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Potty Training Boot Camp Has Begun!

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Today I earned a huge salary….or at least those new appliances Joel bought me for our 10th wedding anniversary.  Potty training boot camp started this past weekend for Seth and let me tell you, this kid is a doozy!  I’ve got my work cut out for me!

If only he smiled EVERY time....

In just a few short days, he’s learned that M&M’s aren’t worth his time to “park it” on the potty chair for a few minutes.  And for that matter, neither are Skittles, raisins, Craisins, chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, Godfish, Kool-Aid (oh yeah!), Chee-tos or ANYTHING ELSE in my fridge or pantry.  He’s done with books, Imagination Movers and even Seth’s favorite Buzz Lightyear action figure was thrown from the bathroom after he demonstrated his best toileting skills to the onlooking three-year-old.  Oh, but Seth CAN do it.  He’s done it already, lots of times.  He just doesn’t want to, and I’m struggling between feeling like I should strongly encourage him to do it and just keeping things light and fun.

So, today I took the light and fun approach.

And tomorrow I’ll be going back to the strongly encouraging approach.

I know what you’re thinking and what you want to say (and probably will say) to me, “It’s on HIS time.  He’ll do it when he’s ready.  Don’t push him.  Don’t make him do something he doesn’t want to do.”  And while I partly agree with you on that thought, I’ll argue that I bet you haven’t potty trained a child with Down Syndrome.

I’ve already tried every tactic that was used with our typically-developing Ella.  And while she was a tough egg to crack, I’m finding Seth to be immune to most all of them.  Treats, rewards, trips and sticker charts mean nothing to him at this point.  I think it’s about simply teaching a new skill.  Funny thing about Seth and “new experiences”….he’s generally not a fan until he’s had to do it about a hundred times.  That’s not much of an exaggeration….

So, we press on.  I can breathe a sigh of relief as he’s warmly snuggled in his bed tonight, knowing that the Pull-Up is working for me while we all take a break.  But around 6:30 in the morning, Lightning McQueen will be ready for action for five minutes?  Three hours?  Who knows?!

Fun for Ella and I as we make our way through all the snacks and delicious juices I’ve stocked up on; the skeptical three-year-old is on to my game.  But hey, a hug or a high-five may very well be just as good as an M&M in his book….and that works for me just fine.



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17 Responses to “Potty Training Boot Camp Has Begun!”

  1. Rick Smith July 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    So awesome!! 🙂

    You guys are doing such a great job. We’ve been been praying for the potty two nights in a row now!

    The blog is looking so good!

    • Joel July 20, 2011 at 12:14 am #

      Keep praying. Hopefully, we will get a breakthrough. As Fleetwod Mac would sing,

      Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow
      Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
      It’ll be, better than before
      Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

  2. Aunt Mandy July 20, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    I believe! Each day your making progress. He will be successful and your joy will be GREAT!!!! Love you all

    • Joel July 20, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      Thanks for the encouragement Mandy!

  3. Corrin July 20, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Yeah, but hey, ya got a priceless picture out of it ;0) Oakley was “onto” the candy cookie treat thing just like Seth, she was immune ;0) what finally worked was me getting SUPER excited every time she’d go & saying next to nothing to her, very quiet, like I was disappointed if we had to change a diaper. She caught on really fast after that, because you’re right, they know what to do already. It’s just getting them to do it, but the super enthusiasm did the trick. She liked it & it became a game. Now she’s helping my nephew 😉

    • Joel July 20, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      Corrin, Good advice. We are willing to try anything at this point. Any other tricks we can throw at the wall? ~Joel

  4. Gretchen July 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi again, Potty training! Ahhhh!!! With Julian my first child I am so so curious what this is all about. So, Julian will get to be my first “experiment.” I can’t wait to keep reading about your Successes (and little speed bumps along the way)

    • Emily July 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

      Thanks Gretchen! He is darling!!! Reminds us of Seffy….. If you get no tips from us, I hope you at least get a good laugh!

  5. Andi July 24, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Okay, let me just say…the photo is awesome. I laughed out loud!

  6. Lauren July 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I don’t know if I have any particular insight into your situation since my son doesn’t have Down’s, but I had a bear of a time potty training my 3-yr-old. I wrote a short blog post about it here: http://beneshes.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-potty-training-taught-this-mama.html

    Every kid is so different that I learned to take others’ advice with a really big grain of salt. I got so many potty training “tips,” but what ended up working was following my own instincts with my son. Good luck!

    • Joel July 25, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      Lauren, that’s great advice. We will check out your blog post. We hit the pause button on our attempt as he was getting more and more resistant to even wanting to sit down on the toilet. We were actually regressing each day instead of the other way around. We will revisit it when he’s a little more ready.

    • Emily July 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

      Great advice, Lauren! I’m doing just that! 😉

  7. Monica Crumley July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Oh, what a dollface! And,no, I’m not stalking your blog, really! I’m just so amazed at how parallel our lives are… all the way down to having fun, adventurous anniversaries (our 17th is Saturday)

    So, here are a couple photos/posts that might make you smile… http://monicacrumley.blogspot.com/2010/09/wordless-wednesday-chocolate-pudding.html Look familiar? Ha ha…

    Here’s the funniest though… and potty training is a very loooong slooooowww process in our house… http://monicacrumley.blogspot.com/2010/11/iep-goal-sit-on-toilet-for-1-minute.html

    The very last photo if the Nativity 🙂

  8. beverly September 12, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I would love to hear any updates you have on the potty training. Did it work? If so what did you do to help it along the way. The more I read on your blog the more I laugh at how similar our boys are. Wish we lived closer. I’m not as “on the ball” as you are with blogging but if you would like to visit our blog is kerrfamilyupdate.blogspot.com. You have inspired me to do more videoing.

    • Emily September 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      It didn’t go so well the first time around. We stopped as our collective frustration level was getting pretty high. We are going to give it another run this fall. Thanks for visiting!

      • Joel January 6, 2012 at 6:29 am #

        Seth is using the potty about once or twice a day now. We’re still not doing a full court press to get him to go all the time, but we are having successes and celebrating them.

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