We’re trying. We’re trying so hard.

My goal is to get Tad to use the potty at least once a day. Since I declared that goal for myself on Monday, it has happened exactly… once. On Monday.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about investing in plastic covers for the couch.

Truthfully, I want to be able to send Tad back to school in the fall with some record of achievement under his belt. We know that he is capable of going in the potty. However, it’s pretty clear that body and mind are not in sync on this.

It’s a good thing potty training is part of his special ed school curriculum, because I honestly don’t know how I would be explaining this to any other preschool program.

Tad has figured out that if he uses the potty, there is a treat involved. Usually, it’s a gummy fruit snack pouch. The hard part has been telling him that just sitting on the potty doesn’t mean that he gets the treat. No deposit, no return, kid. Literally.

I have tried pumping him full of juice. I have tried moving the toddler potty into the living room and distracting him with a favorite TV show. We have designated potty toys, potty books, and a couple of boxes full of fruit snacks. The connection of listening to one’s bodily functions simply hasn’t happened yet.

I’m not necessarily looking for advice; I’m just griping a little. It’s my blog and I’ll gripe if I want to.

With Tad having his cognitive delays, the normal potty training rules don’t always apply. Plus, he’s a boy. I’m sorry to generalize, but I honestly believe that girls are just more aware of their bodies and easier to train. So I’ve already got two strikes going here.

The Webmaster was ready to throw in the towel yesterday. “He just doesn’t care,” he said. “It’d be easier to just let him figure this out on his own.”

There are days when I wish we could do this, but we can’t. “He’s not just going to figure this out on his own, just like he wasn’t going to figure out talking on his own,” I replied. “If we can’t train him, then we have to train ourselves. We have to be better than we are about making him try to go.”

Tad has come so far. He loves to spell out words, because he can recognize most letters (different fonts sometimes mess him up) and those he doesn’t know, we’ve been working on. He does tend to over-count, meaning that when he attempts to count items, he’ll sometimes count one item more than once, but that’s fairly normal. He has gained the ability to “parrot” over the last year – meaning that he will mimic words that we say. He has a very good memory and the ability to memorize songs – one of his favorites right now is “Rainbow Connection” because he is so enthralled with the Muppets right now and is listening to the Muppet CD that we own all the time. He sang “Happy Birthday” very clearly and distinctly to Ressis over the phone yesterday, which was adorable. He can pedal his own tricycle. We know his favorite color is red – it’s the only color he recognizes consistently, and the color of marker that he is drawn to. (It’s also the color of Lightning McQueen and Bob the Tomato, which doesn’t hurt.)

He calls me “Mama” now. He didn’t do that a year ago.

We’ve come so far. But his fourth birthday is just a few weeks away. Sometimes, it seems that even though he’s come this far, he still has a long way to go.

5 Responses to “Potty-palooza”

  1. Ressis
    July 23rd, 2009 07:02

    Yes, his rendition of “Happy Birthday” was adorable.

    Little Cousin likes the Muppets too, she calls them “Buppets.”

  2. Aunt Lynda
    July 23rd, 2009 07:11

    I used to use Rainbow Connection when I was a ‘school teacher’ in the ’80s. Great song.
    Sorry this is so stressful. And I agree on the ‘boy’ thing. I had one of each also, I thought the milk bottle might have to go to kindergarten.

  3. Laurie
    July 23rd, 2009 08:24

    Boy, do I ever understand. I tell you, one day it just clicked. It had nothing to do with me, except for giving opportunities to go.

  4. Cousin Shelley
    July 23rd, 2009 08:53

    I still know the words to the Rainbow Connection from when Aunt Lynda taught them to me in elementary school! 🙂

  5. Holly Ryan
    July 25th, 2009 10:30

    Gavin just doesn’t care either. You are not alone! Except I have given up for awhile. I think maybe it’s me who isn’t dedicated to losing the simplicity of diapers!