Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of School

Today I have not had time to feel the usual pangs that accompany back-to-school time. I am a teacher at heart, and I love the first day of school. I love smelling school supplies and freshly-waxed tile floors, helping kids find their next class, explaining the lunch schedule, figuring out how to pronounce each kid's name (kudos to creative Utah spellers on that one), and launching into another year of learning. This year, in conjunction with everyone else's first day of school, we have started POTTY TRAINING SCHOOL!

And, as always, it is the "teacher" who learns the most. Here are a few of my insights.

1. Procrastination can be retranslated "preparation" when it comes to potty training. We've been thinking about potty training for months. It started by taking the contents of diapers and flushing them down the toilet. That got old fast, but it introduced the topic nicely. Next came sitting on the potty. But that was a bit overwhelming to one so small - so we invested in the Safety 1st 3-in-1 potty. (If I knew how to post a link, I would...maybe later when I am less tired). Then we postponed until after our trip to Utah...and again until we had readjusted to the East Coast time zone and recovered phsically from our trip. As a result, we've been actively talking about potty training for weeks. We were ready.
2. Candy and stickers make for excellent motivators. Perhaps too good. As the day wore on, the trips to the potty became more and more frequent in search of these rewards. But I can't REALLY complain about that on the first day, can I? Spencer got to choose his candy. What was his selection, you ask? After dinner mints. I picked up some Skittles in case those didn't do the trick, but the combination is now a favorite of his. Spence gets one of each with every success.
3. Everyone likes to share their successes. "Let's call Daddy!" I said it the first time, and Spencer took up the exclamation the second time. We both needed a little "hurrah!"
4. The potty trainER deserves treats just as much as the potty trainEE. Suffice it to say that if we DID have ice cream in the house, I would feel completely justified in having consumed it all.
5. Buy underwear BIG; it's easier to pull down in a pinch. 'Nuf said.

More on all of these items later. For now, let me just say that we are finding success - little by little. We are just a day in, and Spence managed to be in the same undies (he says "and-ies") from 9:30-5 or so. Then he got busy playing, and...well, you know how that goes. He was in route, just couldn't move quite fast enough (a few times over). Still...I find myself optimistic for tomorrow. He woke up dry from his nap and ready to go. We'll see if our luck continues to the morning.


Onthego Family said...

Ahhh, nothing inspires fear in the hearts of parents more than potty-training!

Sounds like Spencer's doing great. Whatever you do, don't give up! Accidents WILL happen.

Goose has been potty-trained since end of May and has an average of 1 accident per month -- but this last week she had three or four. Happens to the best of them!

Peter and Leslie Wride said...

I love this post - #5 is my favorite! :) Good luck to you! Spencer is so smart, he'll catch on quickly I'm sure.

After this, you'll be a pro and you can come and teach Harrison when it's his turn to learn...

Marie W said...

It is true. This is scary territory we've entered. I've decided my take on accidents is going to be this: If Spencer were still in diapers, I would have to wipe and clean this up anyway - and now at least much of the day the goods ended up in the potty, so this is easier in a way...right? And it gives me hope to hear other kids have accidents too. We all have to master this at some point.

Oh yes...I'm definitely turning consultant after this. Invite me into your home for a week a-la-Super Nanny, and I will have your kid magically transformed into a potty trained wonder in no time! ;0) That is, if I survive this experience.

lori said...

Ah, Marie, you should publish! These potty training points are invaluable! GLAD to hear Spencer is having some success! Good for both of you! And I'm with you on treats for the trainer. CJ and I were discussing yesterday that really, the training IS as much for mom as for child!
Hope things keep progressing well!