Landon has to go poo-poo every single time we use a public restroom...leaving Eli to roam about unattended. Please ask Dustin about his recent experience in the Lowe's restroom while I was at the doctor...it's hilarious.
*Tonight, when the boys were saying their prayers, right after they asked God to help them not fight, they asked for help to "tee tee and poo poo in the potty." What a coincidence...I'm praying for the exact same things!