A couple of weeks ago--almost a month now--we decided Mack was ready to potty train. More than a few people were surprised at our choice to undertake such a huge task at his young age (about 22 months), but thankfully Tyler and I, as Mack's parents, are the the ones responsible and most qualified to make that decision. Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest...
The potty training has gone relatively smoothly for us. I credit most of that to Mack being such a laid back happy kid, but some people have still asked me "How'd you DO it?" so I'll tell you:
It all started with a big family night trip to the store to pick up a little toilet for Mack. We marched--yes, marched--around the store until we found just the right one and then Mack proudly carried up to the front. After that we headed over to Target and picked up some poster board, car stickers, Teddy Grahams, and training pants (aka: extra thick underwear, not pull-ups). That night we suggested Mack try sitting on his new toilet (right next to our toilet) and danced and marched around while singing about how great toilets are, and how much we L.O.V.E. going potty and poop on the toilet. HOORAY! I made Mack a sticker chart and gave him a sticker for every time he sat on the toilet. The next day, he started out the morning in a diaper and I continued to have him sit on the toilet, until he we got the timing just right and he happened to go potty in it, for which he received some teddy grahams in a bowl (he loves getting snacks in a bowl). Once he did that, I put him in underwear and we've never looked back. We moved all Mack's books into the bathroom and basically lived in the there for the rest of the week. Mack and I didn't leave the house once until Saturday. It was tough, but I really think that if I'd given in and taken him out, or put him in a diaper, it would have been back to square one. One crucial "turning point" in the potty training was when we ran out of clean underwear. I let Mack run around the apartment bottomless and that seemed to really help him realize how everything "works". On that Saturday, Tyler took Mack to get sushi (my reward) and Mack used the toilet at the grocery store nearby (stripped down, sitting backwards). He went to church that Sunday in underwear and had no accidents, but didn't use the restroom either. So....several weeks later I wouldn't hesitate to say that Mack is daytime potty trained. He still uses a diaper at nap time and nighttime, but wakes up and uses the toilet then goes straight into underwear. He has a little trouble telling us when he needs to go, but has NEVER (knock on wood) had an accident while out of the house and when he does have one at home, he always realizes it as it's happening, gets us and then finishes on the toilet. As an added bonus, Mack has NO problem going poop on the toilet, and isn't afraid of flushing etc. We're so proud of our little kid! Just yesterday he used the toilet at the Science Center. Way to go Mack!
*2 Potty Training Stories*
Mack was sitting on his little toilet when Henry started to cry. I told Mack to sit still and I'd be right back. While I was in the living room for-I swear!- half a second. Mack went potty (I could tell because I heard him yell "YEAH!" and clapping his hands. As I stepped back in to the restroom, Mack lifted up the insert that holds the potty and, while attempting to dump the potty in the toilet, instead dumped the potty all over the floor. I didn't know what to do, so I simply threw up my hands, said "oh NO!" and started laughing. I told Mack to "Stay STILL", but he decided to walk over to the sink and ended up slipping on his urine and falling flat on his back (in a puddle of urine-remember). Meanwhile, Henry had started to cry again. Tyler walks in the door to find a crying infant, a puddle of urine, Mack in the bathtub, and me attempting to get ready to mop up the floor. He had been gone less than 5 minutes to pick up the mail, which is sometimes all it takes for chaos to take over, and a good reason to never leave your kids home alone.
Last night, Mack was in the bathroom supposedly pooping. I was in the living room nursing Hank, and Ty was in and out of the bathroom folding laundry. In an instant we hear Mack yell "YEAH!" and flush the toilet. We're assuming he went poop, but with this kid it's hard to be sure. Tyler hurries in to check everything--the toilet is empty and seems to be working fine. A little while later, he realizes the toilet isn't quite flushing right. Tyler managed to unclog whatever was blocking it. So either Mack had quite the poop, or I'm going to find out later that he is missing a car. I'm not sure which option I prefer.