It's been three (THREE! 3! 3! 3! ) weeks since Middle has been potty trained with no relapse! We had tried every trick in the book and then some, to get her to use the potty and stop using the training pants. We tried the passive method-- she'll use the potty when she's ready; the aggressive method-- sit! pee! now!; bribery-- I'll give you one m&m every time you pee and two m&ms when you poo, says I in a sweet voice; the chart-- a sticker for every 5 check marks; we even let her pick out new underpants, but nothing worked. She is 3 1/2 as of June and I was starting to think she would never get out of training pants. I couldn't even get her to change her pull-ups after she peed, she would sit there until they overflowed!
When I went to the stores and her pull-ups needed to be changed, I hated that the changing table in the public restroom wasn't in a private stall, but out in the open near the sinks. So every woman that walked in would see a fairly big girl lying down on the table, her arms and legs over-hanging the edges, being wiped and changed. I was getting embarrassed at some of the looks I got. You know, those "tsk-tsking" shakes of the head and there were even some sympathetic looks, like maybe I didn't know she was old enough to be using the toilet on her own.
So there I was, reading my daily dose of blogs from all my favorites and I came upon The Good Woman's blog, My Wee Scottish Blog (soon to be My Little African Blog?????) and she had a post about how she helped her little one understand how many days were left before Grandma came to visit. She had some balloons on a paper and each balloon represented a day; for every day that went by, a balloon was colored in. Now Bambi knew that if there were 2 balloons left, that meant 2 more days before Granny gets here!!
I never thought of doing something like that!! I adapted it and drew 10 balloons and made copies. I told Middle that if she started using the potty, every time she did something, to color in one of the balloons. when all 10 balloons were colored in, I would give her $1.00 and she could buy what she wanted at the Dollar Store (where everything is $1!). It worked! She started putting on her underwear and every time she felt the need to use the potty, she'd run to me, grab her crotch and do the pee-pee dance, "I gotta pee!" So I'd run with her to the bathroom, flip on the light, and she'd pee and color in a balloon!
I'd be in the middle of stirring a boiling pan of pasta, and in she'd run, "I gotta pee!" and I would have to drop everything to run to the bathroom with her. After a while, the pee-pee dance got tiring, but hey! She was using the potty! She filled in 10 balloons and we gave her $1. She barely got halfway through the 2nd page before she stopped coloring in the balloons but was still using the potty! We ended up giving her $5 to spend at Wal-mart and she picked out an identical purse to the one that Oldest picked out with her birthday money. We figured with the money we are saving from not having to buy any more pull-ups, she deserved the $5.
So here it is 3 weeks (THREE!!) later, and she is pooing and peeing in the potty. The trip East for the holiday was the first time she rode in the car without pull-ups for a long 2 1/2 hour drive. I brought extra undies, pull-ups and a change of clothes just in case. Halfway through the trip, "I gotta pee!" and a sit-down pee-pee dance started. We quickly pulled over to the nearest fast food joint and made it to the bathroom with no accident. Yay!!! Yay Middle!!
Let's hope this trick works with Youngest!