Potty Training the 2nd Child

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ahhhh potty training, how I love the result but loathe the process. They say potty training the 2nd child is easier because the child wants to imitate the older sibling. Yeah, right. Ok, Dylan pretty much does whatever Kyla does just like a magpie, but most of what he imitates isn't hard, doesn't require consistency or pull him away from "his" fun. I hate to say it, but I've noticed with DJ that he's either lazy or he likes the status quo. He doesn't want to do hard things, scary things, unknown things - without a little push. Some examples:

1. he wanted to go down the slide into the pool, but had to hold my hand over and over, until I finally let go and he went down my himself. From then on, he went down all by himself

2. he wanted to go to school and play but he didn't want me to leave, until I left, and he had fun and from then on, he was fine.

3. he wanted to climb to the top of the playscape, but was scared. I helped him once and from then on he realized he could do it and was fine.

4. when he builds a tower, he wants you to build the bottom (harder part), then he'll put the top blocks on.

Potty training has been no exception. He WANTS the sticker and the potty dance, but he doesn't want to take time out of his day to go. He didn't like a dirty or wet diaper, but he didn't want to stop what he was doing to go to the potty. We tried a few times at home and school to coax him and we'd have a small success and then Dylan would refuse to go again. Basically, he needed a bigger push. That's my kid.

So we went cold turkey, all big boy pants 5 days ago. The first morning was ok and then it was all downhill. That's when I realized you can't ask Dylan "do you need to go potty?," you just have to tell him to go. We'd pause the movie, stop playing and reassure him that he wasn't going to miss anything. And here's where the sibling mimicking came in handy - Kyla would go potty at this time and that motivated Dylan to try. And he loves "the potty dance"! It also helped that we didn't give him a choice. It was potty or nothing.

The 2nd day started off great! We went potty all morning including a trip to the grocery store and Target where he went to the bathroom. Then we went to the park and all hell broke loose. Let's just say that I could have used a big glass of wine or a flask! It was gross, icky and I was completely discouraged. Then day 3 dawned. The Rodeo. I must have wiped Day 2 out of my subconscious because I actually considered taking him in big-boy-pants (along with 4 outfits). John talked me out of that (duh), so we put him in a pull up and "asked" him to tell us when he needed to go potty. Surprise! He stayed dry all day and went to the port-a-potty at the rodeo.
This morning, he woke up dry (we keep him in a pull-up at night) and went straight for the potty. He's now telling us when he needs to go! I see the light at the end of the "diaper tunnel" and that is a very good thing!

Lesson for me: All kids are different. My kids are different. I was reading back through my post on Kyla's potty training (http://kylabeatrice.blogspot.com/2009/09/that-darling-bum.html) and it made me realize just how different their brains work and what motivates each of them. It's a good lesson to learn this early and remember for the next stage.