The boys and I have almost made it through our 12-week long summer. Phases I and II went quite well. Phase III has been rough. The boys are tired of each other. They are tired of the seeming lack of routine. They are tired of me constantly “pestering” them to stop watching tv and use their imaginations. I’m tired of the yelling, screaming, wrestling, and clutter.
One of the reasons that Phase III has been brutal is that it was “do or die” time for Cole to be potty trained. I got his preschool packet in the mail on August 3. At that point, he was not intent upon going on the potty, and I wasn’t totally forcing the issue. That packet was my wake-up call. I HAD to have him ready for preschool in a month. Those are 5 glorious hours that I’ve never had to myself each week. I refuse to give them up because a certain head-strong 3 year old has decided not to expel waste into a toilet. The first week was awful. Puddles everywhere. Soiled underpants. Tears…mostly mine. At one point, he smacked me because he didn’t want to go on the potty and I was sitting in the bathroom with him. I told him that he could choose not to go on the potty, and preschool could choose not to let him participate. He is so excited about preschool that this thought sent ripples through him. Suddenly, he was much more enthusiastic about going on the potty.
Last week, we had mostly mastered toileting for urination. The other one…not so much. That is, until Jake took Cole into the bathroom and laid down the law that big kids don’t poop in their pants. He helped Cole get onto the potty, then gave him a big bear hug as Cole tried. I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, but that worked. Cole got over his discomfort with the sensation. He has gone on the potty every day since, and has eliminated his waste IN THE TOILET!!!! We had one accident, but that was minor. OH-MY-GOSH-I-THINK-HE’S-GOT-IT!!!!
Today we were cleaning up Cole’s room. As I was rifling through the books, determining which to keep and which to give away, Cole came in and shouted about going poop. I didn’t look up, but groaned. I just figured he meant that he wasn’t paying attention and had an accident. We had JUST been in the bathroom, but he refused to try to go.
Ohhh-kaaay…I’ll come change you.
No Mommy….in the potty. Look!
There it was. Yessss!!!!!! I know that we are by no means “home free”…but this process has been relatively quick, compared to others. It’s amazing what the right motivation will do!
Another reason that Phase III has been rough is that Jake is trying to absorb as much “down time” as possible in the 2 and a half weeks between day camp and school. He fights playing outside. He fights doing math or reading exercises. He fights playing with his toys. He acted as if I was going to torture him when I asked if he wanted to try to ride his bike outside. So, yeah, I’m exhausted by his refusals to do anything but watch tv.
Phase III has been a bit of a bummer for all of us. It’s the winding down of the summer. It’s the realization that so very soon we will be on a tight schedule, running from school to therapy to extra-curriculars. I have to pack lunches at night, get outfits ready for the next day, and wake up when my alarm clock blares at me each morning at 6 am. The kids are bummed out that they aren’t allowed to sleep in the basement any more, aren’t allowed to sit in pj’s, and are being asked to help choose which clothes to keep for the new school year. I think we are mostly ready for the next Phase–School Year 2012-13!