Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Masters of Shitastrophies

This morning I averted major shitastrophy. I caught Autumn with her pajamas down to her ankles and her hands just starting to pull at the sides of her diaper full of poop. We marched right to the potty and had a talk about not taking the diaper off. She was all smiles. And I was pretty happy myself, the kind of happiness that comes from great relief knowing you have avoided an awful yucky job.

My husband and I have become pros at cleaning up shitastrophies. One of us captures the child with a super-sized bath towel, wraps them up tight and whisks them directly to the bathtub, while the other strips the bed, and goes after the surroundings with a tub of Lysol wipes. Together we can have the kid and the room cleaned up and fresh as new within twenty minutes. This speed and efficiency comes from a few years of cleaning up poop disasters that have left the diaper thanks to our curious and dexterous toddlers.

But we're tired of it. A while back we splurged on special pjs that zip up the back and triple snap. Even with the help of a handy big sister our two who are still in diapers cannot escape. If you have a child who strips off their diaper and then makes an abominable mess, you need these jammies. They are made of soft but sturdy cotton, and are generously sized. They only work their magic however when you actually put the kid to sleep with them on, which was my fatal error the night before. We only have a couple pairs of them, and they were all in the wash.


Anyway, the fact that Autumn almost always tries to get out of her pullup if it is dirty in the morning combined with the fact that she consistently comes right to one of us during the day when she has pooed tells me that maybe she is ready for potty training. This is a week off from school for my kids, so I figured it was a great time to try it with her. For three days I have been putting her in panties in the morning and she seems very amenable to the idea. I check her every twenty minutes or so, asking if she needs to go potty and if she does, she says yes and we try. It has been going really well for peepee... but each day so far, just when I am out getting the laundry or in the bathroom myself, sha-zam, she craps in her pants.

I am stymied. All my other kids learned to manage #2 on the potty before #1. I assumed that is because #2 usually gives the body a couple warnings, whereas it seems like by the time a kid realizes they have to pee, it is already running down their legs. I am going to keep trying every day until she has to go back to school, and I swear I am going to remember to check with her first before I leave whatever room she is in.

Of course, even when I do finally get Autumn out of pullups, I will still have Kimani who is going to be sleeping in a Little Keeper Sleeper until she graduates into a Big Keeper Sleeper. I don’t want to say there is no hope that she will one day do it on the potty but for now she could care less, and actually prefers not to be forced into the bathroom when nature calls.

So wish me well, and if you have any sage potty-training advice on approaches I could use for either one of them... do share.


DandG said...


Anonymous said...

I second the recommendation of the above poster. Don't laugh at the name of the book! For the more, shall we say "determined" children among us, I like to call the book "Potty Training in Less Than a Year." But their methods are actually tested on people with developmental disabilities too (as explained by a sadly out-of-date section taken from the days of institutionalization). Its the methods themselves that really work, or at least worked for our son....I loved the "List of Friends" and potty drills where you visually show him how exactly to run to the potty and where it is located --- genius. When potty training at first, you are always moving the portable potties around, and you forget that your child might not remember exactly where the closest one is. Also, a behavior therapist who came to speak to our group recommended a potty log so you can keep track of "tries" versus "successes" and over time you see a pattern and you may even know when your kid has to go. Good luck!!!

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