Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Potty Training or Negotiations?

I love it when a kid is either fully not potty trained or is fully trained, but the inbetween part is such a pain (I guess that's the "training" part though, huh?)! Kids seem to have no ability to "hold it" for longer than 3 minutes and it inevitably always goes from not needing to go at all to emergency situation in 4 seconds flat. "Are you sure you don't have to go?" "YES!"...."Uh, Mommy...oops, sorry!" It's gotten to the point that I've debated slapping diapers on all of my kids when we have to go grocery shopping and I've got all of em' with me because it makes me crazy hualing three kids into the bathroom 7 different times because they never have to go at the same time and they always have to go more than once. I should buy stock in hand sanitizer.

Jack is now 2 1/2 and up until this point (well, not really even now if I'm completely honest) has he shown any intrest in potty training. Natalie was completely potty trained by about 20 months. Carter didn't do it (wouldn't!) until he was 3 1/2 (I know), but I'm ready to be done with diapers so I've been trying to prime Jack for the potty. We went out and bought a special "Elmo" potty seat for on top of the toilet and he has a child sized potty-- we're into choices here, people. Next I bought some treats that I thought would be good incentives for him (raisins, goldfish crackers, etc.) and some super cute big boy undies that he got to pick out himself. He was stoked for potty time and I was gearing up for the long hual.

So, this morning first thing I take Jack into the bathroom and exitedly (before coffee, even! I think I should get some raisins) ushered him on to the potty and we sang songs and I reminded him that when he goes potty he will get some raisins. He literally sat there with his elbos on his knees, hands under his chin thinking. Finally, he looks up at me and goes, "Uh, no raisins, Mommy. I want M-uh-M's." Since when was this even a discussion!? I could see the look on his face and the fire in his eyes saying, "As soon as you sat me up here and asked me to do something you have no control over!" And he's right. I can't make him go... and that's why it's so hard! There's a fine line between being encouraging and being so completely frustrated that you want to pull all of your hair out. You can't show that you're frustrated because if he feels like he's doing something wrong he might not want to even try next time, but good golly GO for Pete's sake!!

Finally, after some tough negotiations (his hands still holding up his face as if he wasn't budging until he got what he felt was fair) I suggested that if he went pee in the potty he could pick out a "treat" at Target in the afternoon. A sly smile crossed his face (jack-pot!.. no pun intended) and instantly I heard pee hitting the water. Suddenly fear struck me as I was calculating the cost of diapers vs. the cost of negotiations with my two year old to get him to go potty in the "big boy Elmo potty." Is there a such thing as low-intrest-potty-training-loans?

*For the record, this last picture isn't just a, "Yay, I peed!" It's a "Yay, I'm going to Target and I'm going to take Mommy for all she's worth and I'll probably tell her I have to GO four times while we're there, you know, just for fun..."

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