3 Day Potty Training Boot Camp In Review

I can assure you that had I  written this blog post the last night of the 3 days it would have a much different tone.  But at this point I have had a week to collect myself, disinfect my home, wash all my rugs, eat and use the restroom myself again.  

Post boot camp many people have questioned why I put myself through the 3 days of torture.  I did not just wake up one day and say, "Oh! Let's be done with diapers and take them off!" A friend over 2 years ago gave me a copy of Lora Jensen's 3 Day Potty Training Book.  She is the "Queen of Potty Training".  In fact, my sweet niece Charis is a success story.  Trained at the age of 21 months with this method.  We have 2 friends that have children the same age as the boys and recently it worked for them.  Now, the reason that I have looked at potty training techniques is that both my boys are OVER diapers.  So over it that it is a nightmare to change them. They kick, they scream, they run.  They pull them off.  In fact, just the weekend before this Beckett comes to me and says "my hands dirty" Oh yeah, was that dirt?? NO! It was poop.  Because he digs in his dirty diapers and tries to get them off.  If you remember back in January I posted Potties and Pirates and we had just purchased the first round of potty training supplies.  Well, we did a little training and then Eli lost interest and we could never convince Beckett to really even try to we backed off. Which all leads us to 4 months later, we turned 2.5, Eli wakes up dry every night, they sometimes use the potty, and the diapers are a nightmare.  Voila!  3 day potty training method here we go.

Now, without revealing too much of the book (her method is patented, protected, and copyrighted) I did all the steps to getting prepared.  Undies - I only owned 7 pairs. After reading this I realized, I need more undies.  So we upped our quantities to 31 (thats 4 - 7 days packs and 1 - 3 day pack) if you must know.  Toy Story, Cars, and Thomas - all our favorites!  We already had the potty plus the training seats on each toilet.  The rewards bucket contained marshmellows, toys, nerds, stickers, tattooes, and all kinds of fun stuff.  Oh.. and the urine carpet cleaner was purchased as well as a stock of Clorox wipes.  

The night before, I read the book again. And again.  Basic premise is a rip the bandaid off, all in method.  Diapers in the trash, big boy underpants on, me disconnected from the rest of the world, and let the fun (PEE & POOP) begin!  I took a few last pictures the night before of the diapers.  Yes, they are dancing with their dad to Ghostbusters.. yep, that's pretty normal.  You never really know around here what craziness he might come up with at anytime!

So we wake up do our morning routine and then Justin and I gave the boys their "big boy" speech and let them pick out their undies.  Let me say that all the pictures are from the first day. We rolled the rugs up too (thank goodness) I had no idea how bad it was going to get!

Yep, after that morning "pump up" it was accident after accident after accident.. how many you might say?  Well we were 14 pairs of underwear in by 10:30am!  Not KIDDING YOU.  Do you know how much pee that is on the floor in that many accidents?  I will say that I had a great attitude about it.. at this point. I expected it.  It was really really rough until lunch time.  I don't think there was anything in the potty at all and I had to keep the washing machine going because we definitely would have been through all 31 by 3:00 no doubt.  Some people have asked me how could they have to go that many times?  Part of the plan is to give them tons of liquids so you have tons of training opportunities!  What did the boys think about the morning? They were so tired, they fell asleep on their nap mats in the middle of the floor while I made lunch!

Day 1 was bad.  But Justin was home for the morning and he helped. He also let me workout for an hour so I got a break and was able to feed myself.  (side note: under Justin's potty training clock, I come home to find out Beckett had been sprayed off in the yard with a water hose after #2 incident!)  After he left it was just me, this house, the boys, and the potty wars.  It got really bad. I spent the evening of Day 1 reading again the book as well some blogs and "real life" stories.

Playing while Beckett slept

Yep, momma is so worried about the carpet right now

Day 2 - I woke up with renewed optimism.  This was going to be a great potty day.  I shared my enthusiasm with 2 little boys.  It got a little better in the morning. 

Lunch on the tile floors!

We did have some success on actually going on the potty.  Potty got better, behavior did not.  Beckett was actually having a lot of success on the potty. He was getting a lot of surprises.  He told me a couple of times.  He sat down on the little potty and went on his own.   He did not have an accident at all from after nap until bedtime!  This did not sit well with Eli at all.  The more I praised and rewarded Beckett, the worse Eli's behavior got.  One of the things that is the foundation of this training is that potty should be fun.  There should be happiness and praise.  There should be singing and excitement.  That is really really difficult when one 2.5 year old little boy is "acting out".  I became so overwhelmed.  Eli began to cry for his diaper.  We put a gate up so they couldn't get on the carpet in the bedrooms and playrooms after the Day 1 accidents.  Eli hated this.  He cried and shook the gate and kicked.  He threw toys.  He hit his brother. He tried to "steal" prizes.  He fell on the floor and kicked when he wanted a prize but refused to potty.    I tried all kinds of things with him.  I started doing "dry checks" with M & M's (his favorite!) and if he was dry then he could have an M & M.  While he did say "mom I'm dry!" he would sometimes be wet.  He would sometimes eat his M & M's while going in a huge puddle"  One time I came back from the bathroom with Beckett and Eli was standing on a chair peeing on the table!!!  "Look mom!" I really started to lose it.  I cried.  Twice on the second day.   Eli cried so hard for his diaper that I said fine, put him in a diaper and breathed a sigh of relief that at least now I could discipline him without fear of ruining the carpet!  This is a real productive time out Eli was in day 2 evening! Notice in the second picture he is trying to through the ottoman over :-)

After I finally got them in bed, after I had a good mental breakdown, I encouraged myself by reading all the stories about how day 3 was the day it clicked!  And I prayed "Lord, please let Day 3 be the day that it clicks."

wash on the evening of day 2 - all shirts, undies, and clean up towels!
Day 3 - I'm golden right.  I wake up, the boys wake up, Eli tells me he needs to go tee tee.  He also tells me that he is not a baby and does not want a diaper.  Score!  Beckett wakes up and runs to potty on his own.  No issues.  Everyone has a prize. Everyone ready for a great day.  Ha!  I am not kidding you.  I even stopped the pumping of fluids because I could not take it anymore.  They pee'd EVERYWHERE.  No one told me.  They cried.  If I even got near Beckett he started screaming "Don't take me don't take me" because he thought I was going to run him to the potty! Eli started "hiding" from me and peeing in all kinds of places.  Justin had been gone for 2 days.  For 2 1/2 full days I had not left their sides.  I only at when they slept. I was starving, I needed a bath but I had to do that at night too after I mopped and cleaned up the days disasters.  I couldn't even go to the bathroom!  It all just became too much for one person.  I would come back from the bathroom with one to find that the other was standing or sitting on my couch in a huge puddle of pee.  I downloaded a bunch of apps on my iPad for potty training.  I thought reading the books and playing the games would be fun.  And Beckett thought so.  He ran to the potty after we played on.  Eli threw a huge fit.  He started screaming "no more potty" and tried to hit the iPad.  Not the effect I was looking for.  

I have to tell you my breaking point though.  Around 5:00pm on day 3.   Eli pees on the floor.  I try to take him, he won't go.  I dry him off, bring him back.  Beckett has a huge puddle on the floor.  I take him to the bathroom. Eli is sitting in Becket's puddle splashing.  He says "someone peed in here".. Duh, you think?  I bring Eli to the bathroom because Beckett is on the potty and is going.  Eli throws a tantrum. I clean him up. I get Beckett off the potty and clean him up, while I am doing this Eli picks up the containers of Beckett pee off the potty and throws it at me and Beckett covering me.  Soaking me, the rug the shower curtain, ugh.  It stinks. I am exhausted.  I just sit in the floor and cry. I have a serious breakdown.  I put Eli in his room and shut the door.  I get Beckett all cleaned up.  Eli apologizes comes out of his room and seems to be ok.  He immediately walks in the living room, picks up a train whistle, and hits his brother across the face.  I LOSE IT. I pick him up and for the first time in his little life, give him a spanking.  (this is a HUGE deal, because I am a "no spanking" mom.) I tell him he is getting a spanking for hitting his brother and I put the gate up for him to have a time out.  I go into my room and I sob.  I think to myself, "who is this mother, this person that these 3 days has made you become???"  This is not me!  I am not a screamer. I work hard to be calm and patient.  Justin even comments regularly that he cannot believe how patient I can be with them.  It has reduced me to a crying, exhausted, hungry, mess.  I haven't been able to enjoy my babies in 3 days!!!   And I you know what?  I tell myself I don't have to do this.  It's not working.  It's okay to admit that.  I get my babies. I put them in a pull up.  I take them outside.  I give them ice cream.  And as they enjoy their ice cream I tell them that I am very sorry for being so crazy and that I love them and I am proud of them.  I kiss them, I relax.  I try and forgive myself.  

We have a great evening.  They don't potty, I don't worry about it.  I just let them wear their pull up.  And wouldn't you know, at bedtime after we brushed our teeth, little Eli asked to use the potty :-)  As I put on Facebook "as the sun sets on day 3 of the potty training boot camp, its safe to say we were a failure. "  And that was that!  

On Day 4, its back to school.  I asked Eli what he wanted to wear and he said diaper so I sent him to school in a diaper.  They both woke up and went potty.  I take them to school, I talk to the teacher, I take them both to potty at school which they did ( and got marshmellows for :-) and left without much hope.  While they were at school I visited Nurtured Family and picked up some re-usuable training pants.  I went with the Blueberry Trainers (they have soft minky inside and Eli loves them)  

Can I just say how amazingly surprised and shocked I was to find out that those 2 little boys went potty at school ALL DAY!  Not wet at all!  Really?  These 2?  Apparently its cool to potty at school.  After we got home we got an ice cream potty prize.  We called everyone and told them!  They got tons of praise!

enjoying our hard earned ice cream on the back porch
Enjoying their new sprinkler 

Where are we now?  Are we potty trained? No.  Are we on our way there.. yes!  They are doing great at school.  Eli is a champion holder.  His pull up or training pants is almost always dry.  Beckett will go on command most of the time.  Neither have mastered telling us before it happens. (or mastered the dreaded #2)  We are spending as much time in big boy underwear and training pants as we can at home and then using pull-ups for school or church.  They did great last Saturday, the even stayed dry and went potty at the car dealerships while shopping for cars!  Each place we go, I take them to the potty first and show them and give them a prize.  The teachers say they will go with them but so far they don't initiate it on their own.  I know this will come in time.  Hopefully by 3 we will have success!  

 Now, the Potty Training Queen will not call me a success, pull ups and training pants are not part of the plan.  We had  a great kick start, we are not turning back to diapers, and we did the best we could.  I will say that I think the method would work if its one on one but at the end of the day, I can honestly admit that there is NO way that one person can handle both of them all day long everyday for 3 days by themselves.  Can't do it.  And shouldn't.  

Because if you do, this is what your child will look like by the end of day 3 and you won't even care that he is going all over the floor!!

Ah.. the adventures of twins.  Hopefully they won't be in pullups in college :-)  Or by then, I might be too!  Ha!

The Riley's