Point It Down! (Potty Training Our Son)

Maximus Potty TimeWell, the day finally came.   It was time to face the dreaded monster that all toddlers meet at some point in their toddlerhood.

That’s right.  It was time to potty train our son.

My husband suggested we start months ago, so I waited until his two week vacation to begin.  (Since he thought it was a grand idea, I didn’t want him to miss out on all of the fun.)

We decided to do the 3 Day Potty Training Method.  With this program, you throw away all of the diapers, wear big boy undies and watch for ques of when it is time to go.  You cancel all of your plans for those three days and are warned in advance to expect accidents.

We pumped up Maximus about potty training and even went to the store to buy stickers and let him select his reward.  Guess what he wanted?  Flags! A pack of four was less than three dollars.

DAY ONE: Bright and early on Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. we heard Maximus waking up.  We rushed in, excited more than ever, and told him TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!  He got all of his diapers out of of the diaper holder.  He and dad walked to the garbage (multiple trips) and threw them away.  I’ll admit, I walked behind them once they left and took the diapers out of the garbage in case this three day method didn’t work.  (A’int nobody got time for throwing away perfectly new diapers you may use again.)

We took a field trip to his bathroom and the new potty.  We talked about how we would no longer use diapers and would be a big boy and use the potty.  All he wore was his undies, socks and a shirt. Surely our pep talk would work right away.

He peed on the floor.

Several times.

Pretty much all day.

Each time was not too long after we asked him to let us know if he needed to go. He earned a couple of stickers for one drop of urine entering the toilet (as we ran as quickly as we could to get him there) and we made as big a deal of it as possible.

After day one, I was pretty confident he wasn’t ready yet.

DAY TWO: My husband and I woke up again excited to conquer the world of pottying. We were ready to help Maximus earn more stickers, which he seems interested in.  He really wanted a flag which we were using as a grand prize for a full incident.

Luckily, day 2 consisted of a couple of pee pees on the potty.  We all did the “Pee Pee on the Potty” dance. We called Aunt Sharon.   Big things were happening.  Maximus was excited because he earned his flag.  We were excited because there was a slither of hope.  Could the pee gods be listening to us?  Was a miracle getting ready to happen?

DAY THREE: I’m not really sure what Maximus dreamed about overnight, but he woke up with very little interest in using the potty.  Let me change that. He woke up with no interest in the potty.  He didn’t want to be close to the bathroom.  Our dance was no longer exciting.  The words ‘pee’ and ‘potty’ just made him turn up his nose. He looked at us like we were crazy.

I was pretty sure that those diapers I hid in the closet would be coming out again really soon. I went to bed feeling like we lost the battle.

DAY FOUR: Instead of giving up, we decided to give potty training one more chance. The morning started off the same. Instead of asking him to tell us when he needed to go to the bathroom, we took him every 30 minutes to try.  Mid afternoon, my husband had a man-to-man talk with him.  I’m not sure what happened at that talk, but miraculously Maximus used the bathroom.

And he kept using the the bathroom for the rest of the day.

And throughout the weekend.

Talk about alleluia moments!  Yes, Lord!

*Now, it’d be great it that was the end of the story and everyone lived happily ever after.  Unfortunately, the journey of pee-hood isn’t that easy.  We have had both good and bad moments with remembering to use the bathroom.  I also learned that my son is a boy.

We went to an outlet mall and stopped for food on the way back.  I sat him on the toilet at Burger King, I stand up to breath for 1 millisecond and he sprays urine all over the bathroom stall door.  I look wide eyed at the door and can’t believe what I just saw.

“Point down! Point down!” I yell.  But, of course, by then it was too late.

So, not only are we dealing with encouraging him to use the bathroom. Once there, the direction in which he points makes all the difference!

Also, pooing on the toilet is not happening. Not sure why to him it feels better to poo in his big boy undies, but it does.  And once it stinks, he let’s us know.  Or, he let’s us find a poo in his bed. Can you say happy, happy, joy, joy?

We are glad that we are over the first hump of Maximus knowing how to use the potty. We never got the diapers back out. We are hoping in the near future that he’ll let us know when he needs to go (versus us asking him) and he’ll be able to do #1 and #2 on the john like a champ.

How You See It

first 2015 picHappy 2015!

I am blessed to celebrate a new year.   2014 was definitely a year of transition and change. As I thought about all that I experienced in the last 365 days, I also thought about perspective.

We all have our share of ups and downs.  All of us. However, the difference is how we interpret and react to our experiences.  Whether you focus on the positives or the negatives will determine how your story is told.

Below I will share two different versions of my 2014.  Both are true.

VERSION A: If it wasn’t one thing it was another. 2014 started out with being told our son couldn’t hear.  We knew he couldn’t talk, but adding the absence of sound was a double whammy.  Maximus ended up getting tubes and we are still working on improving his speech.  I was pregnant and once again got put on bed rest for the third trimester.  I missed my 20 year high school reunion and a major 2 day concert.  It sucked having restrictions. Being in the Army, we knew this would be the year we move. We found out we’d be stationed at Fort Bragg, NC (also-notoriously-known as Fayette-nam for its high crime rates).  When we moved, I was 30 weeks pregnant and high risk.  Can you say worst move ever?  Countless, thousand-dollar, mistakes by the packing, moving, and coordinating companies snowballed into a mountain of apologies and shattered confidence in the Army’s ability to do the easy stuff.  And, I had to leave behind my childhood home.  My husband, Augustus, enjoys his new assignment, but he works very late hours: On average he comes home around 8:30pm (and that’s after he leaves in the morning at 5:40am.)  Our daughter Liliana was born in September.  She had really bad jaundice and then my blood pressure skyrocketed.  So, what should have been two days in the hospital turned into five.  Yes, that’s 15 hospital meals. When we moved here, I moved away from all of my friends. The ability to meet new friends, while pregnant, then with a newborn and a toddler, are slim to none.  I’m definitely hoping next year is a better one.

VERSION B: Wow! Talk about a year of transition.  We spent New Year’s Eve celebrating that “we” were pregnant again.  After two miscarriages last year, we prayed that this baby would ‘stick’.  We were overjoyed, and Augustus was scared, to find out that we were having a girl. I was blessed to have some amazing doctors this pregnancy. They were able to catch my cervical issue and do surgery so that I’d be able to move with my family to North Carolina.  Maximus had surgery for ear tubes and we are prayerful that they will help improve his speech.  Our move to Fayetteville, NC was very rocky, but we were fortunate to have supportive family make the move easier.  While I moved away from all of my friends, we were fortunate to move to a city where both my husband and I have family. Cousins, aunts/uncles and even my mother-in-law’s twin sister all live here.  It was love at first sight meeting our baby, Liliana, in September.  She has the most amazing smile and bright eyes.  Moving to a new state helped me realize I didn’t need to hold onto my childhood home – so we sold it.  I’m so glad a new family will be able to create new memories.  I’m also glad to be in a position to support both my husband and children.  I’ve met some great people thus far and looking forward to forming new friendships.

Same scenario told from two different perspectives.  Which type of person are you?  Do you focus and sulk on the negative or try to find growth and opportunity in them?  Do you spend so much time looking at the bad that you passing by all the good that surrounds you?  It’s easy to complain, but will you make the effort to reflect, move past the negative, and be optimistic and resilient?

I wish each of you many blessings in the year 2015.  Know that once again we will have our share of ups and downs.  Just don’t let those “downs” hold you down.  Find beauty in the joy that surrounds you and try to help others experience the same.