And… we’ve got Poo-poo!

Okay, sorry, but I am really excited about this one.

Hula Girl’s potty training has been going pretty well. Over the past week or so, I’ve had to put her back in a diaper for long car trips, doctor visits, and other things. I have not enjoyed putting her in diapers, and neither has she. She even told me when she had gone pee-pee or poo-poo in her diaper, just because she didn’t like it at.all. But now that we’re home for a while and back to our normal routine, we’ll be full-on undies folks (except for naps and nighttime sleep).

The marshmallows don’t really seem to give Hula Girl that special buzz any longer, so when we were at my parents’ house, my mom started giving her animal crackers. Those were a hit! But then Hula Girl stopped using the potty altogether and threw a major tantrum when I asked her to “try” before we left for church on Sunday. Seriously, 20 minutes of screaming.

I am 100% dedicated to keeping our potty training as happy and easy as possible. I refuse to get into a power struggle with her over it. So, on Sunday, when I asked her to sit on the potty and “try,” I did put her on the potty for about 3 seconds, and then held her in my arms while she screamed and cried and begged for me to put her down. I did not respond, I didn’t let anything show on my face, and I didn’t let Jonathan enter the room. But guess what? She still sat on the potty (which I praised her for), and I won. Immediately after she calmed down a bit (but while still crying), I put her down and got her dressed for church. She even helped a lot by lifting her feet to put her legs through her pants and pushing her arms through the sleeves of her shirt. She was sad but cooperative. I’ll take it.

So far today she has not wanted to sit on the potty to pee-pee. She held it for about 2.5 hours this morning before having an accident. But she did have an accident. She got a natural consequence since she soaked her high chair and we had to switch to her booster. She LOVES her high chair still, but agreed that it would be nicer to sit on a dry chair. I reminded her to go in the potty when she needs to go, and she said, “Yeah!” So I am hoping that next time she needs to go (and is not in a diaper for nap), she’ll remember to use the potty.

But even with all that regression, we had a major breakthrough today! She actually ran to the potty, sat down, and pooped! She was so proud of herself! And I was overjoyed as well! We called her Grammy and Jonathan, who both congratulated her while she bounced up and down and ate a large Christmas tree Peep I had left over from Christmas. (Hey, it was all I had in the house except marshmallows, and she doesn’t even like those anymore, and I had to give her something EXTRA big for going poo-poo in the potty! This is a significant accomplishment!) She went poo-poo in the potty twice this morning before we left for grocery shopping, and I am thrilled!

So, all in all, we’re in remedial pee-pee training but advancing in the poop department. Here’s the plan for the next few days:

  1. I will be visiting Target this evening after Hula Girl goes to bed to pick up some of the thick cotton training panties that will absorb a little more urine in the case of an accident. (Her undies do nothing to stop the flow, and she floods the floor when she goes.) She’ll wear these thicker undies when we leave the house.
  2. We will continue in just undies at home for the next week or so. I am hoping to teach her how to pull down her undies unassisted in this time. She can get them down to the middle of her thighs, but hasn’t quite figured out how to bend over to pull them the rest of the way down. I think once this step is accomplished, nothing will stop her!
  3. We will continue rewarding for pee-pee or poo-poo in the potty. We’ve switched to chocolate Bunny Grahams (she picked these at the store this morning) since the marshmallows weren’t cutting it anymore. I actually like using these better than using marshmallows anyway. Less sticky handprints! If Bunny Grahams lose their appeal, I have planned to try mini M&Ms, and if those don’t work, we’re going to a sticker chart with a dollar store toy as a reward. (It’s good to have your bases covered, right?)
  4. I will also be reinstituting clean and dry “checks” (with rewards) since I feel like some of her refusal to use the potty is a power thing. If I am rewarding her just before asking her to “try,” there will be less of a struggle. Plus if I keep her reward fresh in her memory, she’ll have more motivation to earn her rewards. I plan to do these checks at the normal times we’ll be using the potty. For example, before and after meals, before leaving the house, upon returning, and between different activities. I won’t be doing them every 20 minutes any longer, since she doesn’t need to go that often.

And… that’s the plan. I am working hard to focus on the positives (poop!) rather than on the regressions. If I keep a good attitude and don’t give in to the temptation to just go back to diapers, I think we’ll be fully day-trained in another week or so.

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