A little warning - anyone who isn't a parent and maybe my best friend is going to find this post to be TMI. I will want to know 20 years from now how I potty trained twin boys. I will need to remember that this almost broke me. (Also, this will be handy documentation. It is nice to have Bridget's potty training saga on the books. Look how little she is!)
Late last April (as in April 2013, almost a year ago) I decided it was time for the boys to potty train. I bought fun apps for the tablets, lots of juice, two potty seats and a small seat to fit over the regular toilet, movies they'd never seen before. I was ready. There is no I in team, y'all. I put the boys on their seats in the kitchen first thing in the morning and they both peed in them... at different times. While I was taking care of one of the removable bowls of pee, the boys used the potty seats as walkers, sliding them all over the wood floor. Ah! Also peeing on the floor.
We went downstairs and put a movie on and the two of them sat on the potty seats for a minute and watched. I had a handful of jellybeans if anyone did any business in the potty. Both boys peed in the potty and I celebrated and gave them each jellybeans. Almost immediately, Emil pooped in his underpants (he was across the room from Colin at the time), then stepped in the poop as we were getting the underpants off. A three-alarm mess to clean up and Colin was sitting on the little potty with nothing on. As I cleaned up poop in the bathroom down the hall, I called out to Colin, begging him to stay on the seat. When I finished and came back to Colin he was still on his seat. I thanked him, he gave me a kiss, then he reached into the bowl of his potty seat and handed me his jellybeans. The jellybeans that had been in the potty bowl. A few minutes later Colin pooped on the floor and confirmed my suspicions that it was not the time for potty training. I put them back in diapers and down for naps so I could curl up in the fetal position and do nothing for an hour.
What WAS that?!!! I've heard many people say that the kid has to be ready. I did not believe that. I'd heard that boys are usually older than two when they train successfully. I did not believe that either. I called my friend with five year-old twin boys and asked her how she did it. She was surprised that Emil and Colin were both ready to potty train. Once again, I was thinking of them as the same person.
I tried again several months later, but I could tell neither of the boys really cared and I just ended up in the fetal position again. Thinking about nothing.
Fast forward to last week. Emil has been in preschool (where all the kids are potty-trained and often use the bathroom at the preschool) for three months. I took the boys to the daycare at the gym one morning last week so that I could workout. Colin needed a diaper change during my workout, so I took him to the van and changed him. When I brought him back, Emil wasn't in the main room of the daycare. "Where's my other one?" I asked. "Oh, he said he needed to go to the bathroom, so he's in there." I told her Emil was wearing a diaper and whatever was happening in the bathroom at that moment was not okay. I was right. His diaper was off, his clothes were wet with toilet water, and he was trying to wipe himself with a paper towel. There was my sign. Also, it was General Conference weekend and this week is Spring Break. We could be home to do this for a full week!
We went through about 10 pairs of underpants the first day. Emil wanted nothing to do with the toilet about halfway through the day, but I sang songs with him and held him and gave him lots of hugs. I've decided the hardest thing about potty training is not losing my cool. It's messy, stinky, emotional - it's hard to remember that they need nothing but positive interaction so that they don't associate me being mad to them using the potty. On Saturday Emil stayed in the same underpants all day - no accidents. In the evening he pooped in the potty twice. "I DID IT! I DID IT!" Emil and I danced and shouted and made total fools of ourselves. Colin pointed at the potty bowl and yelled, "EW! YUCKY!!" This morning Emil was dry. :) I'm not ready to go to the store with him, but we have all week to cement this new ability before he goes back to school.
One to go. (You can see Colin's feet in the photo. He often says, "MY TURN!" when he sees how excited we are for Emil. It is my theory that Colin is always peeing - even if it's just a little bit. He may want a turn, but he also doesn't care if he takes that turn in his pants right now. We'll get to him when Mo goes back to school.)
By the way, the title of this post is Emil's version of his preschool teacher's favorite saying, "It's the right thing to do." He always tells me, "Yes YOU do." Hahahaha! When I heard his preschool teacher say it I cracked up. :)