Monday, June 27, 2011

Lollipops are the Answer

I've been away from the blog for awhile, but we have been a little busy trying to potty train three stubborn kiddos. I am a big believer in the concept that if you wait until they are really, REALLY ready to train, it will all go much easier for you. With Evan, we were pretty lazy. He was in school three days a week, so we let his teachers introduce the whole idea to him. We didn't really continue it at home, we just let them get him used to the idea. Once every couple of months, we would give it a try at home and he would tell us, "No, I only do that at school." So we'd shrug and wait a little longer. When he turned three, we decided the time had come, and we had him trained in a week or so. Easy.

The triplets are not in preschool, but we do have nanny help three mornings a week, so I've tried to reproduce our efforts from the first child. Namely, I let the nanny do all the work, and the rest of the week we would pretty much let them keep their diapers on. The girls both went a couple of times each and decided that they hated it. And refused to even go near a potty for months. Oliver, on the other hand, thought it was lots of fun to try, but rarely ever went.

Every morning we would put them into their big kid underwear (oh, the protests!) and wait for signs. We gave up trying to put them on the potty on a regular basis, because the girls would get hysterical at the suggestion. I thought if they had a couple of accidents, they would soon figure things out. Only they didn't have any accidents. Because apparently all of my kids are camels. I would have them in their underwear by 9 am, and they would stay dry until 1:30, when I put diapers on them for naptime. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Even I can't hold out that long!

Well, things went on like this for weeks, until I came up with an effective bribe - lollipops! My kids are obsessed with Dum-Dums. Suddenly, Oliver was going potty on a regular basis - not just going, but pulling his pants down, emptying the portable bowl, and flushing the big toilet all by himself. Who knew he would be the self-sufficient one!

Finally, about two weeks ago, Kate was observing Oliver, and announced that she wanted a lollipop. So she went into the bathroom, pulled down her pants, and went, just like that. And when she finished her lollipop, she went back and did it again. And when she finished that lollipop, she went back a third time. Actually, it got a little ridiculous, and after about eight lollipops I lied and told her they were all gone. How about M 'n Ms?

So after two weeks I feel confident enough to say that two of my triplets are potty trained (on #1). They've not had a single accident, they go when they need to go without me reminding them, and they do it all on their own. Willa, of course, is still holding out, but she is my contrarian and I expect nothing less from her. The best course of action with her is a subtle one - I just need to figure out the right motivation.

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