Potty Training Twins - Success!
After a quasi-successful trial run with potty training six months ago (I was desperately trying to get them out of diapers before their baby brother came into the world), we decided to give it another go.
Since our all-in, two day "practice round", the boys had still been using the potty whenever they requested as well in the morning and at night as part of their daily routine. However, they still weren't asking to go by on a regular basis. Granted, they were now two-in-a-half, chatting up a storm and had nearly mastered pulling their pants up and down, so we figured, why not try again?
We scheduled a stretch of time when we were both off work and decided to attempt the "all-in, three day method" for the second time. This go-round I was not pregnant (yay) and was looking forward to keeping cool and calm with my trusty friend red wine on hand as needed. I have a tendency to become incredibly anxious when there is a lack of structure and this was sure to be one of those times.
We made plans to stay home, stocked the house with stickers, potty candy, magic potty juice, potty rewards, charts, movies, coloring books and started talking to the boys about what was to happen weeks before the big event.
When that first morning rolled around we said good bye to our "night night pants" (aka, diapers which they only wear at night since they aren't waking up quite yet), put on our favorite monster truck shirts and started our day pants free.
Immediately, the boys loved it. Having easy access to one of their favorite toys?! They were having a grand ole' time. Since we wanted to focus on them just going on the potty, we set up a little potty area in our living room. A large blanket, towels, potty chairs and two little boys who sat there...and sat there...and sat there. Between their favorite shows (Dinotrux, Mighty Machines & Bob the Builder) and the learning games on their Kindle Fire's, they were more than happy to just stay put on those potties.
Each time they felt themselves going they would look down, yell, "pee pee down" and push those little things down to make sure that stream stayed in the bowl. Then they would jump up, squeal and start asking for "pah cah" (potty candy). The first day that is pretty much all we did....sat. When they did get up to run around we would constantly ask if they had to go and kept taking breaks to have them sit. Sometimes they went, sometimes they went on the floor...or while riding a truck. It was a looonnnggg first day but we made it and moved on to day two.
The next day we decided it was time to put on our big boy chonies. They chose a pair and set off to play. After a day on the potty, we hoped they would be able to feel the sensation to potty and run into the bathroom or let us know. We talked about it at length and just went for it. When they ran in there and pulled down their chonies to go potty you would have thought we won the lottery. Screaming, singing, dancing, sticker choice, sticker on the chart, potty candy, more dancing, looking at the pee, ooohhhing, ahhhiinnng, hugging, kissing...this went on all day. When they had accidents, we calmly told them it was no biggie, but that we wanted to try and go in the potty. Soon, having accidents made them very sad and they made a great effort to get to the bathroom.
Sometimes they made it, sometimes they would forget. Doing what a typical mommy does, I started to question everything. Were we doing this right? Was this supposed to be happening? Is this working? I texted my sister in law and non-bio sister with questions and they helped me stay calm and motivated to ride it out.
By the third day the boys were still doing ok. A few accidents here and there, but for the most part they would go potty on command. I started to notice that Clarke was becoming more consistent about stopping what he was doing to run into the potty and go. As it is with twins, J.R. noticed what Clarke was doing and started to follow suit. Soon, more often than not they were running into that potty...especially since they knew once they went a huge party would ensue.
On the fourth day I (thankfully) had to go to work and therefore was forced to leave the house for a long period of time. Since my TH was going it alone with two potty training toddlers and an infant, I told him to stick with it, but if it got crazy with pee all over the place to throw in the towel and put them back in diapers. Well, I checked in later that day and NO ACCIDENTS! When I got home promptly at 3pm there had only been ONE all day!! Say whhhaatt???!!! My big boys had done an amazing job and showed no signs of going back to diapers. I was elated.
With our in-home bathroom skills pretty much perfected, it was time to test the waters of skill generalization. We started with going over to Maj's house. We brought their potty adapter seat and made the short walk over. Even though they had only really used their little potty seats at home, I figured this may help them get used to going on the big potty as needed. I mean, they had sat on the big potty a few times at home, but still weren't too sure about it. This of course only created more anxiety for me wondering how on Earth you transition to that...but I knew that was a worry for another day.
They did well at her house with only one accident and I was feeling more confident in their skills each day. By the end of the week they were playing outside for hours with no accidents and telling me when they had to go. I decided to bring out a little seat to make it easy on myself as it is no small feat to grab one to go inside with the baby and another little one refusing to come in. With the potty always within their reach they never missed a beat...well, there were a couple poopy mistakes, but that too is a whole different beast which takes a little extra attention.
After one short week they were having few to no accidents in their chonies and I decided it was high time to get out and back into the real world. To make life a little easier on myself, I decided to purchase some pull ups for the boys to wear. While I knew this was considered a "step backwards", the boys and I had a long talk (as did I with my non-bio sister) and I made sure they knew these were our special going out big boy pants and they still needed to tell me when they had to go. Lucky for me they had Lightening McQueen on them so the boys were happy to wear them as needed.
Being a tad bit overzealous, the Maj and I thought it would be a good idea to go to Ikea...on a Sunday...with all the kids...Thankfully, we had some backup from the beautiful Mrs. S whose extra set of hands were a huge help.
With their Cars big boy pants on, we made the 45 minute drive to San Diego....
About 15 minutes into our trip Clarke started saying, "uh -oh, pah, pah" (potty). I was terrified but told him it was ok, he was doing a great job and made my way to the nearest exit. While I was sure he had gone in his pants, we raced into a gas station, grabbed the potty seat (and antibacterial wipes) and rushed into the bathroom. I held my breath praying that he would not flip out at the big potty and got it ready for him to sit as he tugged down his pants. I whisked him up, he pointed that pee pee down and we both watched as the beautiful stream of liquid left his little body. The smiles grew across both our faces and they party started. Screaming, clapping, me fighting off tears of joy as he giggled and squealed with delight. HE DID IT! ON THE BIG POTTY! AND TOLD ME ABOUT IT!!! One dry pull up and a bag of M&M's later (I forgot to pack the most important essential of all) we were back on the road and my heart couldn't have been more full.
During our two hour trip at Ikea I must have taken those two to the bathroom at least 20 times. They often went, sometimes didn't but I nearly died when each time we went that pull up was dry. Not one drop had left them if it wasn't in the toilet. They were rockstars!
The only thing that has slowed down in our quest for potty training perfection is their regular number two. It used to be every day, but now it is every other. They aren't quite sure how to deal with the sensation, but since they constantly touch their tushies when they have to go, I am pretty good about making sure we stay on the potty and reelllaaxxx it right out. It scares them a bit so they always need one of us close to hold them until they realize that not only is it ok, but it is the best thing ever...and they get an upgrade from one M&M to a Hershey's Kiss!
The latest development is their new obsession with the big potty (all thanks to the amazing"poop light" I purchased on Amazon to light up the toilet and draw them in) and having dry-ish diapers through the night. Next up is them moving to big boy beds (I am terrified) and going potty in the night like big boys.
Then I might as well pay their college tuition as they will be leaving me in a blink of an eye (start uncontrollable sob now). Another milestone met and this mommy couldn't be more proud of her two biggest boys.
Strive to thrive,