I don't know that I've actually blogged about our efforts; I know it has crossed my Facebook status multiple times, though, as well as been a source of conversational laments with my close mommy friends. So, for those who are uninitiated, here's a rundown...
First, we began to realize that this poor kid just never really had a "prime" potty training window:
- He definitely was not ready early as some toddlers are.
- Shortly after he turned 2 years old, his daddy left for 13 months.
- During the time Daddy was away, Baby Zaden was born.
- After Zaden was born, Mommy and Zaden had lots of issues related to nursing.
- By the time Lucan turned 3, Daddy was still gone.
- Two months later, Daddy returned! Yay!
- And then we went on a 30-day road trip.
- And then we returned to Ohio to pack up our house.
- And then we moved overseas.
- And then we lived in a small apartment for two months.
- And then we moved into our house.
- And then, as we were FINALLY feeling at-home, Ted left for a 6-week TDY.
- And THEN Lucan turned FOUR!
Combine all the transitions and trauma of the last year and a half or so, and it was no wonder Lucan was four years old and still wearing pull-ups. Added to all that, his laid-back yet focused personality weren't conducive to self-motivation...he hated to be torn away from his building projects!
At the same time, it wasn't as if we didn't put forth ANY effort to train him. Before we moved to Italy, he had some potty successes, including a few poops! We were encouraged that maybe it wouldn't be so hard after we got to Italy. Once we felt somewhat "settled" in our apartment, plus having very little that HAD to be done each day, I thought we'd make some focused efforts and really make some headway. Well, we did make focused efforts, and he did make...a small bit of headway...but after finding that he had smeared poop all over the balcony one afternoon, I decided that I was NOT ready to deal with this and maybe it would be better to wait until we got settled in our actual house.
More attempts. More failure. Finally we decided not to worry about it until after Ted returned from his 6 week course in Texas--I was early on in my pregnancy and not feeling up to the potty challenge.
We desperately tried to get Lucan to even approach consistency, but to no avail. Plus, he simply WOULD NOT poop on the potty. He seemed agreeable enough, even sitting on the potty for 10-15 minutes at a time, but with no results. And he was happy enough to run and pee when we asked him to (even graduating to standing up instead of sitting), but it was NEVER his own idea.
We gave up and put him in pull-ups for the duration of our road trip.
After our return, we ditched the pull-ups (except at night) and told him it would be underwear only during the day.
Also, I found a potty training book (how many of those have I browsed over the years?!) at the thrift store during a Bag Sale Day and figured it couldn't hurt!
That book gave us the idea that was the TURNING POINT!!
There was a special section on kids who were delayed potty trainers for whatever reason, so I just focused on that. Their solution was to have the child clean up his own mess, and once everything was clean, to have him run from the location of the accident to the nearest toilet and go through the motions of taking down his pants, sitting on the toilet, "finishing," and then doing that whole routine TEN TIMES.
Thankfully, Lucan's first few accidents happened when Ted was home, so we were able to have Ted do this with him instead of me having to figure out how to add this into my regular routines. As you can imagine, the first couple of times of RUNNING TO THE POTTY were like a game!! Oh, so fun! But ten times?! The fun definitely wore off.
Would you believe...I think Ted only did that with him a couple of times, and all of a sudden, poop success!! AND Lucan started making sure he got himself to the potty when he needed to pee instead of waiting for us to prompt him!
We were so excited. I made a new potty chart: yellow stars for the days he has no pee accidents and brown stars for the days he has no poop accidents. (Gross, I know, but it is working for him!)
And then I went into the hospital with pre-term labor. Ugh. I was away for over 5 days.
We were concerned that Lucan would revert to his original potty problems, but I am SO THANKFUL to report that he is doing GREAT! The only poop accident he has had in the last week and a half or so was when someone was using the toilet he was headed to and he had to run upstairs...and didn't quite make it! And only one pee accident that whole time. He is still wearing pull-ups to bed, but he's been dry maybe 50% of the time, and honestly, that's the least of our concerns now. Our big prayer was that he would be completely daytime potty trained before the Baby's arrival, and God has graciously brought us through a very, very frustrating time to some profound success in the last couple of weeks. Thank the Lord!!
It seems like such a minor issue, especially since we really haven't had potty training problems for YEARS! Tobin proved a bit challenging because he thought it was so fun to let fly in...um...unique locations, but Charis took the initiative to train both Arden and Kenna, so it had been awhile since we were actively involved in the process! But this "minor issue" was starting to consume my life, causing me much stress and frustration, and I hated that. I'm so grateful that we seem to be over the hump. Plus, Lucan's new self-confidence and happiness with himself is an added bonus in seeing him graduate to full-time dry/clean underwear!