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).
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!
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?... ;)