Monday, September 27, 2010

PFPP Project

Jack is impossible. I love that kid so much - but really - he's impossible.

I can remember it like it was yesterday (even though it was 3 1/2 years ago), standing in the handicap stall of the Fred Meyer bathroom crying on my cell phone to my best friend as I was holding the positive pregnancy test, "This CAN NOT be right!?! I don't want to be pregnant!" And then slowly recovering from the shock over the next few months (especially when Jeff got tears in his eyes because he was so excited about the whole thing).

Then seeing Jack's beautiful little face when he was born and me crying over the thought that I ever cried over being pregnant with this perfect little boy.

And for the first two years, that's what he was. Perfect.

He slept through the night rather quickly, ate consistently (I finally had my first successful experience with nursing - YAY!) and he was just generally a happy, easy baby.

Then he grew an opinion. And it's vastly different from mine. For instance, I think that since he can communicate beyond the level he should be at for his age, he should be able to tell me when he has to go to the bathroom. And he does... when it fits into his schedule. When he doesn't feel like it he just doesn't do it - even if I take him and make him sit there for an hour - he still. won't. GO. He would pee outside on the grass all day long, but take him to a bathroom and he'll only go if he feels like putting forth the effort.

And the poop. Oh, the poop. He REALLY won't do that. We've started a new "project" with the kids (all of them). We set goals with each child (Natalie's is going to bed without whining, and making good choices at school that will keep her from talking during quiet times, getting off task, etc. at school - and Carter's is staying dry all night, and not arguing or throwing fits) and if/when they accomplish these goals they get to put a penny in their jar. When they get 14 pennies, we will take them to the movies, which to them is a huge treat (they get a penny - or not - at the end of each day).

Jack's goal is to go poop in the potty. He will get a penny every time he does it. He needs 14 pennies to go to the movies, and he really wants to go to the movies but apparently not bad enough. It's literally a no-go.

It's been 4 days since we started the Pennies for Poop in the Potty Project and he's the only one with an empty jar. He stands there every day while Natalie and Carter pick out their pennies for their jars and watches them sadly, but he just won't do what he needs to!

Seriously, you guys, what do I do!?! I could really use some input here. If you have any other suggestions for us, please dish. I'm at my wits end with this kid.

Oh, other things we've tried is a sticker chart, M&M rewards, taking him shopping for "big boy undies," setting the timer and having him try every 20 minutes, and he has a "little potty" and a seat that can go on the "big potty" so he has options. I've even tried putting him on the little potty in front of the TV with cartoons on and having him sit there practically all morning waiting for him to go, but he just held it in until I finally had to have him get up (because we had to leave the house). UGH!

Please give me some much needed advice all of you experienced Moms (and Dads!). If your suggestion works, I'll... send you a jar full of pennies.


  1. I have no good advice since M&M's was all it took for Ry. But, I actually just saw this article this morning...maybe something in there will be helpful??

  2. Oh, Karey. Have I told you how much I hated potty training? And, you'd think that after the other 3, the 4th one would have been a piece of cake. Not so!!! It's always crappy (couldn't resist).
    Like you, we tried every "reward" we could think of. With Jarrett, it was finally getting to go fishing with Dad. That and a horrible experience that involved a garden hose after pooping in his pants for the 100th time, after sitting on the toilet for an hour.

    The only thing I could think of, reading this was: Jack may not FULLY understand the "penny in the jar=movie" thing. I'm certain he understands your words, but until he sees big sissy and brother leaving to go to the movie and him being left behind, it may not sink in entirely. When that day comes, he being left behind, it will be heartbreaking. For both of you.
    So, I will pray that he will soon do his job and get to go!!
    BTW--my kids were really freaked out the first time they went poop on the potty. There was more "visual" for them, I guess?? I'm not sure, I just remember there were tears until we whooped it up pretty good for a job well done.

    Good luck!!

  3. It's me again, sorry!
    But, I wanted to add something my Pastor's wife once pointed out to me (after I cried that my son would NEVER poop on the potty!!).
    She said "It's highly unlikely he'll get married wearing a diaper. If so, then it's his new wife's problem!"
    And while that is a tad disturbing, the reality of it is--eventually he WILL get it!! It just may not be now. Or tomorrow. Or even next week. But, he will!

  4. Thanks you guys. :) I will look at that article Katherine - everything and anything helps!

    Jackie, I know what you mean about maybe him not "getting" the movie thing, that's why I was hoping that he'd see the kids putting pennies in the jar and want to do that too, but I think he's just not getting it (and he really just doesn't care about stupid pennies going in a jar).

    Carter was 3 1/2 before he finally "got it" and I was just hoping (determined) to not go through THAT again, but it might just be about waiting it out w/Jack too. Nataie was 19 months so my expectations might be a tad high for the boys. UGH though. I seriously loathe potty training!!!

    Thanks again for the advice you guys. I hope Jack's future wife likes setting the timer for 20 minutes... ;)

  5. Deep Thoughts by Aunt Jeanna:
    "One time I was trying to potty-train a kid, and I got really frustrated. So I gave them lots and lots of prune juice and was going to sit them on the toilet, but then I forgot. When my sister came home I just told her the dog puked all day and I couldn't find the mop. Then I left."