Potty Plunge

And here we go again.

I had Tad’s parent-teacher conference this last Tuesday. Bottom line – when Tad is on, he’s ON. When he’s off, he’s OFF. Which is typical of a lot of three-year-old boys, but obviously his delays exacerbate his behavior. Still, his teachers and his speech therapist are pleased with his improvement. It does seem that his behavior is becoming a larger issue than his speech, though, which makes me nervous.

During the conference, Tad’s teacher asked how potty training was going.

Um, it’s really not been going at all. Which is the crux of the problem, come to think of it.

Tad has two set places in the house where he will go to poop. He will either 1) go into his room and close the door, pick up a book and stand between the glider and the footstool that are in his room, or 2) stand at the end of our coffee table in the living room – the end that faces the end table at the end of the couch – and pick up a book.

Either way you look at it, artificially confined spaces and books are involved. But when we catch him and set him on the toilet, he simply refuses to go. There have been times when he’s sat there for a half hour or more and held it all in, and then the second a diaper is on him, he scurries off to one of his spots.

And don’t even get me started on the pee. Let me note for the record that Tad still wears cloth diapers around home, and could care less about his personal freshness in that area.

So, after having to confess that it was becoming a control issue to his teachers, I turned to another, higher authority: Grandma.

Grandma’s suggestion: “Put him in underwear and let him get wet. Be prepared to do more laundry and clean up after him. Let the pee run into his socks and see how that goes.”

With our mornings usually eaten up by school, I have decided that Tad will be wearing underwear at home after his nap. We have now done this the last two days.

Day one, nothing. He was as dry as they come – until we had to put him into a Pull-Up for Cubbies. After all, it’s one thing for us to clean our own carpets. It’s another thing ENTIRELY to make Gichan clean up after him at church.

Day two (yesterday), pee in socks. Tad stared at his pants in mild shock. “It’s WET!” he announced loudly.

The Webmaster is not thrilled with this current approach, but is willing to try anything. So when I handed him fresh underwear and a clean pair of jeans, he sighed heavily, but dressed Tad in them. I don’t know why he was worried about it – after all, he was taking Ane with him to choir, and she’s the potty-trained one!

As I washed dishes and cleaned up after dinner, with the Webmaster and Ane gone, I noticed that it was too, too quiet.

And Tad’s door was closed.

I immediately went in and found him in position, but with clean pants. “Time to go potty!” I announced, and even though he protested mildly, he still went into the bathroom and sat down on the toilet. He asked for his “potty toy” – which is this at the moment, and he only gets to play with it when he’s sitting on the potty – and I left him alone. I kept washing dishes and checking on him every few minutes. When I came back once, he’d set down his toy, which usually means he wants to get off. So I whipped out a brand-new book that I had just bought for him, and left him to “read” while I kept cleaning up.

I finally decided that he’d put in enough time after I was done cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes, so I went to get him – and discovered that he’d actually pooped in the potty.


There was applause. There was wiping and hand washing. There was the privilege of flushing. There was candy corn to be eaten. There was praise and hugs.

Ninety minutes later, he wet himself again.

Oh, well. It was time to get pajamas on, anyway.

Note to self: set timer to take him potty more often. And invest in more Star Wars kids books. Tad might have his own potty library by the time this is over.

2 Responses to “Potty Plunge”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    March 20th, 2009 09:37

    Hooray! Hooray! Give him a hug from me!

  2. Ressis
    March 20th, 2009 17:34

    Hmm, Star Wars books. Could that be a good idea for Easter?