Thursday, May 3, 2012

Poop...the final frontier

If I had to pick the single hardest, emotionally exhausting, frustrating, socially important milestone we've achieved, it would hands-down be potty training the boys (especially Andrew).  For a recap of all the fun details, please read the "Tale of Two Potties" post from this past fall.

Andrew has had the peeing thing down since the week before Thanksgiving, and for five months, had only ONE success pooping on the potty.  It goes without saying that conquering #2 is more difficult and takes more time for everyone as there are much fewer opportunities for success, and I was prepared for this.  However, as often has been the case, my boys are going to throw us curve balls everytime we think we've got it all figured out!  Here was the problem: he wouldn't poop until after he was in bed and had his Goodnites on; then from there it would happen between 2:00-4:30 am!!  Interrupted sleep for him and I as well as many bad rashes. 

I remember one night, in the middle of a sleep-deprived stupor punctuated by the overwhelming smell of a five year old's (with a grown up diet, if you get my drift) poopy pull up, thinking I just didn't know how much more of this I could take.  How long would this process take??  Would he ever get over his anxiety of going on the potty?  What was I doing wrong??  Most importantly, how in the world do I change up his system so he goes in the daylight hours?? 

I prayed.  Hard.

I took Andrew to the pediatrician for an ear infection (it had been a year since we had been--a blessing they are so healthy) and we talked at length about potty training.  Andrew adores Dr. Dudgeon, so when he told Andrew, "I want you to sit on the potty after you eat; you can poop in your pull up later, but just sit.  Will you do that for me, Andrew?"  He promptly said, "yes sir".  Hmm, I thought, we'll just see how that goes.  So with that directive coupled with a regimen of Benefiber and Miralax, we set off on a new direction which I was very optimistic about.  Andrew made good on his promise to the doctor, and he sat (with much protest and screaming--dude has a pair of lungs), and in a few days, once the Miralax kicked in, he had success at school!!  Ms. Bry and her assistants were a great support and showered him with praise and M&Ms.  He even got to choose a treat from Mrs. Sandy's (the school's director) desk drawer.  Kit Kat was a favorite.  Breakthrough! 

The next few days at home showed his successess increase and his anxieties decrease--quickly.  In fact, he only had one accident, and hasn't had any since!  Woo hoo!!!

Our "First/Then" Board.  On the "First" section there is a picture of (real) poop in the potty (thanks, Denise!); "Then" a picture of his favorite candy pumpkins I cut from the bag to show his reward. 

Tom bought at least six bags of these candies after Halloween when Publix put them on clearance for 50 cents! These were the reward of choice for both boys.

All of these prompts, visuals, and rewards are great, but this whole experience has proved a couple of things.  First,  Andrew had to be developmentally ready and want to train.  Moving away from the "comfort" of what he'd known for so long (going in his pullup) wasn't easy and caused him great anxiety.  Second, it takes a village.  Plain and simple.  I'm their momma and I love them more than anyone, but I have come to rely heavily on the professionals I'm blessed to have at my disposal.  I am relieved and overjoyed that we've conquered this huge milestone!!  Andrew, you are a rockstar and I'm so proud of you!!

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