Potty Training (take 2)

For the last several weeks, Lucas has been stripping off his pants and diaper the instant he pees or poops in it. Thankfully, he tends to only do this at home, but it’s frustrating none-the-less. And when we are in public he will loudly proclaim “I peed!” as he’s doing it.

So out of frustration, N and I decided to attempt the 3 Day Potty Training method this weekend. I made the choice to try this method out for a number of reasons. One, we want it over with. We don’t want to drag this potty training thing out for months or years. Two, the author, Lora Jensen, offers online mentoring and support once you purchase the eBook. Most books you find leave you high and dry (or wet, as the case may be) if you don’t find the answers you need within its pages. I liked the promise of someone answering my questions, since most books do not address our particular needs very well. Third, the author mentions training twins specifically. Fourth, a MOM friend used this method with her twins and it was successful.

I’m writing this on Saturday morning as I’m waiting for my kids to awake (though I’m waiting to publish it until after everything is over). N and I both set our alarms to make sure we were up before them. Mostly in an attempt to make sure we got some “me” time before the weekend of Hell began. For the next 72 hours we will get very little time to relax or do any of the things we normally are able to do with the kids around. Our 100% attention will be on them. In preparation, I spent all day yesterday cooking our meals for the next 4 days (I figure I’ll be too exhausted to cook on Tuesday). I’ve bought juice (might not be enough, now that I look at it), snacks, treats, and prizes. Yesterday I felt like I was gearing up for battle. I just pray that N and I are able to follow the book’s method exactly. I know we’re both nervous that it won’t work for us. My biggest concern is the night training. But hopefully we get it right and things will “click” for the kids. It will be interesting to be done with diapers.

Each day, I plan to write about our experience. I am putting them all into one post, rather than multiple posts. I will publish everything when the whole 3 days is over. I think it will be helpful for people who stumble on my blog to have all 3 days contained in one place. Also, for some reason I’m a little superstitious about publishing anything until it’s over.

So without further ado… The 3 Day Potty Training- Twin style!

Day 1

1:30 PM
It’s nap time. I’m exhausted. N is exhausted. So far we’ve had 11 accidents for Lucas and 12 for Kyla. We’re currently washing laundry, as we only have 17 pairs of underwear for each of them. I swear I never change this many DIAPERS in a day. I know the book says to keep offering drinks (and believe me, they’ve had plenty), but this is absolutely ridiculous. After only half a day we have had absolutely no pee go in the potty. When we see them start to go, we quickly pick them up and say “Oops! Remember to tell us when you need to pee. You want to keep your underwear dry!” and rush them to the bathroom. But by the time we get there, they’ve peed it all out (Kyla). Either that or they’ve stopped it and won’t release the rest of it while on the potty and end up going more a few minutes after we put new underwear on (Lucas). Also, when we’ve seen signs that Lucas needs to go we’ll try to take him to the bathroom, but he says no. We haven’t forced it, but it is quite frustrating. We’re staying the course, though. I keep reminding myself (and N) that it might take until day 3 for them to “get it.” Oh, the other problem is that we will see Lucas showing signs that he needs to pee (going to another room, grabbing himself, etc.), but when we try to take him to the bathroom he doesn’t want to go. This is very draining.

8:30 PM
Boy has this day been a long one! The kids are finally in bed, but the work is not over! Oh, no. We’ll be checking on them throughout the night to see if they have wet the bed. This should be fun (about as fun as a needle in the eye).

We are actually seeing some progress, though, which gives us hope. Lucas ran to the bathroom a couple of times, but didn’t quite make it to the toilet (but at least he knew what to do!), and Kyla finally started noticing that she would start to pee and respond. The most amazing part, though, was that as I was filling the bathtub, first Kyla, then Lucas said they needed to go potty. So I sent Lucas to the other bathroom (where the potty seat is) and put Kyla on our big toilet. Lucas came back announcing (correctly) that he pooped in the potty!!! Woohoo! And just as I finished sudsing up his hair with shampoo, he jumped out of the tub again and even though I tried to get him to go on our toilet, he ran to the other bathroom and peed (he was trying to poop, but hey, at least something happened!). The absolute best, though, was just before bed. I told Kyla “When Mommy is ready for bed, she always tries to go potty first.” She said “potty” and headed straight for the bathroom. Not long after I placed her on it, she peed! And not just a little tinkle! None of it in her underwear!!! After the celebration, Lucas wanted to try and HE peed too!!! It’s amazing what can make a parent happy. The final soiled underwear count was Kyla- 19, Lucas- 16. Kyla had a string of about 4 within 30 minutes, which really put her over Lucas. And we were still waiting on the dryer to finish, so she wore a couple of Lucas’s underwear. Oh, well. He’s been asking to wear hers… šŸ˜‰

I put them to bed with the instructions that if they need to go potty in the middle of the night all they have to do is say “Mommy, potty” and I’ll come running. The problem is, we’ve always closed their door at night (sound travels in our house) and they haven’t yet figured out how to consistently open the door. So I have to get there fast. If they say anything at all. Julie Jensen (the author) suggested checking them periodically throughout the night to try to pin point the times they generally end up going so I can take them to the potty before that happens. She said it would probably take several nights to figure it out completely. We’ve turned the volume of our monitor up a few notches in the hopes that it will help us hear them sooner than we normally would. I also layered their sheets (with mattress pads in between) so that if when they do wet the bed all I have to do is take off a layer rather than remake the bed. Yes, the night time is what makes me the most nervous. I have a feeling I won’t be sleeping well tonight.

Day 2

6:00 AM
It’s been a LONG night. I waited to go to bed until 10 so I could check the kids. They were both dry. At 11 Lucas started screaming and would not stop. I tried to put him on the potty, but he clung to me, so I took him to the living room and sat with him. That’s when he peed, of course. When I rushed him to the potty, Kyla woke up. N took Lucas and I put Kyla on the potty. Nothing. I tried to get her to go back to bed, but she was worried about Lucas. And peed in the hallway. It took a while, but we finally got everyone settled down and back in bed. Only, they wouldn’t let me leave the room. So I laid on the floor until 12:45, but Kyla called me back in to fix her blanket several times. At 1:15, Kyla wet the bed (I don’t think she’d ever actually gone back to bed). I was SO glad I’d layered the sheets. It was a piece of cake to strip off a layer and put her back in bed.

I was finally able to go back to bed and stay there from about 1:30 until 5:30 when Lucas started screaming again. I went to him quickly and took him to the bathroom. Nothing. I explained to him that it was still night-night time and that he had to go back to bed. Not even 2 minutes after putting him to bed, he peed. Back in the room, and swooped into the bathroom. While in there, Kyla woke up and joined us. As soon as Lucas got off the toilet, Kyla got on (neither is wanting to use the “little potty” at all). Lucas pulled me into the bedroom to change his sheets (again, SO glad I layered!) and while in there Kyla shouted “I pee!” Then came running out of the bathroom saying “I pee potty! I pee potty!” and throwing her own celebration. It was super cute. I’m going on the assumption that she actually did pee and wasn’t just trying to get a reaction from me. Kyla didn’t want to put on the same underwear she’d been wearing even though they were dry. So I pretended to get a new pair just to keep the peace. It worked because it was dark, but hopefully she won’t try to pull that all the time.

I settled them both back into bed and returned to mine. Only, now I’m wide awake. And Lucas is too, but at least he’s still in his bed and just talking to himself. It doesn’t seem to be bothering Kyla.

This is going to be another tough day, but I’m hopeful that things are starting to click into place. We shall see…

1:30 PM
Wow. We’re actually seeing some progress! There have only been 3 soiled pairs of underwear since this morning (2 for Kyla, 1 for Lucas)! I’m not doing laundry while they nap! N and I are absolutely amazed and thrilled. Granted, they will sometimes say they need to go to the bathroom and nothing happens, but at least they are learning. And neither has pooped yet today, which has us a little concerned, but I’ll continue to try to get fiber into them (we’re having red beans and rice for dinner). Lucas has tried a few times and has passed gas, but no poop yet. They’re really getting it! Kyla even ran from the kitchen to the bathroom (which means running across our large living room filled with the toys we’d been playing with) and kept her underwear dry! We still have the problem that they occasionally want to change their underwear even if they kept it dry, though. Guess that’s something we’ll have to work on later.

8:45 PM
Well, the afternoon didn’t go quite the way we expected.

Kyla continued to have great success and didn’t wet any underwear the whole afternoon. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t asking for new underwear when she got tired of a particular pair. *sigh* But at least she’s really seeming to get the hang of telling us she needs to pee. She did not poop the whole day, though. I’m really hoping that she does tomorrow, or I’ll really be worried.

Lucas, on the other hand, was less successful than he was in the morning. He woke up from nap wet and went completely nuts. He didn’t want to take off the wet underwear and wouldn’t let me take the wet sheets off the bed either. It took offering for him to wear a Toy Story shirt with the Woody underwear before he finally stopped trying to claw his way into the washer to get the wet pair out. We have no idea what that was about. And after that, he wouldn’t tell us he needed to go. Instead he’d walk away from us and hide in his play house. Of course, we would say “Let us know if you need to go potty” over and over again, but he wouldn’t. And then he’d pee in the house and we’d scoop him up and take him to the bathroom. It happened about 4 times and he also had one poop accident. But then, MIL and BIL came over for a quick visit. When Lucas tried to hide in the play house, N picked him up and took him to the bathroom. Lucas refused to sit on the potty, but then started to pee on the floor. So N put him on the toilet mid-pee and we were all able to celebrate that he peed in the potty! I guess that got his confidence back because he didn’t have any more accidents the rest of the evening.

To be completely honest, N and I both thought Lucas was going to continue to catch on quicker than Kyla. I know everyone says girls are ready before boys, but Kyla has never shown any interest in staying dry or caring if she sat in a dirty diaper. Where Lucas has been telling us immediately for quite a while and was the first to tell me “whooee” when he had a dirty diaper (at 18 months). I’m not sure what freaked Lucas out. Perhaps we were being more lax with our praise and “pop quizzes” as the successes added up. Or maybe he was embarrassed to have peed in his bed, despite our assurances that it was okay. I don’t think we’ll ever know the answer, but I pray that we are able to be exactly what he needs to be and feel successful.

Tomorrow N is scheduled to work. It’s possible he will get flexed (won’t have to come in until later than usual) or canceled, but we don’t know yet. We usually don’t know until about 5 AM. He did request to be the first on the list if they had to cancel anyone so he could be home to help with day 3, but there are no guarantees. We went into this weekend assuming I’d be on my own the third day. I’m not sure how I’ll keep my eye on both of them if they decide to go to different rooms, but as long as we don’t regress to the way it was yesterday, I think we’ll be okay, regardless. Hopefully we’ll get a bit more sleep tonight as well. I’m sure it would make all of us more pleasant and successful.

Day 3

6:45 AM
Well, we definitely got more sleep. But they wet the beds some time before 4:00 AM when I got up and checked them. Lucas woke up when I checked them and I took him to sit on the potty. Nothing happened. He didn’t want to go back to bed, but I told him “Big boys go potty, then go back to bed.” I finally convinced him to go to bed, but he laid awake for a while. I’m not sure when he fell back to sleep, since I fell asleep too. At 6 my alarm went off. While I was on the toilet myself I heard Kyla say “Pee. Mommy, pee!” So I ran in as quickly as I could, but she’d already peed in her bed (which was still wet from earlier in the night anyway). As I took her to the bathroom, Lucas woke up. And neither one was willing to go back to bed. We tried to convince them that it was still night-night time and they needed to go back to bed. They weren’t convinced. So N (who was flexed and doesn’t have to be at work until 11) stayed with them (trying to get them to go to sleep) while I showered. He finally gave up a couple of minutes ago. Guess I need to go join them. This is NOT going to work if we’re up at 6 AM every morning. I need to figure out how to get them to go back to bed after going potty. Perhaps if I try to take them to the bathroom at midnight and 1 AM (one each), they will last until morning? Probably not. The night training is definitely going to take longer than the 3 days. *sigh*

1:00 PM
I think the rough sleep and total exhaustion have gotten to me. I’m losing my patience at a lot of things that I shouldn’t be. I fear that I may be the reason Lucas keeps backsliding. For a while he “gets it,” then we ease up on the watching him like a hawk and he ends up peeing or pooping in his underwear. šŸ˜¦ N has been home the whole day (continues to be flexed, but may have to go in later), but has been distracted most of it. At the moment he’s trying to get them to take a nap (unsuccessfully so far). I’d had enough, so N stepped in.

On a positive note, though, Kyla has only had one half accident, which was due to Lucas already being on the toilet when she needed to go and she refused to go in the little potty we have sitting next to it. By the time I ran her to our bathroom she’d peed a little in her underwear, but finished in the toilet. So I still count that as a success. They both have pooped in the potty once today, even!

All in all, we ARE seeing results. It’s just SO stressful and I’m not holding up my end of things. šŸ˜¦ I think I’ll try to take a nap and see if that improves my mood for the rest of the day.

8:30 PM
I feel like a total failure. We’re at the end of day three and it felt like we were back at day one. Only worse, because I expected the millions of accidents on day one. I didn’t expect them today. My frustration level was high, which I know the kids picked up on and is totally why they were not as successful today as they could have been. I was very close to celebrating a successful three days. Instead I’m freaking out that I’m a horrible parent because I couldn’t be the support they needed the whole time. I know that I need to pray about it tonight. I did stop to pray at one point in the day when I was particularly frustrated and it brought me some calm for a while. N had to leave for work at 2:30, and from that point on Lucas did not make it to the potty. I got peed on more than the toilet did. Kyla did make it most of the time, but had a couple of accidents. And both of them pooped in their underwear. I guess it’s a good thing we have no plans for tomorrow. N works, but if I can get my head on straight again, maybe I can make up for today. šŸ˜¦

Day 4

6:15 AM
Yes, this was supposed to be a THREE day potty training, but obviously we’ve got some more work to do. Kyla is mostly trained. Lucas is not. But we’ll get there. I’ll be watching him like a hawk today.

About 5:30 I heard Lucas start to fuss and say “I pee” so I went running. Of course, he’d already peed in the bed. But I took him to the toilet anyway. Then in walks Kyla, naturally. She was DRY!!!! But Lucas wouldn’t get off the big toilet and she refused to go on the little potty. So I ran her to our bathroom where N watched her (and turned on a light because apparently he couldn’t see her). She peed! But now neither of them will go back to sleep. They keep saying they need to go potty when I know they really don’t, but don’t really want to ignore it in case they do. Currently they are screaming in their beds. I know from experience that this won’t kill them (and at least they’re just screaming about their blankets at the moment and not the potty), but I also know they aren’t going back to sleep. I can’t do 5:30 wake ups. And they really can’t, either. They end up being very cranky and fighting more throughout the day. I need them to go back to sleep. Maybe I’m being unrealistic.

1:15 PM
Up until about 11:00, I would have said this day was going horribly. Or at least, as far as Lucas was concerned. Not once has he told me he needs to go (Kyla’s been spot on, though!). I know he knows when he needs to go, though. I think it just scares him or something. I’m not sure exactly why. But I told them we could go to Sonic and get tater tots if everyone peed before we got in the car. I even started us off. Then Kyla peed. And for a while, Lucas refused. But for some reason he finally decided to sit on the little potty while Kyla was still on the big one. And he peed! He was so proud of himself and I made a HUGE deal about it. Then we took the little potty in the car with us while we went to Sonic “just in case anyone needs to go potty.” They decided they wanted to eat in the car, so that’s what we did. I suppose I could have offered for us to sit at the picnic tables, but it didn’t occur to me for some reason (until just now). Anyway, they ate pretty well. I even got them both their own kid’s meal (I usually make them share and don’t get the kids meal). That way they both got a toy for being such “big kids.” We made it home completely dry! I tried to tell them that we should all try going to the potty when we got home, but Lucas wasn’t interested (Kyla went, though!).

We watched one episode of “Ni Hao, Kai Lan” and then it was time for nap. I asked them to go potty before nap, but they both said no. I didn’t want to force it, so I tucked them in and started to leave, knowing someone would ask to go potty as a stalling tactic. I wasn’t disappointed! Lucas jumped up and said “I pee!” and we rushed to the bathroom. Kyla followed saying she needed to pee too. I told her she’d either have to pee in the little potty or wait. She chose to wait. And Lucas peed in the potty!!! When he was done, Kyla got up and she peed too! I put them back in bed and left the room. But they didn’t stay in bed (as usual). So I took a book into the room and sat down to read it, reminding them it was nap time. It took about 10 minutes for Lucas to fall asleep and about 20 for Kyla. But the DID fall asleep and I didn’t feel even tempted to yell! Major success!

I’m praying that they take a bit longer nap today than the last few days. They are seriously lacking in sleep and it’s making us all a bit edgy. I am hopeful that this afternoon will go better. Lucas still hasn’t TOLD me that he needs to pee, but perhaps with two “celebrations” under his belt for today he’ll start. I hope so, anyway!

8:45 PM
This afternoon went SO much better! It helped that they took a 2.5 hour nap. Even if I did spend 1.5 hours of it laying on their floor wishing I’d brought my book to read. I wouldn’t say Lucas “got it” completely, but he didn’t have any accidents the rest of the day. I think it’s more like I “got it.” I watched him closely and picked up on his signals a bit better. I found positive ways to convince him to head to the potty. For example, I’d ask him if he could go “really fast” to the bathroom (he’s been telling me he’s “really fast” the last couple of days. It’s pretty cute). Sure enough, when he sat down, he would pee. Once he even pooped! And thankfully, Kyla’s still doing great. She did poop in her underwear this afternoon, but I know that tends to come last anyway.

I’d made plans to meet with our friends tomorrow. But I’m not sure how that will go. I’m debating on if it would be better to go to McDonald’s where I know there’s a close bathroom, or a park where it won’t be as big a deal if they have an accident (I would bring the potty chair in the car, of course). Wish me luck!

And now, I’m going to have to publish this, or it will never end. I’ll post updates, of course, but the 3 Days is over and so is this 4 day post.



Filed under family, husband, Parenting, potty training, stress, toddlers

4 responses to “Potty Training (take 2)

  1. wow. i’m dreading potty training even more… i have never night trained and day trained at the same time. you are very brave.

    i have done a similar 3 day training before and it was very successful. it’s a good concept. i usually night train after my kids are 2 to 3 weeks accident free.

    i think i’ll have to train the twins separately. i think i would go crazy otherwise.

  2. Wow. I’m so glad I’m not potty training twins. My sister in law potty trained her twins at different times. Her son was potty trained at 2 1/2 and her daughter not until almost 4! And everyone told her girls were easier, her girl is just very stubborn.
    Keep up the good work. You can do this and then buy yourself a treat with the diaper money you won’t spend one week soon šŸ™‚

  3. Lyzz

    Super not looking forward to potty training. I could see me losing patience quickly. My twins are two and a half and my little boy has never peed in the potty but asked to poop there three times! He gets all excited and then asks for his “potty treat” ( A mini reese cup). My little girl however attempts to take her diaper off almost constantly and then pees on the floor which is maddening. You’ve given me hope that maybe she will surprise me as she doesn’t seem to care right now if she has poop or pee in her diaper. My little boy is like Lucas and cries right away if he has a poopy diaper and wants to be changed. Hoping it will click for them both. Not sure if I’m hard core enough for the 3 day method. What was the name of the book?

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