When getting undressed in the bathroom for bedtime tonight, Molly flung her shoe in the air behind her. It was just a little moment of panache for Molly, who was in a frisky mood. The shoe flew in the air and landed right in the toilet. Molly briefly looked like she was afraid she was going to be in trouble, probably because of a previous incident where she had put a rock in the toilet on purpose. But we all started laughing and taking pictures, etc. Then we reminded Molly it’s not okay to put stuff in the toilet. But this was pretty funny.
Molly has seen plenty of movies at home, but today she saw her first one in a movie theater. While visiting Corpus Christi for Thanksgiving, in a breakthrough in the saga of Molly’s toilet training, Molly finally managed to poo in the toilet! We had promised her we would take her to a movie if she did that. So she got to see Frozen, her first theater movie.
Molly’s toilet training has been a bit of a saga. Molly first successfully peed in the toilet almost a year ago. And two months ago, we finally got rid of Molly’s diapers for good. So that’s the end of the story, right? Well, I am writing about this now, so… no.
Actually, the transition to underwear went pretty well at first. Molly has been peeing in the toilet pretty consistently for two months now. She also spent the first diaper-less week or two putting her poo in the toilet. Then she decided that she would rather poo in her pants. Every time. She wouldn’t even try the toilet any more. She would often poo in her pants while standing in the living room five feet away from you without a word. She pooed at the table Jason’s deli after swimming. That one was the worst since we didn’t have anything to clean up with; just a long, messy trip to the men’s room. She comes home from school with poo-stained underwear in a little plastic bag.
When queried as to why she does not want to use the toilet for poo, Molly usually replies, “I dunno.” We eventually got out of her that she felt more comfortable standing up. To her credit, Molly tries to clean up after herself. Sometimes we’ll find her in the bathroom trying to empty her underwear into the toilet and wipe down any mess.
This situation has lead to some vacillating about what to do. Does Molly need an incentive to poo in the toilet? Or would an incentive make things worse? Or can we do anything at all? In the end, we did promise her some treats, etc. if she poked in the toilet, but so far to no avail.
So here we are. After a year, Molly is potty trained… kind of.
Molly is down to her last diaper. Once this diaper is gone, she will only have the toilet (or her pants) available for her urine and BMs.
It has been a long and winding road getting this point, but Molly is finally pretty much using the potty now, and we do not feel the need to pay Target for any more diapers.
I have not written a whole lot about the long saga of Molly potty training because, frankly, it has been a confusing topic devoid of concrete milestones. There have been false starts, regressions, and slow progress that you don’t even notice until later. There was some traction way back in January and February. But progress has been fuzzy since then, and nothing could really be pinned down to a single event or milestone. Until now. The picture to your right is Molly’s very last diaper. Molly understands this and is even excited about it, at least for now.
Now it’s off to London with Kit while Grammy deals with the consequences for the next week on our behest. What timing! 😉
There is a period of about 10 minutes between tucking Molly into bed and then finishing up Claire’s bedtime story and tucking her in too. During those 10 minutes, Molly almost always does her daily poop. It’s to the point where I literally now just expect to change Molly’s diaper when dropping Claire off to bed. Molly has a poop something like 85% of the time. You can tell for sure as you walk down the hall towards the girls’ room. The odor is unmistakable. I wonder how this will play out if/when Molly finally gets out of diapers.
The other day, Molly’s teacher called me at home in the middle of the afternoon. This is usually a bad sign. A mid-day call from school is reliably preceded by vomiting, fever, both, or some other type of trouble at school. Molly’s teacher sounded a little upset or nervous, so then I knew it was trouble. But it was not as bad as I had feared. Molly had just thrown a fit at school over her pre-nap toilet duty. She had stubbornly refused to sit on the toilet for the second day in a row, and this time Molly was especially furious and indignant about it. Not only has she refused to sit on the toilet, but she had also disrupted the class and made it hard for her classmates to get their rest. Molly is only three years old and still given to bursts of uncontrollable emotions. This one was bad enough, though, that the teacher had to essentially send her to the principal (school director). This was not the first time that Molly has been sent to the principal for being disruptive. Still, it was not meant as a punishment. They just had to get Molly out of the classroom to restore order and to help Molly calm down. Apparently Molly and the school director had a nice calm talk in the hallway where they found Moly’s happy place again. At some point, Molly stated that she would rather just wear diapers because it is easier; she doesn’t have to stop what she is doing and go to the bathroom. She can just go whenever she wants to.
It was right after Molly’s loud outburst that Molly’s teacher called me with a trembling voice, imploring us to do something. She said this toilet thing was getting to be a real problem, and was there something we could try at home? After some discussion, I agreed that we would get Molly some underwear and let her try going diaper-less at home as much as possible this weekend in hopes of sparking interest in the toilet.
So this is how we officially began a push on Molly’s toilet training. Claire and I rushed to Target the next morning and picked out (among other things) some Tangled (Rapunzel) movie underwear. Molly was very excited to try out her underwear! She adored the princess on her underwear. The smallest size that Target had, though, was 4, which was pretty baggy on Molly. Still, it did the trick for now, while Kit ordered 3T undies from Amazon.
Molly did had a “leak” in her underwear and did not like the itchy sensation on her legs. She has so far been very positive about sitting on the toilet, but aside from some initial success a while back, she has had no recent success in putting her urine on the toilet. Molly’s teacher says her attitude is much better at school, and order is restored. So at least that part of the mission is accomplished.
Part of Molly’s bedtime routine is to sit on the toilet for a while. She actually loves her toilet time. She pulls up a step stool with a stack of books and sits on the toilet and looks at her books. Normally we have to put an end to her toilet time after a few minutes because she is just relaxing but not getting ready for bed. But tonight while Molly was browsing books on the toilet, I went off for a minute to check in with Kit. When I got back to Molly, she was yelling, “I went to the potty! I made urine!” Now, Molly has been known to have an active imagination at times, but I did not get the sense she as making this up. She was grinning ear to ear and super excited.
I congratulated Molly on her fine toilet work. After wiping and washing hands, we went back to tell Kit and Claire. Kit screamed really loudly with delight and started jumping around. Molly got super excited too and started doing the same. Personally, I was excited too, but my ears were literally ringing from all the noise. Molly was so proud, though! She said she wanted underwear now, and she thought Santa would know she used the toilet.
Claire, who was in a grouchy mood, initially tried to be excited but get a little irritated, maybe from the noise and/or maybe a little hint of sibling rivalry. This was the first small whiff of sibling rivalry we have ever seen from Claire in her 3 and a half years as a big sister. Claire complained that we were screaming too loud, and we are always asking her and Molly to quiet down if they are anywhere near that loud. (She had a really good point. We were really quite loud.) Claire also said, sourly, “I but you’re going to email everyone in the world!” and then left the room. Later she could complain about having to go out in the hall with just Muffin and her last remaining fish to get some quiet. We had a certain amount of recognizing that Claire uses the toilet many times a day, and nobody ever says anything about it, but when she first did it as a toddler, we were really excited for her. Molly was feeling sympathetic and started a “Claire used the potty!” chant and dance.