The New Regime

We have embarked on the journey of potty training. I dreaded this step since the moment I found out I was having twins. The mere thought of potty training two kids at about the same time was enough to make me panic.Those of you who know me know that I am a Baker to the bone. When we Bakers are faced with a problem, we choose one of two paths.The first, and preferable path, is delegation. If there is anyway said problem can be farmed out to someone else to handle, then by all means we will farm it out. If delegation is not possible, we will destroy this problem. It will be the subject of an all-out, shock and awe style attack. We are the honey badgers of the human world. No trace of this obstacle will be left when we are done, regardless of the collateral damage.

So, a few months ago, I started searching for a potty trainer. I figured there had to be some sort of consultant I could hire who would come potty train my kids for me, and I was right! I found just such a person. She would spend two days with us and help train one of the girls. For two weeks after her visit, she would be available via email to answer questions and give support. For her services, she charged $1000. Now if there were some sort of guarantee that after she spent two days with us that the kid she worked with would be 100% trained, then I could see spending a cool grand. However, no such guarantee would be made. From there, I called the Motherhood Center. I’m not going to launch into a segue about the Motherhood Center. It’s just too much. It’s a place where you can take your infant for various classes, hire a doula, find a lactation consultant, or get a prenatal massage. Anyway, I called them and asked if they had a potty training consultant. Thankfully, a woman with a great deal of sense called me back and recommended a book to read and basically said you’re going to have to do this yourself. With path one eliminated, I embarked on path two and began the War Against Pee Pee.

The book I read is called Toilet Training without Tantrums by John Rosemond. Now, first off, we had lots of tantrums, so that title doesn’t apply to me. To sum up the method, you take your kid’s pants and diaper off and leave them off. You put them on the potty about every hour. Accidents are going to happen. Clean them up with little fanfare, or better yet, get the kid to clean it up. When the kid actually pees in the potty, don’t make a big deal. If they sense how desperate you are for them to pee in the potty, then they’ll realize the power they have over you! I liked this method since it’s so “all in.” I don’t dip a toe; I don’t straddle a fence; I dive in head first and hope there are no rocks on the bottom. I’m fairly certain this is how honey badgers potty train their young.

Day one, I stripped Avery and Lily naked, showed them their potty chairs, and told them there would be no more diapers. They had no idea what was going on. They peed everywhere but the potty, to include: the front porch, the couch, three area rugs, their high chairs, and their beds. However, at the very end of the day, Lily nonchalantly walked over to her potty chair, sat, and peed like it was totally natural. By day four, they were doing awesome! Avery was even telling me before she had to go! Yet, something happened that night. I’m fairly certain they conspired and decided that they weren’t down with this whole new regime. Day five dawned, and it all went out the window. No one was cooperating anymore. This coup lasted two days and was as unpleasant as it sounds. The morning of day seven showed that Lily was coming back around. She decided she didn’t like cleaning up her own pee and went back to using the potty. Alas, the evening of day seven, Avery mounted the Great Uprising. It was the first and ugliest tantrum I have ever seen by one of my kids. As stated in the book, use a baby gate to confine the defiant child to the bathroom until they use the potty. This tactic resulted in Avery’s full arsenal being deployed against us. Noel arrived home when it was in full swing, and it nearly reduced him to tears. Before it was all said and done, Avery lay face down on the bathroom floor, screaming with all her might. She finally calmed down; she cleaned up the mess she’d made, and joined us at dinner as if nothing had happened. Day eight showed us a totally compliant Avery, much to our relief. Now Lily decided to muster a similar uprising a few days later, but it was not as terrifying, probably since we’d already been through it with Avery. Thankfully by the time we got to week two, everyone was past their emotional terrorism.

Now we just have occasional accidents, meaning like once a day. Some days it’s Avery, and some days it’s Lily. I still make them clean it up to reinforce that lesson; however, I will be hiring a professional carpet cleaner in a month or so. My only problem now is that neither of my kids want to wear clothing anymore. Thankfully, we live in a warm climate.

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