Monday, September 26, 2011

Toward a Peaceful Coexistence with Pee-Pee

If you read my facebook status updates, you will know that WAY too much of my life right now revolves around pee and poop. Let's just say that potty training with Jackson has been a process-- a loooong process. This has caused some worry for me regarding Jackson starting preschool. There are few entry requirements for his preschool (no, we don't go to one of those uppity preschools with an application process and letters of recommendation), but being completely potty trained is one of them. (Um, how exactly do you define "completely"?)

Jackson has been getting better and better at using the potty. He usually goes without help pretty much whenever he needs to. But he has a bad habit of waiting too long to go and then not quite making it. This results in a perpetual wet spot on the front of his pants and several changes of underwear and pants each day. He usually doesn't have "puddle on the floor" type of accidents, but I still have not been able to get him to successfully keep one pair of pants dry for a single day.

The bright side of things is that he has never had an accident at preschool. Maybe it is because he really likes preschool, but he has never peed his pants there-- although he has had a fairly big accident within minutes of coming home. I keep thinking that one of these days his "staying dry at preschool" skill will transfer over for general usage, but it hasn't happened yet.

We have tried a variety of different methods, consequences and bribes in our quest for the elusive dry pants. I tried to think of a "natural consequence" for wetting pants and the most logical was something to get clean again. Since Jackson really likes baths that didn't seem like a good option, so I went with cold showers. (This probably sounds harsh, but I was getting desperate--we've been doing this for months now). But even after days of consistently enforcing a cold shower after he wet himself, there was still no difference. So I resorted to bribery: jelly beans for staying dry between trips to the potty. He liked the jelly beans, but it still didn't increase the frequency of dryness. (Did I mention that even when he makes it to the potty he doesn't have the best of aim, so we perpetually have toilets, floors and bath rugs that are generously sprinkled with pee-pee? I'm beginning to wonder if the makers of Clorox wipes have him on their payroll....) So I finally decided that I just needed to give him time for his body to learn and in the meanwhile to work toward a peaceful coexistence with pee-pee.

(This next paragraph contains graphic descriptions that may not be appropriate for those who are not parents or have not had to potty-train....)
This morning I woke up in a less-than-great mood. I consciously chose to have a slow morning and went upstairs to get dressed about 10 minutes before Addy had to be at playgroup. I went in to my bathroom and something didn't smell right. There was a discarded pull-up and a big pile of runny poop in front of my toilet and splattered on the walls. I scrambled to clean it up, muttering thanks for the invention of paper towels and Clorox wipes, and then got dressed and went to get Jackson's clothes from his room to get him dressed. There was another discarded pull-up on his floor, along with several poop smears on the carpet. More Clorox wipes and 10 minutes later, the mess was cleaned and Jackson was dressed. But by this time Addy had pooped and needed a diaper change, but at least she'd had the courtesy to keep it in her diaper. We were 40 minutes late for playgroup and I was 15 minutes late for my appointment that was during playgroup.

After a streak of whatever plans I tried to make not working out (Childwatch at the YMCA was full, tried to read a book but kept getting interrupted), we settled into the afternoon while Addy was down for her nap. But, before long, I heard Camryn yelling, "Mom! Jackson either barfed or pooped on the floor!" Sure enough, Jackson had another bout of diarrhea and not quite making it to the potty in time. This time there was runny poop in a pile in front of the toilet, squished into the bath rug, splattered on the side of the tub and a big puddle of pee-pee to top it all off (like a cherry on top). After more paper towels, Clorox wipes and scrubbing the rug out in the toilet, I admitted defeat and succumbed to feelings of defeat and futility and an afternoon of simply existing-- and trying to forget about the existence of poop.

This is AFTER I cleaned off everything I could....
But, having shirked my responsibilities to write this blog post, Addy has now emerged from the playroom with green marker covering her arms, hands and chin. I think that's my cue to go....

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