Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Potty Training Boot Camp Day 3: Synopsis

Last night did not go as well in terms of keeping dry but I still felt Ok about it.  Since I had put them on only an hour after bed the first time and they didn't go, I thought I would wait until later on in the night when I was going to bed.  Both were soaking wet and both went on the potty at our bedtime.  When my alarm went off at 5:45, Colin was dry and went on the potty but Kailey woke up in the midst of all of that crying because she had gone a little and still needed to go. Since Colin hadn't fully emptied, he had a few accidents within a 10 minute span of time before he remained dry.  

I'll be really honest; the day did NOT go as I had expected and by midday I was feeling pretty discouraged. Kailey was generally doing pretty well, but still had yet to tell me and I'd catch her doing the potty dance or after she had gone a little bit before getting her to the potty.  Colin was pretty cooperative until we once again hit the mid morning time frame when he has been seeming to get extra tired.  He got into one of his "zones" where his dangling behavior comes out and he did not want me following him around.  

Throughout the morning, I would catch Colin with the very beginnings of some dribbles (once again, the solid colored underwear significantly helped with this) but he became very agitated when I'd run him to the potty as the method suggested.  He refused to sit, cried every single time he started having an accident, and wouldn't even stand up for me to pull his underwear down.  

He started trying to "hide" from me so that I couldn't check him because he did not want to go to the potty.  

Kailey still had a hard time being told she had an accident.  I tried just pointing out that her underwear was only a little bit wet and really praising her for going on the potty.  She remained dry during her nap and even stayed dry for awhile afterwards without going.

I remained as positive as possible with Colin even though the fight to go to the potty became a challenge.  I started letting the little dribble spots go and instead focused on taking him when I really noticed that he was starting to go.  Because I followed him so intensely all day, he never had a true accident because I got him in the bathroom before he really let himself fully go.  This was a brightspot of the day because I didn't have to clean the couches or floor as much today for either of them.

I was thrilled that lunch time got there so I could at least take a break and sit in one spot after a long morning of following them around and trying to keep them both in the same room at the same time.  

I needed a little pick me up so after lunch was over, we went outside for some fresh air.  I made the mistake of forgetting to tell them they had to go potty before going outside (I was still under the impression that they had to show they had to go and didn't realize until afterwards when I checked the manual again).  Because of this, Kailey had an accident within 10 seconds of getting to the driveway.  I had to scoop them both up to run them into the house causing Kailey to fake cry and Colin to really cry because he didn't want to go back in the house.  

By this point, Colin was overtired so his sensory issues started to come out.  Instead of drawing with chalk, he started biting the chalk and doing other repetitive behaviors like ripping leaves out of the tree and licking the dirt off of his hands.  

By late afternoon I had a not so pretty cry over how things were going (in my defense I was running on a few nights of little sleep and was so stressed over the whole thing) .  While Kailey napped, I obsessively watched Colin while he played with the ipad and tried running him every time he started.  He fought me over and over and/or cried instead.  He would get right back off of the potty and I'd remain positive and point out something to praise him for.  I was starting to feel really overwhelmed like things weren't going to happen the way I was expecting.  

After my good cry, then Kailey crying because I was crying, and Colin telling me to stop crying, we got ourselves to dinner time where I could see the light of bedtime at the end of the day.  I'll be honest again; I felt as though I was failing.  I felt overwhelmed because I wasn't sure what was next.  What do you do on day 4? 5-the next year?  It's pretty clear by this point that it hasn't really clicked with Colin the way it was supposed to.  In the back of my mind, I had anticipated this and had even thought in the beginning that this would hopefully just jump start us but it was still upsetting nonetheless.

I started the process of getting ready for bed really early with baths, potty, teeth, books and songs.  Kailey was settled in bed by 7:00 and I put Colin on the potty one more time.  I got him back in bed, kissed goodnight, and then his shenanigans began.  "Mommy, go poopies!".  I 'd go in, bring him to the potty, he'd go, want his sticker and then give me hugs and kisses.  I'm not lying when I say that he literally earned an extra 11 stickers just because of this (he only had 7 by this point from the entire day!).  I couldn't say no because he was actually communicating that he had to go, and couldn't even cry from my exhaustion at this point because it was hard to resist his smirks when he called me in again and again to go "poopies" (which was actually just peeing).  He is no dummy.  I have to laugh because he was communicating well, proud of himself for going, and smirking when marking his reward chart.  

I do not regret trying this method out because I feel that I was 90% successful with Kailey by the end of day 3.  I have a couple of thoughts about this though.  There are definite clear differences between a typical child and a child with a developmental disability (this sounds like a "duh" moment, but hear me out).  I think it's necessary to have spent the time that we did (a solid year) getting Colin ready for this to have the "language" (signs and/or words) regarding the whole process.  

I think there is much to be said for children with Down Syndrome and poor muscle tone (in this case, of his bladder) because Colin can't really empty fully when he goes.  We have been working on this for a long time now (months) by telling him to keep going even when he stops and says he's all done.  This was evident to me on the multiple trips to the bathroom at bedtime.  I also think that created frustrations throughout the day because I don't think he realizes sometimes when he starts to go.  Through the whole manual, it is repeated that you need to devote your time to your child so that you recognize their signs.  Kailey has clear signs but I have literally stared at Colin for 3 days straight and I would say that 95% of the time, there is absolutely no change in his demeanor when he starts to go.  He really didn't have any signs so I don't think he can always control when he goes. 

Despite the fact that I cried today and I don't feel totally confident by this point of the day, there are positives.  We are better off with the potty and underwear than when we started.  They both remained pretty dry throughout the day (although both still need to be reminded and no one is really telling me, well, except Colin at bedtime) with no true bad accidents.  I feel Kailey probably has one more day of this and then she'll really have it down.  However, with Colin, I feel that we have some decisions to make.  What's next?  Do we try to get him on a schedule (which goes against the method)? Do we use pullups when needed (I really, really, really do not want to revert back to diapers)? Do we suck up the many accidents he's probably still left to have? What do we do about school? What will day 4 bring?  I know we will keep trudging through and I know that I let my emotions get the best of me today but I can honestly say that this is THE hardest/most challenging thing I have done yet.  I will keep you posted because we aren't done yet!


Terasa said...

I've been told multiple times that kids with DS need to be told many more times than a typical child before it actually clicks, so maybe, for Colin, it'll be more of a 10-15 day potty training method?? I know it's a long time, but maybe continue, as much as you can, with him. if Kailey starts being more consistent, getting more stars, maybe he'll start calming down about it. I'm sure he will figure out when he has to go, just being consistent is the key. Don't give up, yet.

Jenni said...

I'm tired just reading about your last 3 days! I hope you find tomorrow is easier, and each day thereafter! You're doing great especially on the little sleep you've gotten!

Lida said...

One strategy that worked for me with my girls was to keep the potty near us at all times - in den or in backyard - so they didn't have to "leave the fun" to go potty.

Anonymous said...

I am with you also in the midst of toilet training my boy same age as Colin ( April 09 ) and Cody has DS. It's so frustrating my other 2 boys were fully trained in a few days when they were 2 ! I am not using the 3 day method but a combo of asking him every 30 mins and both underpants and pull ups ..,he understands the concept but I agree with you about the muscle control ...anyway school back on sept 4th here in rockland and my gut is telling me we will be in pull ups :-(. Sue