Sunday, September 14, 2014

Potty Training Carson -- Attempt Two

Something really, truly miraculous happened about a month ago. Carson slept through the night. He did it once and we were like, "Woah." And then he did it for a few days consecutively and we were like, "Don't talk about this because we will jinx it." So we have kept it under tight wraps that our 2 1/2 year old had finally mastered getting a full night's rest.

And then we did what any logical human beings would do and completely sabotaged ourselves. Doh.

It all started two weeks ago when we were eating dinner with my sister and she uttered the simple question, "When are you going to try to potty train Carson again?"

The date this innocent question was asked was August 31. I gulped, cringed, and hesitantly acknowledged, "Oh crap. I told myself I'd give it another shot in September."

That was pretty much all the prompting it took before I found myself at Wal-Mart the next morning buying round two of Kool-Aid, a stockpile of carpet cleaner, and bags and bags of bribery candy. I figured we'd give it one more honest attempt and then we could officially throw in the pee-stained towels until spring.

Right out of the gate, Carson knew he didn't want to wet his underwear. Round one of potty training had at least taught him he didn't like the feeling of an accident, and he sure learned how to hold his bladder a few months ago. Luckily the bladder holding was easily remembered and he really didn't have many accidents this time around.

The trick was to load him up on sugar water (Kool-Aid) and wait for him to yell his latest catch-phrase, "I'M GOING!!" And then you have about 3.5 seconds to get him on his potty without needing the carpet cleaner.

I have learned it's all about "controlled accidents." The problem at first is they don't know how to go in the potty, so you just have to keep putting them there in hopes that they will conveniently be on the potty when their bladder finally gives out on them. You have to give them a few unintentional successes before they warm up to the potty, but it's an anxiety ridden mother's worst nightmare to spend an entire week following around a two-year old in anticipation of directing an uncontrolled bladder explosion to coincidentally occur over an acceptable point of disposal.

Day two into potty training, Carson was not a fan of going in the potty, but he was a master at holding everything in. For as long as possible. And when he would finally snap and have to relieve himself, he would just go barely enough to make himself not direly uncomfortable.

Since he proved to have a superhuman bladder, I suggested to Jeff that we just go ahead and give night training a try while we're at it. It was all supposed to be purely experimental to just SEE what would happen if we put him to bed without a diaper on.

When he woke up dry after completely sleeping through the night, I was thinking we had finally arrived at potty training paradise.

But then night two came. Night two is the night he was up about every hour. He would finally come to grips that he had to go to the bathroom after waking up screaming unconsolably. Then we (well, Jeff. He only likes Jeff at night) would take him to the bathroom and Carson would do his favorite move of barely emptying his bladder just enough to make the discomfort manageable, and then he'd go back to bed.

But of course he has to go again in another hour because he didn't really go the hour before. And when we finally broke down and put a diaper back on him, it was no use anymore! He doesn't understand that he can go in his diaper now, so even with a diaper on he wakes up to go.

And that's what we've done to ourselves. Our baby who we prayed for two years would sleep through the night finally did. For one month. We got one good month of sleep in two years before we went and ruined everything we worked so hard on. And there's no way to go back anymore. We are stuck with a bladder-conscious toddler who refuses to ever completely empty said bladder.

Pray for us.


Rebecca said...

Oh my. That Carson. He keeps you on your toes. Sorry my innocent comment led to this. It won't last forever? Probably? Does that help?

Kim said...

Your "controlled accident" paragraph is awesome. So funny! Well, the whole thing is so funny! To me. I'm not the one dealing with bodily fluids on the floor. Or with barely-emptied/mostly full bladders inside a two-year-old.

Just remember, he's not invited for a visit until he has learned to empty his whole bladder. Every time. All day long. That goes for emptying #2 as well. Hmmm, does this mean I won't be seeing you for a while?

Kim said...

Your "controlled accidents" paragraph is hilarious. To me. I'm not the one dealing with bodily fluids on the floor. Or with a barely emptied/mostly full bladder in a two-year-old.

That reminds me--he's not invited for a visit until he empties his bladder every time. All day long. In the proper place. And that includes #2 as well.

Does this mean I won't be seeing you for a very long time?

Eric and Justine said...

Sounds rough but it can't last forever right?! Good luck with that one!