30,000 Diapers

I had very low expectations for potty training Thing 4 given our history. But girls are supposed to be easier so there was hope.

Last weekend, we decided to do a potty bootcamp. Thing 4 helped gather all her diapers into a garbage bag and we threw them all away. At least that’s what she believed. I put them in a safe place just in case.

She picked out some favorite underwear and the training began. We got off to a shaky start. She was holding it as long as she could out of fear of the potty, and we ended up with a puddle on the floor.

But we persevered. And after that one incident, Thing 4 had a flawless record for the rest of the weekend! No accidents. Telling us when she needed to go. Pee and poop. Simply amazing. Completely potty trained in one day!


We celebrated with some frozen yogurt.


I started thinking about how long and how many diapers we have used. We have had at least one kid in diapers for over 9 years. By my estimates, we have gone through at least 30,000 diapers. And now we are through it.

Anything Is Possible

There are some things I didn’t think were possible. I never thought we’d get as much snow in DC as we did last winter. I didn’t think the Redskins could get any worse, but they manage to do it every year, much to my enjoyment.

And, I never thought Thing 3 would be potty trained. But now he is! It’s something we’ve been working on for upwards of a year. It was going so poorly at one point we abandoned potty training completely, hoping he’d eventually come around. He was the only one left in his preschool class in pull-ups. Just getting him to give up diapers for pull-ups was an enormous struggle that took months.

Last week we went to Target and Thing 3 picked out the underwear he wanted. They were two sizes too big, but I didn’t care. He can wear a bra and panties for all I care as long as he doesn’t pee and poop in them. When we got home, we put all his pull-ups in a trash bag and threw them in the garbage. That was about 10 days ago. He cried for the pull-ups for a couple days but I told him they are all gone, he has to wear underwear now. We’ve had some accidents but for the most part he’s been peeing in the potty, especially at school. Pooping was where Thing 3 made his final stand, but I’m happy to report that tonight we had our first “splash down”.

We’ve been offering Thing 3 as many desserts as he wants for the last year if he’ll just use the potty. Tonight, we happily made good on the promise.

The Secrets To Potty Training Revealed

I am by no means a potty training expert, but I do have a fair amount of experience. We’ve been through it already with Thing 1 and Thing 2, neither of whom were what you’d call a quick learner, so we had to try many different approaches. Thing 3 has basically been potty training for the last 6 months with only limited results. And I’ve been answering questions on the Pull-Ups facebook page all year so I have seen and heard it all.

Now I’m ready to reveal the secrets to potty training.? Follow these easy steps and your life will be so much easier and your child will be using the potty someday. Continue reading The Secrets To Potty Training Revealed

When Indeed

Six year olds have a way of cutting right to the point and asking whatever comes across their mind. While I was battling with Thing 3 one morning to change his Pull-Up and get dressed for preschool (a daily occurrence that I can count on as sure as the sun coming up), Thing 1 asked me “When will Thing 3 be potty trained?”

Ah, yes, when indeed. We have been engaged in potty training Thing 3 since the bootcamp back in July. We’re now well into October and while there has been definite progress since then, we are very far from declaring mission accomplished.

How much progress? He generally will go potty 3-4 times a day now at preschool. Except when he decides he doesn’t want to for whatever reason. What reasons could he have for wanting to be in a wet Pull-Up when he knows how to use the potty? This is Thing 3, remember. It might be the wrong day of the week, or he could be wearing the wrong color shirt, or he might not like how the teacher asked him, or he may have heard a sound he doesn’t like. At home, he still wants no part of the potty except the last few nights he has gone just before bed like his brothers. Oh yeah, he still has yet to poop in a potty, preferring to do his business in the Pull-Ups.

It’s one step forward, two steps back.? Sometimes I think Thing 4 may be potty trained before her brother even with the nearly 3 year head start.

Disclosure: I get paid as a Pull-Ups Potty Training Partner.

Day of Reckoning Update

Sometimes it’s best to rip the band aid off quickly. ?There is a very brief amount of pain but then it’s over. ?That has been the case with getting Thing 3 to do major new things. ? It’s how we got him to move from his crib to a bed. ?No slow transition, just cold turkey.

That was going to be our approach to potty training him last week. ?We had the marathon training session on Sunday, then sent him to daycare in underwear on Monday. ?He had some accidents but generally sat on the potty willingly.

Then came Tuesday. ?He went into meltdown mode when the teachers tried to get him to go potty. ?He screamed. ?He fought. ?There were reports of poop on the floor, and something about him pooping on a teacher’s hand (not something for which I wanted to ask for clarification). ?So on the teacher’s recommendation, we pulled the plug on potty training for a while.

Yeah, ripping the band aid off quickly works sometimes. ?But other times, the bandage is stuck to the wound, and pulling it off opens it back up and it starts bleeding. ?Metaphorically speaking, that’s what we got this week.

Anyone have any great potty training ideas for Thing 3? ?Maybe ask one of the potty training experts. ?Oh, wait, that’s supposed to be me.

Day Of Reckoning

We knew this was coming. But that doesn’t make it any easier. We delayed as long as we could, knowing the difficult road that was ahead. Now, we can’t put it off any longer. It’s time to potty train Thing 3.

Most every transition has been tough with him. Like all three year olds, he is a creature of habit and routine. But Thing 3 takes routine to the extreme. His daily routines sometimes border on the bizarre. Every detail is important, from which episode of Diego to watch, which color cereal bowl he uses, who opens the car door, and on and on. It’s a delicate act that we have all but perfected.

Until a new milestone occurs that throws a wrench into his carefully scripted world. Moving from a crib to a bed was a big deal. New shoes? Watch out. New classroom at daycare? Forget about it.

And so, we have dreaded potty training. We’ve been casually introducing him but he’ll have none of it. Now with just one month to go before he moves up to preschool, where being potty trained is a requirement, we are forcing the issue.

Yesterday was 12 hours of potty training bootcamp. We threw away the diapers (or so he thinks) and I watched him like a hawk all day, and offered him bribes of candy to sit on the potty. I had to clean pee off the carpet more than once but cold turkey is the only way to go with him. It was marginally successful.

Today we sent him to daycare in underwear and with four extra changes of clothes. He came home wearing underwear but with a pull-up underneath. For him, that’s actually progress.? It’s going to be a long, long week.

And It Keeps Getting Weirder

We’ve seen some pretty weird behavior from Thing 3. From all the comfort objects he sleeps with, to putting stickers on his face, to sticking raisins up his nose. But somehow he still manages to top himself.

We’re officially in potty training with Thing 3. To say it’s been tough is an understatement, but there has been some progress lately. This potty scene should hardly be surprising given his history.

Yes, that’s a potty in the middle of the family room.? And of course he’s wearing a football helmet.? Doesn’t everyone?

We have been trying to get him to give up his diapers in favor of pull-ups for months. But he goes into a tantrum at the slightest mention of a pull-up.? So this weekend I asked him if he wanted to wear underwear.? To my surprise, he liked the idea.

He didn’t just like the idea of wearing underwear (which we let him do around the house).? He just really loves the underwear and it has now become another one of his odd comfort objects like the flashlights, my ratty old t-shirts, and his broken Buzz Lightyear toy.

He carries the underwear around.? He takes it to pre-school with him, keeps it in his cubby, then takes it back home.? Tonight, he wanted to sleep with the underwear.? Not wear them, mind you, but just next to him in his bed.? That is, until he decided he does want to wear them.? But I won’t let him do that because he’ll end up soaking wet during the night.

So he is now wearing the underwear on the outside of his pajamas with a diaper underneath.? As I said, it just keeps getting weirder.