Sunday, July 27, 2008

Once Upon Ben's Potty

This is the kind of post I won't be cross-posting to my community-based blog Red Pens in Wausau, which is hosted at Citizen Wausau. My audience there is not composed of mommy bloggers or my family, so they probably don't want to hear a blow-by-blow of my haphazard potty training adventures with Benji Boy.

But you do. :)

It all started last week Wednesday evening while Chris was at class. I was home alone with the kids, and Ben was tearing around the house (as usual), finding mischief where he could. At one point, he asked me if he could sit on the potty.

I said, "Sure! I'll blow bubbles in your face while you sit!"

He sat there for what felt like an hour, but was probably only 20 minutes. He produced nothing, but while he sat, I talked to him about how Anna has to wear a diaper because she's a baby, but Ben is a big boy, and he has a choice. He can go pee pee on the potty instead of wearing a diaper, and then he'll get to wear big boy underpants just like Daddy. It's the time-honored method of gentle pressure.

After he got off of the potty, we went into the bedroom to get a diaper on, but at the last moment, he squirmed and got down and said, "No boop-boop [diaper]!" And he ran around the house without the protective covering of a diaper.

Over the next two hours, we went into the bathroom periodically to sit on the potty and blow bubbles. I brought out a wooden dining room chair to put in the living room so he could watch TV without making me almost have a heart attack in fear that he would go pee-pee on my couches. No pee-pee was made anywhere. Not on the floor, not in the potty. He waited until he had a diaper on and was in his jammies. That's okay.

The next day, I made a big production of buying a Bob the Builder foam toilet insert so he would have a more comfortable perch on the seat. He was so excited about that; we spent at least three total hours on Thursday in the bathroom. When I tired of blowing bubbles, I squirted foam shaving cream into his hands, on his bare legs, etc. (followed immediately by bathtime). Still, no pee-pee was made. That's okay.

Friday evening, the no-diaper tradition was carried out at Ben's request. Sunday as well, though I was smart today. In addition to the foam toilet seat in the bathroom, I brought his little potty into the living room and sat him in front of videos he hasn't seen in a while. I even served him lunch on the potty. Still, no pee-pee was made.

I'll be patient. It's not like I'm actively trying to potty train the kid. I was waiting until he was more verbal, more aware. I know some children are potty trained sooner, but Ben never seemed interested, and every time I would cajole him or ask him about the potty, he would freak out and run away in terror, sometimes running into the bathroom to slam the lid down to make his position on the matter quite clear.

Now that I'm no longer working, maybe the extra home time will induce a potty-training-perfect boredom, and the potty play will be the most fun thing EVER.

We watch "Once Upon a Potty" at least once a day, and we sing and dance along to the accompanying song. Thank you, youtube.

I recently made the new rule that I will not blow bubbles again until *after* he has put his pee-pee in the potty. I don't know if that will help, but I know I am very sick of blowing so many bubbles. Besides, it covers the bathroom in a fine film of soap, and that's just icky.

What's your potty training story? Are you scared of it (like I am)?

Nana Update: After her consultation with the surgeon in Madison last Wednesday, she has good news to report. The surgeon doesn't think that she'll necessarily need another surgery. He says that the muscle isn't completely severed. If it was, her eyeball would have flipped all the way back, with nothing to hold it steady while she looks forward. He suspects that with healing, her eye will recuperate and either heal itself back together or it will accommodate the weakness. She'll be reevaluated in six weeks with an MRI in Madison. Until then, she has no restrictions, and she reports that her vision is getting better every day. We think we got our miracle!