Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Potty Talk

If you don't want to read about potty training, please X out now.

 For whatever reason the institutions in Serbia believe it is easier to keep a kid in diapers indefinitely than to potty train them. Think how expensive it is to put diapers on teens and adults!

When Asher came home at age 7, we had to wait a couple of months before working on potty training because he needed some reconstructive work done first. Once we started, and he peed in the toilet once, he was like "Oh THAT is what that toilet thing is for???" and potty training was complete.

Abel came to us at 10 years old. The caregivers in the institution told us he was afraid of the bathroom and toilets. Indeed, while we were still in Serbia he absolutely freaked out if we tried to get him to enter the bathroom. My guess is he wasn't afraid of the room, he was afraid of what had happened to him in a bathroom. Knowing how  he was treated there conjures up all kinds of images. But for Abel the lure of chocolate was far bigger than his fear of that room. We had him using the toilet within a couple of days, but didn't really plan on truly training him until we got him home. We arrived home on April 29th, and the last day he wore diapers was May 8th. Like Asher, he only needed to be shown what to do.

I didn't work any miracles, believe me. These were kids who should have been trained YEARS earlier but weren't given the opportunity. I just remove their pants for a day, give them a ton of liquids to drink, let them dribble on their own feet a couple of times, show them where the pee is supposed to go, and VOILA! Potty training is done. I will not ever profess to say this method will work with every child. It worked for *my* boys who, like I said above, should have been trained years earlier.

And now we have Audrey. She is 9 1/2 years old. She is six weeks older than Asher. She catches onto things very quickly and I have no doubt she should have been trained years ago. However, one of our biggest hurdles with Audrey is she does not drink enough liquids. Getting her to drink is extremely difficult. Because of this she hardly pees all day long! I change her at certain times of the day because I should, not because her diapers are necessarily super wet.

At this point in life I have very few days in which Audrey and I are home all day long and can dedicate those days to learning about using the potty. Yesterday we had a half day so off came the pants. Four hours and this child never peed. Not a drop. It is hard to teach a child where to deposit the pee if the child doesn't pee. I knew that as soon as I put a diaper on so we could leave the house she would pee, and that is exactly what she did.

Today we had only a couple of errands first thing in the morning and then we'd have several hours home, so off came the pants again. We are on hour  4 1/2 and she still has not peed. Not even a tiny drop. However, as I wrote that last sentence, she just sat herself on her potty seat and is giving me funny looks, so I'm hopeful. This potty seat plays music if she produces so I'm hoping to hear some music really soon!


DandG said...

Tinkle, tinkle, little tot
Till you fill the chamber pot
With your pee and with your poo
Then I'll be so proud of you!
Tinkle, tinkle little tot
Till you fill your chamber pot....

Claire said...

I wonder if thin liquids are hard for her to swallow? Maybe she's chocked on drinks in the past from being fed too quickly and is afraid? How does she do with smoothies or a thickish chocolate milk or even soup?

If think liquids are no problem does she like jello, popsicles or ice cream?

Relle said...

You are such a clever thing, i know you will find a way to get Audrey drinking and on the potty.

Anna Theurer said...

Yes! My daughter (~5yo) typically pees twice--once during nap or quiet time and then at night. The night time one is over-flowing. I have a hard time getting her to drink. She gets the whole routine but just doesn't pee in the potty. I will be following your post closely to see what works with Miss Audrey

Unknown said...

Hi Leah

Had and still have the same issue with Robert. Took me 8 months to get his first wee in the potty. It was very hard to get a teaching opportunity when they only pee twice a day!

But once Robert did his first wee in the potty he never looked back and took off with potty training after that!

Keep will come!

Love Lin ( LinMac in Dublin)

Alicia Llanas said...

i wish i had the same luck with Eva, with Elias was pretty easy , bu Eva oh noooo, it took us a year and a half!