Friday, March 8, 2013

Potty Training Boot Camp

WARNING: Potty training is NOT for the faint of heart.
About a month shy of G's 3rd birthday, we had a 3 day weekend and decided to tackle potty training.  Chad and I had both read and re-read some lady's words of wisdom - a lady who claimed our kid would be potty trained after 3 days - so we were ready for the challenge!  (Ha...rookies.)
A big part of this lady's strategy is throwing away ALL diapers the morning of day 1 so you know and the kid knows that there is no turning back.  Of course, being the thrifty people we are, we made sure to start this when we were just about out of diapers anyways.  You KNOW the Herrings aren't just throwing away a bunch of good diapers.  But, we understood the point of throwing away a few and Griffin was pumped up to start training.  He went around to all of our various bags to gather his diapers and then threw them in the trash!  No turning back.
We were stocked up on Thomas and Mickey Mouse big boy underwear.  Griffin was excited!  Another main strategy of this lady's method is to never insist the kid sit on the potty, not even ASK the kid if he needs to go potty, rather ask HIM to tell YOU when he needs to go.  (Ha!)  So, I wrote down our "lines" on a post-it and stuck it to the kitchen cabinets so Chad and I wouldn't forget.  Silly now, because I'm pretty sure those lines are seared in my memory for life.
"Remember to tell me when you need to go potty!"  (said in a nice, up beat, this-is-so-great voice.)
"Is your underwear dry?"  (Asked every 2 seconds and saying "yaaaay!"  high five, "I'm so proud of you!" when the answer was yes.)
Outside of that, the rest of the strategy was to pump them full of liquids, keep them in underwear only, follow them around like white on rice, watch their EVERY move and when you noticed they were about to pee standing in a puddle of pee, pick them up and RUN them to the potty to successfully finish peeing in the potty.
Griffin was excited about his underwear!

Dada and Griffin doing the "potty dance" together.

Sorry Calvin Klein, I'm not letting him do any underwear modeling - even though he's obviously a natural.

Soooooo, the first day we had about 7 accidents (read pee all over the floor - thank goodness for hardwoods) and ZERO pees in the potty.  Griffin never ONCE told us he needed to go potty.  Okay, we're fine with that.  It was just day one - we knew that might happen and we are still feeling optimistic and patient.
Pick a potty ANY potty! 

Carson was just rubbing it in that he still got to wear diapers and could pee and poop anytime he pleased.

More potty dancing.  "Do the {clap, clap} potty dance." 
Look it up on You Tube
The second day panned out exactly like the first day. Six accidents.  Zero potty success stories.  Patience is wearing a little thin, BUT we're still hopeful...waiting for that magic third day. "Remember to tell us when you need to go potty!"

Day three - more of the same. Except a few tears from mom. We were running out of paper towels, running out of patience and there was NO WAY I wasn't sending this kid to school tomorrow!  At this point I'm convinced G is just messing with us.  I KNOW he's smart enough to tell us when he needs to pee, right?!
Well, by the end of day three I had added a few of my own strategies (thanks to desperation and suggestions from friends and family), which included telling Griffin that he could have 150 candy corns if he just went and sat on the potty, 300 if he peed in the potty and 1,209 candy corns if he POOPED in the potty!

Bribery.  Now we were in business.

We finally had some success towards the end of day three.  Seriously felt like the longest three days of my life.  We never left the house and Griffin was never out of our sight.  Just sitting, waiting and anticipating was so STRESSFUL!
Day four I sent that boy to school with about five changes of clothes.  I stayed by the phone all day just waiting for the call to come get him (school has a 2 accidents in a day and you're out policy).  Walking up to his class room for pick up I was curious to see which of the five outfits he was going to be wearing.  Well, wouldn't ya know, that boy was in the same outfit.  I was PUMPED!  I asked the teachers how he did and they said he still hadn't gone to the potty.  That boy HELD IT IN ALL DAY!  Stubborn as a mule.
Anyways, we are about 2 months post potty training now and, looking back, I'll give this three day potty training lady some credit.  It took a FULL three days for us, but Griffin really did well after that.  We still have the occasional accident here and there and we're working on teaching Griffin to give us a little advanced notice when he has to poop.  I'm pretty sure he waits until the turd is about half way out and then decides to run to the potty.  (Too much information?  Sorry.)
I'll leave you with that beautiful piece of imagery.


  1. omg. this post is too funny...potty training is NOT for the faint of hearts! AM was in panties when I was big and preggo and I got so sick of cleaning accidents that I put her back in diapers. Bad idea. Now she IS in big girl panties but tells us AFTER she has started to go. No major accidents but pants/undies wet enough that we have to change them every time. Thoughts??

    1. Hmmmmm, maybe make her stay in the damp undies a while? If she doesn't like it, she may learn....?

  2. As a fellow language teacher, I would truly like to commend you on your use of sensory language. Truly! I may share this post if allowed, with my 8th graders as not only as an example of great writing, but also birth control!! Loved it Rach! Ha!