Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Potty and Other Achievements

As usual, I'm not sure what I wrote last time, so there might be some overlap on the new achievements.  

  • Natalie can take her shoes off and on by herself, both her boots and her every day shoes with the straps.  
  • Natalie can uncap a marker.  
  • Natalie can climb up into her car seat and back out, though she is a little afraid to step out of the car since its a big step.  
  • Natalie is jealous when Mommy and Daddy hug, saying that one of us belongs to her.  
  • Natalie is very sensitive sometimes about thinking we are angry or sad because of something she's done.  
  • Natalie has been potty training for three days.  (More on that below).  Thus far, we've had 5 or 6 pees in the potty.  
  • Natalie continues to be adventurous about movement.  She is climbing up and down the foam slide at play group, including going down on her stomach.  She is climbing up on to high chairs and spinning chairs. 
  • Natalie frequently says she wants to do things by herself.  
  • Natalie keeps getting better and better at gluing, painting, and coloring. 

  • William showing signs of understanding more things we say.  For example, he was going to crawl out of the living room the other day and I called for him to come back and he did.  
  • William is babbling like crazy!  He will talk to us and to himself.  
  • William has discovered putting things on his head.  
  • William is playing with books!!  His current favorite at bedtime is The Very Busy Spider.  He always picks that one out of the bucket.  
  • William has taken 1 or 2 steps several times.  This morning, he took one step without holding on to get from the coffee table to the couch.  
  • William can climb up stairs.  He easily scaled the three steps in the backyard up onto the deck. 
  • William can go in and out of tunnels.  
  • William continues to do well sleeping predictably (even though I just put him down for nap 40 minutes ago and now he's crying).  
  • William blows raspberries.  
  • William crawls into my lap.  :) 

A few weeks ago I got really frustrated with Natalie over potty training.  It seemed like she should have been ready.  Back in October, she had about three weeks where she told us before she peed and pooped and went many times in the potty.  But then her arthritus started and we went away for Thanksgiving and after a couple of accidents, she went back to diapers.  I was fine with that since I wasn't planning on training her that early anyway.  But now it is more than six months later and it appears that Natalie does not understand the basic concept of going to the potty before peeing or pooping.  She will tell us she has gone or is going, but she doesn't tell us before.  If she hadn't had those few weeks of self chosen potty success back in the fall, I don't think I'd be as frustrated.  I don't understand how she got it then but not now.

After I got frustrated with her one day, I asked if she wanted to us the potty and she said no.  She wanted to be a baby.  That fit with a lot of what she had been doing recently.  It seemed as if she was dealing with a lot of her new baby emotions now that she is feeling better from her JRA.  Once I got past the moment, I was fine with this.

But then we had a few gentle pushes.  I got a really good potty book out of the library since it was part of a series I was looking into for William.  (This book is Lily's Potty and its part of the Bright Babies series).  Natalie also loves William's Twilight Turtle, but we don't want to buy her one now just because she wants it.  (As it is, William only got his because my sister received two at her baby shower).  So, I told Natalie that the purple Twilight Turtles are picky and only will live with kids who use the potty.  So, when she is ready and is using the potty, I'll tell purple Twilight Turtle she can come live with us.  Our neighbor who is about three months younger than Natalie has potty trained and Natalie has seen her going potty, including an exciting trip to the bathroom at the library.   Then, we hosted play date twice, and my other neighbor had Natalie show her potty trained daughter where the bathroom is and Natalie stuck around and saw this girl us the potty.

After this most recent play date, Natalie sat on our toilet and her potty a few nights in a row at bath time.  I asked Natalie if she wanted to learn to use the potty and she said yes.  So, we have started official potty training.

In less than three days, we've gotten pee in the potty six times.  We've also had another three or four times she's gotten wet and then said she needed to go.  Both poops have been in her diaper / pull up and she didn't say anything about it.  We seem to be moving in the right direct of  feeling pee and knowing she is supposed to go to the potty.  As I said before, the key seems to be knowing to go before.  I'm also unsure what you are supposed to do after an accident.  Do you still bring them to the potty? 

Thinking about it today, I think that the reason that potty training is driving me crazy is that I haven't really had to teach Natalie anything like this yet.  Everything else we've done has been very natural and gradual.  There was next to no active teaching in her learning to walk or talk or use utensils or anything else.  When I did think about her learning to do pretty much anything, I think it has been routine and repetition that has allowed her to pick things up easily, so I'm thinking I really need to make the potty a big part of our routine. 

I read just yesterday that to potty train your child in five days you should bring them to the potty every 15 minutes!  Seriously?  That is ridiculous.  I think also assumes that you don't have any other children to care for.  William is also vying for my attention, often crawling after us into the bathroom.  I would also think that every 15 minutes would get old fast for the child since most of those times would be dry.  And, it would be more frustrating for me if she then had an accident!  

Currently, this has been our routine for the potty:
Potty as soon as she wakes up
No diaper in the morning before we go out so she can feel wetness
Ask her about needing the potty about every 15 minutes
Bring her to the potty every hour if she doesn't chose to before
Remind her about the potty when we are out
Ask about potty before lunch
Take her to the potty before nap
Take her to the potty after nap
Continue asking and taking her to the potty regularly in the afternoon
Ask about potty before dinner
Take her to the potty after dinner
Take her to the potty before bath
Mike says she asks to sit on the potty after bath before dressing
Ask about potty before going to her bedroom at bedtime

Thus far, Natalie has been very proud of herself going to the potty.  We shower her with praise and are trying to praise her attempts as well, though that is harder when she poops without a seeming thought of the potty.  We are also using a sticker poster.  Every pee gets one sticker and every poop two (once we have one).  Once she has a lot of stickers (not sure exactly how many since I didn't make it a chart), Twilight Turtle will come to live with us. 

Natalie is doing very well with the routine of the potty.  She is pulling up and down her pants and pull up.  She is sitting on the potty fine.  She is often staying on the potty alone.  She opens the toilet, pours her pee in, and flushes it.  Then she washes her hands.  She is even starting to practice toilet paper after peeing.  Again, its really knowing when to go and / or getting there on time that is the hiccup in the process. 

I wish that I was brave enough to just put her in underwear.  My neighbor did that with her daughter (the one younger than Natalie) and had great success thus far (its been about a month).  We know at least two other kids her age doing that, too.  But, I really don't want to clean the couch and carpet and car seat with the accidents.  We've been going diaperless a lot at home and thus far we've been lucky.  With this thought in mind, I think we are decided that we are not buying any more diaper for her.  We will just tell her there are no more diapers (which is a trick I read recently on line).  We will continue with the pull ups though since she is able to handle them herself.  And, she will need them at nap and bedtime at least. 

We are going to my parents' house again for Father's Day.  That's in about ten days.  I'm hoping that things are cemented enough by then that we don't have too much trouble. 

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