Friday, January 20, 2012

Everyone goes potty

So about our potty training weekend...

I don't think it was a complete failure-- Sophie actually did manage to pee in the potty a few times (see star sticker chart below), but I think it was more out of attrition-- we made her sit on the potty with a book for about 15 minutes-- than her actually telling us she needed to pee.

Star-sticker chart for potty-training
Five stickers- that's the total number of times Sophie
went to the potty all weekend. It's a work in progress...

Intellectually, she knows she should poop and pee in the potty- she can say to us over and over- "When I need to go potty, I have to tell Mama and Dada." or "When I need to go potty, I run to the potty NOW!"; but physically, I think she's a little afraid to do it without the security of the diaper. In fact, there were a few instances when she told us that her bottom was hurting because I think she was holding it all in.

We used all manner of bribes-- snacks, juice, videos and even threats-- no snacks, no juice, no videos, and that worked to varying degrees of effectiveness. But I think the most resonant (though not yet successful) incentive is the prospect of preschool. Sophie is constantly fascinated by the preschool classroom next to hers. The kids are only a year older but to Sophie, it's like a whole other world, and she talks about the preschoolers and what they do with the kind of awe and reverence usually reserved for deities or Thomas the Tank Engine. And so we've been telling her that until she's potty-trained, she can't go to preschool (which is only a partial white lie- she still can, but the daycare won't provide the diapers like they do now- we'd have to do it).

In the end though, it was not to be. She had a couple of accidents which made her cry (which I guess is a good thing coz that means she knows she wasn't supposed to do what she did), she developed a fever that just wouldn't go away, and on Monday, woke up with a bad case of hives. For a moment there, I was convinced she was experiencing some potty-training post-traumatic stress disorder, and I felt horrible. But then it turned out that it was a virus of some sort that went just as soon as it came.

So we're going to try again in a couple of weeks and told ourselves we're not going to be too stressed about it this time. I think a bit of our anxiety might have rubbed off on her over the weekend and the last thing I want is to have her associate going to the potty with something negative. In the meantime, we got her a bunch of books about the potty (see here and here) which have been heartily received. I don't know why I didn't think about this sooner- we only just got the books yesterday and we've already read them at least four times each. Because we've read them so many times plus they're fairly simple (I mean, there's only one message), Sophie's got parts of the books memorized and is able to relate the narrative to us. Let's just hope that translates into action when we try this whole thing again next time.

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