Friday, July 6, 2007

"I gotta pee!"

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!


Elsie Button said...

Yay - brilliant! great news. i need to remember these little tricks... why is it that at the very moment i take Betty's nappy off to let her have a little kick around freely that she decides to wee? and why is it that at that moment she has managed to drop her cuddley toy that she was playing with right in the line of fire. babies aren't stupid. they keep you on your toes and they know it. but congratulations to middle! yay again!

Raynemoon said...

Woo Hoo!!!! Congrats!
Mind if I borrow your trick? Sounds like a good plan. My LilBit is working on it, but he seems to just not care that he sits around in dirty pants. Like Middle, he is too old to be still in pull ups and I am TIRED of changing him!

lady macleod said...

Huzzah! I love the "pee pee dance"; I have done that one myself.

Please go over to Annie at Blooming Marvelous and tell her this methodology and that when they are ready, they will "pull them up".

Annie said...

Jenny - I am so going to try this. I'm reading your post and nodding at EVERYTHING - this is exactly what we've been going through - right down to the changing table and the dirty looks from other women!

I'll let you know how it goes :)

sufferingsummer said...

Way to go Middle Child! This is exciting business. Two down one to go, she'll probably give you no trouble but only because you'll be so prepared for her to give you trouble~;)

jenny said...

Elsie-- I know exactly what you mean! Every time I give Youngest a bath, right after I take off her diapers, she always pees before I can get her in the tub! Your "babies aren't stupid" line made me laugh!!

Raynemoon-- Welcome!! Feel free to use it!! I hear you can also use a cheerio in the toilet and tell little boys to aim for it. Have you tried that? Does it work? One kid left in diapers!!

Lady M-- I think they learned the pee-pee dance from me!! LOL Annie has already been here! Thanks for coming by!

Annie-- I hope it works out for you. It was so easy with Oldest.. I hardly had to do anything and I made the (wrong) assumption it would be the same for Middle! Hopefully Youngest will be easier... Keep me posted! (a pun! ha!)

Summer-- Well let's hope so!! I'm going to start her earlier and try to skip the pull-ups altogether... I hope I won't be biting off more than I can chew.

DJ Kirkby said...

Great news and well done to big girlie Middle!

The Good Woman said...

Yay!! So glad it worked for you too! Congratulations middle! I remember being amazed when the chart became unnecessary and having 'cracked it' became its own reward.

Lindystar said...

Ohh!!! YAAAAYYYYY but like FOR REAL. My step mom and Dad are having the hardest time with my little brother and #2. Gawd it seems like they've tried EVERYTHING.
Ballons and coloring it IS!! I'm calling my step mom as soon as I get home.

Thank You for sharing you never know how many people it might help. And congratulations!!

And if my step mom tries it and it works? I'll for real send you the carmel apple gift basket on this site - (go back like 3 posts and you'll see them)

No joke. What goes around comes around.

Iota said...

Well done! I can FEEL your relief coming through the words of your post.

Bribery - even dressed up as balloons and colouring - is a good parental tool!

Krissie said...

Yaayaayaay! Well done, Jenny.
So how does it feel, do you mis tsk-tsking? lol

jenny said...

Dj-- Thank you!! And it's all on Middle... I could bribe her, force her, but in the end, she's the one that makes the choice where to pee.

Good Woman-- If it wasn't for you and your balloon post, I wouldnt have gotten to this point with Middle, so THANK YOU!! :o)

Lindy-- I hope it works for your little brother. You don't need to get me anything if it works. I'm just happy to know that my little post might have helped some other little ones join the rest of us underwear wearing people! :o)

iota-- I always thought that bribery had it's place and time. I wouldnt do it alll the time, but there are moments where it is needed. And yes, I am relieved. Hubby, too!

Krissie-- Who me?? Not at all!!! LOL! It was so nice to hear Middle announce loudly in the food store yesterday, "I gotta pee!" and several people nearby smiled. Off we went, zipping to the bathroom for her!

Thanks to all for coming by!!

Dana said...

Congrats! I remember thinking I had gotten a huge raise whenever one of mine got out of diapers or pull ups.

Raynemoon said...

The cheerio thing worked for about a week and then I guess it lost it's fun. Also, they really get messy. Little boys have worse aim than big boys!
LilBit LOVES money though (yes he learned very early thanx to Dad)so this might work. He did well over the weekend so lets see if the moey holds his attention!