Saturday, March 19, 2011


I confess...

... I have a relatively arrogant attitude about my ability to handle/figure out/strategize issues surrounding the J-man.  Now, that doesn't mean I am always right...  or that I have any of the right answers.... or that I do any of it right.....  but I do have an unparalleled faith in my ability to do something.  I am a researching fiend. I over-think everything to the Nth degree.  And I can and will make some decision and then go forth and (for ill or good) confidently set forth on a path...

...except now.

I am paralyzed with indecision.  I am mystified with what to do.  I don't even really know how to start, where to start, and if to start.

And what has me in such a twisted state??


Potty training.  Toilet learning.  Dumping the diaper.  I'm a Big Kid now...

I hate the toilet.  Hate it. 

Yes, yes.  J-man is not potty trained.  Not even close.  Not even in the same zip code.  In fact, dare I say he is actually repelled by the idea of even sitting on the toilet??  I promise you...  J-man doesn't give a rat's *ss about being a Big Kid. 

Now, don't get me wrong:  I have done my homework.  I have now read three books on potty training, one of which even pertained to special needs kids.  I have read a number of websites, talked to numerous friends, and even watched a DVD on the topic.  I have purchased two potty chairs and two kid sized toilet seats.  We own Elmo's Potty Time.  Today I was pursuing to find a potty doll and mini potty chair for demos (even though I think it would be a waste of time/money... because unless the doll is Batman or Superman, he isn't going to care if it pees in the potty).  We even decorated the toilet area just for the J-man:

(He loves it.  Still doesn't mean he will sit on the toilet)

But I just can't pull the trigger on actually starting the process.

In part because I don't even know how to begin with him...

You see... while he likes stickers and M&Ms, he doesn't love them enough to actually sit on a toilet and try and pee for one.  And earning a sticker on a chart isn't exactly exciting for him.  Bigger presents might... might.... work in a very isolated "get him to sit there for 30 seconds" kind of way, but overall is impractical in the long run.  He isn't overly excited about praise from us.... or being like the other kids.... and diapers just don't bother him.  At all.  And while I do think that he has a basic understanding of the whole "potty" thing, it is hard to know because he so completely wants nothing to do with it that I can't really tell if he gets it or not.

And maybe he isn't ready...

.... but he is FOUR.

Four and not even started down the path to being potty trained. 

And I am at a complete loss for what to do now!!!  I feel like waiting is a bad idea...but failing seems like a worse idea.... and how to do it is a complete mystery to me  (potty parties vs scheduled pee-time vs naked baby vs sticker charts vs cold-turkey-on-diapers vs etc etc etc etc etc).


In the next couple of months I will have a lot of time to actually devote to this (going through a significant reduction in work hours a la partial layoff... yah me), so I feel this THIS IS IT.  Time to do it.  The universe has spoken. 

But J-man isn't listening (nothing new there) and I don't know how to get through.  Or even get unstuck.


MommyP said...

Have you considered using a little potty, and letting him sit and watch one of his favorite cartoons while he sits there? That's how we started. And at a little past 4 years old, I can safely say that he is trained. Good luck! And sorry about the layoff...

Just Me said...

Hi there! I usually don't post much on any of the blogs I read but, I thought maybe I would put myself out there this time. I'm going through the same thing with my son who will be 5 in September. Still in pull-ups at school/diapers at home. I wasn't even sure he'd get the concept of what "going" is and he is the type of kid that gives his two ABA therapists a run for their money when it comes to reinforcers because nothing really holds much weight with him and he hates trying new things as far as food, etc. Well, I decided to have a modified potty party despite the fact that there was nothing "party" about it because he could care less about fanfare. Basically two ABA therapists and myself got his favorite dvds, salty snacks and lots of chocolate milk and hung out in the bathroom. He tried to escape but eventually realized we were spending the day in there. I plugged the dvd player in and he watched The Wonder Pets until I was mentally picturing their Fly Boat crashing into the ocean... We counted, sang, drew on the magnadoodle, anything to distract him and after 4 hours, 5 sippy cups of liquids and my nerves being tested (I wanted to cave and let him up) he finally did something he'd never done...pee in the potty. I reinforced him with what he loves best, high fives and hugs and let him get up for 10 minutes...then we were back at it. The ABAs had technical stuff going on (baselines, etc etc) but it happened. That was a couple months ago and we're not 100% but he will sit on the potty for me and go pee and once when he was in a pull up he even told me "pee" so I sat him on the toilet and sure enough, he went. It's slow, it's tough, my kid has a very few words and a bladder of steel, but I just wanted to give you a glimmer of hope... I 100% had no faith that we'd get anywhere but eventually we did. You'll get him there, you're amazing. ;)

Ange said...

Has he watched dad?

This got peeing down within a day. In fact, (TMI) seemed to be quite the bonding experience. Inside joke about "not crossing the streams". I didn't go in. I didn't ask.
Sitting on the toilet was a long time problem. Because of the noises the toilet made. The coolness, the splash, something was unnatural about it. And honestly, I think that experience was the toughest thing I ever dealt with, as I had no professional training and NOTHING I did worked. I ended up pleading, begging, crying through the burnt out exhaustion of rinsing out another soiled pair of underpants, and finally yelling, "WHY!!!??" He picked up on my anxiety and hid under the bed one day after an accident.
Had to regroup. Have faith we wouldn't be doing this through high school.
Then I made up this peek-a-boo song on accident, where he would have to sit on the toilet, then I'd jump in through the doorway, make him laugh, and then sing this stupid little ditty over and over. He probably laughed out a turd the first time, then thought, 'Oh, well, I didn't get eaten by monsters, so I guess this is cool.' After that, it was as if he'd been doing it since he was 2.

Anyway. Thanks for bringing up the memories! :) You are not alone, my friend.

Pia said...

Thanks everyone!!! I love all the ideas! I am going to create a strategy this week and next month it is ON!

Anonymous said...

Pia. I feel your pain. I have a 3.6yr old boy who has no desire WHAT-EVA to pee in the potty. He will pee/poop in his pull up and announce that he needs to be changed. I know that boys take longer and boys with special needs may take even longer than the norm.


Ah, this too shall pass!

In the meantime, have a glass of wine with me!

DQ said...

Hello there,
I know how hard this is! My son was totally uninterested for a long time, along with his early intervention teachers, we tried many things. What it came down to is he was not ready. Our teacher organised a copy of the DVD 'Are You Ready?', made here in Australia, which is an animation of using the toilet for boys. Because the narration is done by a frog (with a charming Aussie accent!) my son called it 'frog in the toilet' and enjoyed it. It is very short. He watched it approximately 60-80 times! But it worked - on the 27th December 2008, he got up in the morning and went straight to the toilet, took off his night time nappy pants and did a standing up wee. It was amazing. He graduated to sitting down within a month and then quite quickly was sitting down for poos. He watched the DVD many times during this process. Here is a link if you are interested, there is a USA compatible version on this page.

There is an option to purchase a complete pack that includes the DVD and an information pack for parents, too. Good luck, this is a tricky time, but given patience and support, I am sure your little guy will get there.

Bluestem said...

In the hope that it makes you feel better ... my *severely* apraxic daughter finally potty trained at 4.5 years. I put up a big shelf of Lightning McQueen stuff on the window ledge above the toilet and bribed, bribed, bribed.

Bluestem said...

Also, hands down the best use of PECS ever:

My Urban Child said...

Hi, just don't give up.. try to find some educational DVD or on you tube video's that encourage you child to pee on a Baby Potty Chairs.. I admit its really hard to train,or try to shop, together with your child and let him choose the theme designs and style of his potty... good luck to you..


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