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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Potty Training, The Sequel

Mom's "potty pops"
 Bubs 1 is in the midst of a potty-training weekend. Although we tied to train him a few months ago, the relatively recent situation of a potential ASD diagnosis had us back off. We didn't want to force him if he wasn't ready. However, it seems to his mom and me that Bubs 1 is ready. We cannot ignore the fact that he's 3 and-a-half and is as stubborn as all hell. ;)

Bubs eats a "potty pop."
His mom made him "potty pops," which are frozen, homemade smoothies. These pops are frozen in an ice cube tray. Bubs 1 is being encouraged to sit on the potty by these ice pops. We discovered that the bubs is willing to sit down for as long as the treat lasts... but we want him to sit longer. So we added a prize program. This program requires Bubs 1 to earn six stars, which will reward him with a Hot Wheels truck (HW-Recon-07). For every successful "void" he leaves in the potty (#'s 1 & 2), he earns one star. He has three stars (at the time I write this blog), which is two more than the picture (below) shows. He is very much aware that he is getting closer to receiving this truck with each new star.

However, he still won't sit long enough for a poop to arrive. His three stars are all from successful pee's. His mom and I are thinking on our feet, even though we've read up on multiple strategies, as well as planned our own strategy. All this knowledge is helpful, but we still need to make adjustments as we go.

Bubs reward program design
Every kid is different. It's not as clear cut as we had hoped for, but we do have hope. We believe he is progressing, although he does give us a struggle. For example, this morning I offered him another potty pop if he sat down on the potty. He told me that he no longer wants the potty pops. He now demands lollipops. We immediately went out and bought some Dum Dums. We believe this is a win-win situation, because he'll have to sit on the potty a good, long time to finish one lollipop. He can even choose his color. Soon after this negotiation, we accidentally discovered a weakness of his. While obviously unable to produce a lollipop upon hearing of the demand, we could only offer him another potty pop. As already stated, he refused. However, when we brought the potty pop to him - and held it in front of him - he buckled and accepted the potty pop. His mom and I took a mental note.

Additional note upon purchasing the lollipops: The blue lollipops made his tongue blue (pictured), which created more excitement for him. This process is like an experiment.

Bubs' blue tongue
I don't remember my potty training. My mother is no longer alive for me to ask. My father has no idea since he was not an active participant during that time. I wish I had asked my mother all of the "parenting questions" before she passed, but I was too young, immature and angry to think at that level. I do remember that our bathroom door was directly across from our side door (to the outside). We used our side door as our main door when entering and leaving the house. This design trained me to always close the door when using the bathroom (a lesson that I seemed to forget sometimes today).  This is my only early-bathroom memory. Actually, I do have another, but I won't share that one.

We're nearing a full 24-hours of the bubs' weekend of potty training. So far, so good. Three stars for three successful potty voids and about seven or eight wet pairs of underwear (and shorts) for those "unsuccessful" potty voids. He's withholding a #2 void, but his mom and I know that Mother Nature will deliver sometime tonight. This eagle will land and we believe it isn't too far off.

We're also understanding Bubs 1's negotiation strategy. He'll make a demand, while knowing that we'll meet his demand, i.e. the lollipops. However, his mom and I also know that he'll accept our offer if the offer is placed in front of him. The key is that this offer doesn't have to meet his demand, but just be valuable enough for him to not have the strength to deny it when physically presented. We don't believe that the bubs is aware of the fact that we are aware of this weakness of his.

This just may have tipped negotiations into our favor.

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