Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Potty Training Quadruplets-101

Let me start by saying, that this is in NO WAY a manual on how to potty train. Joe and I just wanted to write down our thoughts so we can always remember this crazy weekend. Joe's added commentary will look like this. (Warning: please do not read if you are already freaking out about potty training your little one/s in the near future...this post just might send you over the edge.)


So...because the actual day of my 30th birthday was going to be spent as Day 1 of our full-out 3-Day Potty Training Boot Camp...my sweet hubby had planned for 3 of my best friends to join me for dinner the Friday night before. (me, Casey, Liz, Ashley)

It was nice to get my mind off of what was going to transpire the next morning...but I was more than ready and mentally prepared...or so I thought. ;)


Saturday morning, May 8th- MY 30th BIRTHDAY. HOLY COW. Easily the most difficult day as parents that we have EVER experienced!---even when we were completely sleep deprived with 4 tiny preemies, eating every 3 hours, under one roof!
Not even kidding. I'd take that over potty training 2 yr old quads ANY day! Yes, welcome to Joe's very own personal nightmare...so, can we go back to diapers and try this again later?


We pumped up that morning with balloons and called it our "Potty Party"---to celebrate Mama's birthday and transition to big kid undies/panties! All of the kids were super excited, took turns throwing away every diaper we had in the house, and picked out their very own undies to wear for the day. Oh, and the HUGE $19.99 GREEN TARP from Target was a definite LIFE SAVER/MUST HAVE for our carpeted living room! (We blocked off the stairs and front living room). I would like to add that this tarp and this tarp alone saved my sanity...seriously, if this thing hadn't been there, I'd have been out of the house and in my car by 8:05am. FYI- We got the kids up at 8:02am.



"Be sure and let Mama & Daddy know when you need to go pee pee on the potty. You guys let Mama & Daddy know when you need to go pee pee on the potty..."- We said this phrase over and over and over (no joke). I continue to use this phrase with friends, coworkers and generally anyone I meet...I'm working on it.



It was the longest morning of our lives...we realized that we hadn't even have our first cup of coffee until NOON. We were stuck in some weird, foggy dream world where time stood painfully still. Honestly, its cliche, but time stopped...it stood still. I remember looking at the clock and thinking, is it working?



I remember at one point that morning---there was pee covering every inch of our floor. If only I were exaggerating. It was mass chaos! INSANITY! We went through over 50 pair of underwear and 4 loads of laundry. Water bill should be nice and low next month...don't think there was a minute that thing wasn't running.



Joe could not clean up the accidents fast enough. He is SOOOOO OCD--that he was spending like 5 minutes cleaning up each spot: wiping with a paper towel, scrubbing with several Clorox wipes, wiping with a paper towel, spraying with 409, wiping with another paper towel. I was like, "Hey babe- I love you...but you need to CLEAN FASTER!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! There have been 3 more accidents while you have been cleaning that ONE!" I just blacked out reading that paragraph...having intense flashbacks...my arms are still sore from the excessive scrubbing. At one point I literally considered locking myself in our room until the 3 days were over...I am not kidding, getting the shakes as I type.
Joe, please repeat after me:



In fact, Joe used up all of our Clorox wipes on the morning of Day1! I had to make an emergency trip to CVS! Even when I returned with 3 huge tubs of wipes, Joe said it still wasn't enough. Ha. Bless his little germaphobic heart. At one point, I looked over and saw Joe sitting in the corner, staring off in a daze, with his leg bouncing up and down- like a jackhammer. I said, "How ya doin, hun? I know this has to be hard for you, but you are hiding it well. I'm proud of you." His reply: "What day is this again?" There weren't enough Clorox wipes in all of DFW, but the emergency run brought me a brief moment of relief. Yes, I realize this is sad...but I was looking for any little positive I could find. In this case, it was knowing that we wouldn't run out of wipes...at least in the next hour or so.



I guess it didn't help when Ethan had gone icky, nasty, mushy poopy all over himself, the floor, and everything else he was standing by. Joe grabbed him (with poop, now covering Joe's hands and arms) as he looked at me: "Sue...what do I do?!!!!!!!!!!" I just stared in shock---I didn't even know where to begin. I giggled with my mouth wide open in disbelief. I think we just stood there frozen for 10 long seconds. We snapped out of it quickly when we realized that we had to keep 3 other kids and 1 curious dog away from walking into the pooptastrophie covering our kitchen floor.

OH. MY. GAWSH. Pure nastiness. No comment...I have nothing to add. Seriously, I've got nothing.

Peeeeeeee-Yeeeeewwww, Ethan! (Sav, Ben, Drew)



Not to mention, over the course of the weekend, Joe had been peed on 3 different times by Andrew (and not just a drizzle). I couldn't help but laugh so hard. Poor Drew- he had a VERY difficult time with the potty training and did not get it until around noon of day 3.

He, alone, was physically/mentally/emotionally exhausting for us. We would refer to him as "the Camel" and "Mr. Tinkles"...I swear that kid could hold his urine for 5 hours at a time, to avoid having to use the potty. Drew still tells me "Don't pee pee on Dada, pee pee in the potty." Hey, there's another little positive. I've got one son that knows NOT to pee on me. As for the Camel, it was mentally exhausting for me just knowing that the little dude was a ticking time bomb full of "carpet stain"...holding until the last possible second. In fact, I've never been more mentally exhausted in my entire life than I was over these 3 days. When can I go back to work? I get to go back to work tomorrow, right?


So, we kept all four kiddos in undies for the night time too...knowing full well that we would be cleaning up numerous accidents. Joe and I decided to spend the night upstairs in the guest bedroom, so we could be closer to the kids' room---and we like doing that every now and then anyway...makes us feel like we're sleeping in a hotel or something out of the norm. (isn't that sad how we have to get our kicks?) I had forgotten how *awesome* it is to spend the night with a baby monitor (cough, cough). Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep ("didn't get much sleep" means we got 2-3 cat naps...it did nothing for us) from all of the sheet changing! (Here's a hint: double or triple stack the toddler bed mattresses with a sheet, waterproof pad, another sheet, another waterproof pad, another sheet, and the mattress protector...It made middle-of-the-night clean ups SUPER easy because all you have to do is take off the top layer and you're good to go!)



Savannah, Ben, and Ethan all pretty much had this potty training thing down by the end of Day 1. And 3 kids outta 4 ain't bad (I had to keep reminding myself of that).
Happy Sav!
Funny how the night time sorta erased their memory though, because we spent the first 5 hours of the next morning---retraining and cleaning up accidents. Did I mention that they were awake by 6am? Ugh. LOOOOOOONG morning. So the kids got up 2 hours earlier than normal and it was as if Day 1 never happened...accidents all over the place, me not cleaning fast enough, and I seriously wondered if anything was clicking. Again, time standing still and I start thinking did we really go through this yesterday? This is Day 2, right Suz? It's got to be Day 2...Oh please, someone tell me its Day FREAKING 2!By 10am, the fantastic THREE were pretty much accident-free!
Proud Ben!

But Drew made up for it, for sure! Ha. At least until the 3rd day---then everyone had gotten it down. No problems with pooping or peeing on the potty!!! Yaay!


A cute story about Ethan: Once we had put the kiddies in bed for the night, we could hear Ethan on the monitor saying "Savi, make sure you keep Dora dry...Andrew, make sure you keep Elmo dry...Ben, make sure you keep Mickey dry...and E-fun (Ethan, himself), make sure you keep Tow-Mater dry." The little dude remembered exactly which pair of undies each child was wearing! Cracked us up to no end. Sweet little guy.



It was sad at night, because Ethan would wake up in his wet bed and cry "I'm sorry...I'm sorry." Heart-breaking!!!

Needless to say, we decided to put all four back in Pull-ups...or "BIG KID NIGHT TIME UNDIES" until they consistently wake up dry. Thanks for your advice on that! I felt horrible for the little dude, he was so upset that he got Tow-Mater wet it was unbelievable. I almost started crying with the little guy I felt so bad for him. It was also the point I knew that they were "getting it." Day 3 cruised along with only limited Clorox usage, I had time to drink a cup of "me" before noon and I knew I was going back to work the next day.


E-bud LOVES his Tow-Mater! He walks around saying: "Keep Tow-Mater dry"



All in all---the 3 Day Potty Training Method definitely worked! (for the daytime at least). You just need to mentally prepare yourself to stick with it NO MATTER WHAT! Don't quit on Day 2! Hang in there!!! Be consistent! It WILL work! Going back to diapers was NOT an option. Just take that off the table from the get-go. The hardest part was being able to catch every single accident (from FOUR different kids) as it was happening--which is imperative for this particular method to work. I had been so encouraged from all of the awesome advice I received from friends---both on my blog and on Facebook--- who had used the 3 Day training with their children. I was pumped and so ready to be DONE WITH DIAPERS. Again, it was the absolute most difficult transition we have worked through- by far! But also, the most rewarding. It was a rough 3 days, no doubt, but it's completely worth it in the end. Just keep telling yourself its only 3 days and keep pushing through...because trust me you will have several "Let's quit" moments.


Hip Hip Hooray for NO DIAPERS and BIG KIDS!!! (Sav, Ben, Ethan, Andrew)



A great depiction of Mama Steece when she is worn out and exhausted with black rings under her eyes and no makeup...

I need a serious vacation...maybe California?... ;)


post signature

58 comments:

Kristal said...

You guys never cease to amaze me! I can't imagine the hard work this took. I laughed out loud at several points in this story...hopefully, you'll be able to look back and some point and see the humor too. :)

Jessica said...

Did you take the kids anywhere for the 3 days or just stayed at home?

Suzy said...

I am DYING at the descriptions of Germaphobic Joe cleaning too slowly ... that is SO TED!!!!!!! Oh man, dreading potty-training my Fab Four. But I'm glad to hear the 3-day method worked for you. I am DEFINITELY going to check into it when we're ready.

Amber said...

This was a great idea. My son was potty trained during the day for about 6-8 months before he finally got it at night....not sure what changed...just all of a sudden he started staying dry at night! So you'll get there!

Janet said...

Love this! I seriously had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard! You guys have an amazing sense of humor!

Meet the Brummett's said...

WOW! I'm exhausted after reading all of that, so I can only imagine how you and the hubs were feeling! Great job on the training and really sticking to your guns. My girls just turned two, so this excitement is just around the corner for us! I'll keep you in mind when I get frustrated with it b/c if you can do it with 4, I can handle 2! lol

Caralyn said...

We just did the same thing with our twins a few months ago, it was so hard! One got it right away, the other struggled for 3 days. (We were committed to do it for 5 days, wasn't sure I was going to make it!) Then she finally just "got it" at the end of the third day. Funny thing is, SHE has only had one accident since and the one that got it right away had lots of accidents at first. Go figure! Can't imagine the chaos with 4 of them!

The Titsworth Family said...

Wow, you poor things! You both are so awesome! I don't know how you did it but I don't even know you and I'm so proud. I trained mine last September in 4 days and I thought I might die so huge kudos for training 4!

Nichole said...

CONGRATS! Sounds awful, but glad that it worked! :o)

Charity Donovan said...

You guys are AMAZING!!! Can I call you crying when we are in the pits of hell with our 4! OMG...I'm so freakin' scared!!! Love you!!!

Kristy Evans Photography said...

LOL! Such a funny memory to have forever!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the potty training. That sounds like it was a major feat! As for the night time potty traing-that will come. Our daughter was fully day time traing for a 1 1/2 before she was night trained. That part seems to come naturally.
Candice

Lacy Justus said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I started today with the twins. We told the diapers bye and so far today not one accident. They are doing great, they love to flush the pee and get a treat of course. Just wondering did you give them a prize or anything when they did go in the potty? Congrats on the hard work!!! Love your family!

Katie said...

I am SOO impressed!! Great job!! I will say Y'all did have me giggling at some points though!! ;) I do agree that Potty training is SOO hard~I have one left to do my youngest turns 2 in 2 months!!

Sarah said...

Congrats on the potty training! I have a quick question-where did you find the Elmo underwear? My son is obsessed with Elmo and I can't find the underwear anywhere!

Kristi said...

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing this TODAY!! I am at Nap time DAY 1...and i am thinking i must be out of my mind :) I only have one potty training but i have a 7 month old that keeps crawling into the "mess" before i can get back from the bathroom to clean it up!! Say a little prayer for me for the next 2 days...i am pretty sure my little one will take all of 3 days to get it down. I love your blog and one day (after potty training) i will have to tell you why i love it so much! Congrats on your success with the 4...don't know how you do it :)

Gen McNulty said...

Hysterical! I love you guys so much. Joe, priceless dude, priceless.

Counting the days baby.... Cali can't wait!
xo
Gen

Suzanne said...

yall are cracking me up! love it. to answer some questions:

jessica- HECK NO! we stayed home all 3 days and then some. you are not supposed to go anywhere and no one is supposed to come over. they need to be within arms length at all times---so you can grab them if they start peeing and rush them to the potty. fun fun!

lacy- HECK YA! we gave them prizes--probably too many. they got one M&M and one sticker every time they went in the potty. that only lasted a couple of days before they stopped asking for them. but for poopies, we are still giving them a "special prize" that they get to pick out of a big bag (i.e. bouncie balls, matchbox cars, etc). works like a charm!

sarah- TARGET, girlfriend! we bought the packs of 7! i found them in the baby aisles by the cloth diapers. tons of character undies! good luck.

suz

ASHENFELTERS said...

You should let Joe know, Pee is sterile. The poop, on the other hand...:)

Tamara said...

Well, heck yes woman you (and Joe) need a vacation - heck I need one after just READING about your potty training weekend!

Seriously, you did great and have a ton to be proud of!

Kelly said...

Yeah, with my oldest she was trained during the day several months before she woke up day every day. We pull - upped too. And you made it through!! YAY!

Erika said...

Thank you for the bit of hope Suz!!!:)I posted you on my blog!

http://mommyofklaireandgrace.blogspot.com/

erika

Heather B. said...

This is hysterical. I know the two of you will laugh at this in years to come. My daughter is almost 3 and has been potty trained since Nov. but I still put her in a pull up at night. There is nothing worse than having a sleeping child pee in YOUR bed!!! She wakes up dry almost every morning but I haven't gotten up the nerve to let her wear panties again. some day it will happen!!! :) YAY for NO MORE DIAPERS!!!!!!!

~Shelly~ said...

so what do u do when u cant send ur kid to school in panties until she is accident FREE at home for 2 WEEKS??? that is our predicament!she has to go to school in pull ups still so she is 100% confused!

Anonymous said...

You just made my day... like others, I was laughing so hard I was crying! I only have 3 and they are all singletons. You mamas are amazing - God has truly blessed me through you!

Rajean B. said...

Thanks for the real story of potty training. I am getting prepared to help my 26 month old son learn to use the big potty. I am a little more scared to do so now, but I will be more prepared as to what will happen in those three days! I have some questions though...maybe you could email me at lovnffa@hotmail.com (if/when you find a free moment)

Questions: How did the kiddos handle going to the potty while at the Medieval Times? Have they had many accidents since those three days or are they making it to the potty in time? Are you still keeping them in t-shirts and diapers while at home?

I know...lots of questions...but I too want to be mentally/physically prepared. Thanks in advance :)

Erika said...

Oh Suz you made my day!! Thanks so much for visiting my little blog:)I love sharing this crazy ride of multiples with great mommies like you;)

Oh you'll see my pic, I'm posting it tomorrow!!!! ha.

Erika

Carol said...

Hysterical but then again not so hysterical when you've been through it before! Not with four at once but four separately. And potty training remains one of my least favorite mommy memories! And it has been so many years that my oldest two are about to become fathers themselves!

Erin said...

you know, I didn't find this discouraging in the least. In fact, you've encouraged me to get on the ball and potty train mine! I've got three, a singleton who is almost three and twins who are 12 months younger (so, almost 2). My oldest is mostly potty trained, but could use a refresher course :-p and my babies are ready. I think I'll do a "booty camp" with all three of them in a few weeks. Maybe I'll hire our babysitter to come over for all three days and lend moral support. tee hee!

Great work, Steeces!

Stacey L. said...

I am starting to potty train my 21 month old twins and I think I am going to have to do your method...but I just wonder if they are still a bit too young?

Daphne said...

Suz - and those of you still having to send kiddos to school in pull-ups... pull-ups, like diapers, absorb a lot of the wetness, to keep from leaking... so we (I work in a special ed preschool) put the kids in their big kid undies and put the pullups on over them, so they still feel the wetness sensation of having had an accident, but have the protection at nap time.

Barbara Manatee said...

wow! kudos to you guys and your kiddos!! 2 was tough enough to train at once. My daughter got it faster than our son and once she had it - she was great. My son had it but had LOTS of accidents for a long while...but both were pretty set by 2.5-3 years. :-)

good job! glad you survived!

Kate said...

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS Steece Family! What a fantastic accomplishment!!

For some encouragement, we started 3 day potty training on 4/26. 3 weeks later, my little guy is FULLY potty trained STILL...including naps and nighttime. The key is to make sure they go potty before you put them down. We haven't had ANY accidents since that 1st week. I still put him in Pull Ups (or big boy night time underwear as we call them) at night just in case...but they've been dry for weeks!! I think I cleaned up enough pee those first 3 days to make me NEVER want to deal with accidents again! Ha! Well, at least until my next one starts the process. ;)

boysmum2 said...

Awesome work guys. Huge milestone now sorted. Do not worry about nights, give yourselves at least another year or maybe 2 before you think about it. Pull ups at night are good too as this makes the kids realise that they are not babies anymore and that big kids wear nighttime undies. They have no control over nights as it is their body that has to control it not their minds thinking about it. My 7 yr old is finally dry after 9 months of odd accidents, our 5yr old is still havign wet pull ups and i am not bothered. It will happen when it happens and there is no rush.
Well done to you all. Relax and enjoy yourselves now.

Swan Family said...

I have been reading your blog and just love you!! I am about to start training my son to go "tee tee in the potty" and I am ready to go after reading your blog. GREAT JOB Steece Family!!

The Murray Crew said...

I'm rolling over here.
Talk about Dejavu. So So similar...but soo soooo worth it! Girl, one of these days we are gonna have 10 year olds and look back at this in absolute wonder of how we ever survived.

Love ya.

Viviane said...

Congrats on that! What a huge accomplishment especially with four little ones. I had a question for you: after the third day when you guys decided to go out of the house, did you put them in pull-ups or did you keep their undies? I ask because my little does really well at home but when we are out, I keep her in the pull-ups and not sure how to transition out of that.

Jess said...

I have been a reader of your blog for awhile. You guys are awesome. Four kids all the same age WOW! I have three kids but 5, 3, and 1 it is hard work but I can't imagine four all the same age. And your kids are so cute they look so happy. You guys seem to be doing a good job.

The potty training post had me laughing for hours and I am still laughing. I remember training my two boys, just one to deal with and how hard it was but four. Awesome. Good for you that you stuck with it, I don't know if I could, I will have to let my sister read this, she has twins they will be two next Feb. I am so waiting to see how potty training goes for them.

God Bless :)

Kara said...

Thanks for the potty training post. I am now officially terrified of doing it with my three!!! JK! I know that it will be so worth it and momma will have more more shopping money without having to buy all those diapers!

Db & Em said...

This is great. I am figuring out when to stay home and potty train my son. It is will be soon!! I was wondering did you do the Ebook of 3 day potty training?

emmye27@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Wow Wow Wow. I can't believe you made it through all that. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

This post had me dying laughing -- only because I have been there. We did the 3-Day potty training with my daughter at 26 months. Unfortunately we weren't as lucky as you guys...it ended up taking 5-6 days for it to click! But once it did she really had very few accidents over the next few weeks. We had the same problem with bedtime and my daughter's teacher told us that some kids don't get bladder control for bedtime until they are almost 5. So I didn't feel bad putting her back in pullups. We did call them night time panties and if we traveled on a long trip we called them travel panties. We kept reminding her to tell us if she had to go potty even though she was wearing pullups.

Congrats to you guys! It really is rewarding!!!

I am about to start potty training with my youngest and I don't know if I am ready for it again -- even if my wallet is. :)

Kelly

Jen Wilson said...

I'm doing this exact thing this weekend. Can't wait. (Please note the sarcasm!)

Thank you for sharing your journey with us! I'm starting to mentally prepare myself!

Cindy said...

Suz...your blog is the best. You and Joe are wonderful parents and those four darling babies are so lucky to have you both. You will always remember your 30th birthda. HAHA Hang in there. We all love you.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't imagine potty training the way you did - if you would have waited till they were ready, you wouldn't have had such a hard time.

Lacy Justus said...

Suz... I am on day 3 now and it is actually going well. Kadin finally went #2 on day 3 without crying and he is the one I was worried about because of his constipation problem. Delanie has only had two accidents the entire time. I was wondering what are you doing when you leave the house? Thank you so much for posting about the potty training, it really encouraged me.

Jackie said...

I have a 2 year old boy that I think is very close to the age of your kiddos (born Oct 2007). We are about to potty train him because we are expecting our own quads this summer (17 weeks right now!) I'm not sure if I should read your blog or not. Maybe it's better to go in blind! I definitely think it's better for my husband to go in blind, so I won't share with him right now, but thanks for the laugh!

Elizabeth said...

I still have a year to go before we potty train...and, ummm....HOLY. MOLY. ya'll are IMPRESSIVE!!!

Anonymous said...

That was the funniest post ever!!! I tend to go overboard w/Clorox wipes myself so I can totally relate!! I followed the same style of potty training. Stayed home for one week, son wasn't allowed on furniture in living room (of course I set up another cozy area for him to sit), and talked about "going to the potty" all day. It worked!!! I didn't not waste day time w/pull ups...did use diaper at night until he was ready. Congrats to you all!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. You guys are amazing. Way to stick with it, and congrats on having a diaper-free house!

-holly

R,K,L said...

Hey Suz! I have been stalking you since the kiddos were infants and I LOVE your blog! This post was absolutely hilarious and should be published. I have an almost 2 year old boy that I have been planning for the last month to start potty training yesterday. I have been really anxious about the whole thing although I know he is ready. Despite the disclosure... I read your post. I have to tell you how much it helped me. Even yesterday, in the midst of the craziness, I came back to it just to make myself laugh. I just kept telling myself that if you could do it with FOUR I can do it with ONE! He is successfully pee potty trained and ALMOST has the pooping thing down. Thanks for your suggestions and for being so candid! I hope things are still going well!!!!!

Kerry

Anonymous said...

I began reading your blog during my maternity leave and overwhelmed just at the thought of having twins! I recently stumbled upon a another blogger who just had quads a few weeks ago. I wanted to share her blog as I'm sure any advice you had for her would help.

http://oninfertileground.blogspot.com/

The Hensons said...

well i had to comment because my 30th birthday was on may 8th, too!! although, i celebrated my potty-trained middle child's 3rd birthday that day...slightly more exciting than your day, ha! maybe you can make up for it next year!!

April Jackson said...

I wanted to thank you for writing this post! My husband and I just potty trained our daughter using this method because of you. I know that my husband helped as much as he did because he read your blog post and Joe's commentary along the way really helped him see it from a guys perspective:) My daughter's school is even being cooperative because she is doing so well in her big girl panties!! So THANK YOU!!! aprilkjackson@yahoo.com

Sarah said...

We just used this method with our lil guy and it was exhausting with just one. You truly are super mom and dad! (and we are 'cheating' to and using special 'nighttime underwear') I am not sure who is prouder me or my lil guy.

Mackenzie said...

Thank you Suz for posting you potty training 3 day experience. My husband is currently deployed and thus I am doing this alone with a nursing 2 month old little girl. Day 1 done, and so far so good. I came back to read you and Joe's comments of the experience. Thanks for the great laughs...so great I had tears rolling down my face yet again. Onto day 2.

erinlaughs said...

I just did one day of potty training with my twin girls and I thought of this post all day! I should have been prepared for how mentally exhausting it would be, but I so wasn't! I only wish I would have had two more days because I think my girls would have had it down by then. But mentally, I'm not sure I would have made it to day 3!

Anonymous said...

funny, i was once a nanny of quads. i always wished to be the nanny of twins and got quads. and i was never happier even when waking up at 12am 2 am 4am and so on for every need. i got sometimes, no sleep for days but i loved every moment of my job and could not ask for more and demanded never to have less. you are so so lucky. i still envy every mom i see.

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