Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Feb '13

Stuff and Potty Training

This month my parents came to visit. We had lunch with them one afternoon at Sizzler. When the kids saw the ice cream machine it was like they had hit the jackpot.

Wes and Carissa had been asking to go back to the car wash ever since I first took them in November, just before Elizabeth was born. I never took them before because I thought it would scare them (Wes is sensitive to loud noises). Turns out I was wrong! I acted all excited and so now they think it’s cool. So I took them again. In spite of the semi-scared faces, they enjoyed it.

Carissa lassoing a wild shoe.

Elizabeth sleeping. She is three months now. She is a good, happy baby. I don’t really keep track of her hours sleeping, but it seems like sometimes she’ll take one good, long nap during the day that lasts 3+ hours. At night she’ll fall asleep between 9:30 and 11:30 and I usually only have to get up with her once in the night, around 4-5 am. I keep a portable DVD player in her room, and I have watched many, MANY movies in the last three months. Her hair is thin and delicate and kind of balding in the back. I feel a little bad because she had cradle cap, and I gave her head a good scrub, and now she’s kind of balding in front too. I hope it grows back before long! She really is a good baby and smiles often. She has been healthy, and we feel lucky to have her.

I don’t have a picture of this, but we just noticed that Wes is getting another tooth. He’s 5 1/2. His teeth have come in at weird times and in weird orders, which is normal for kids with Down syndrome. His first tooth didn’t come in until 19 months. One of his canines (I think) never came in, and the dentist wasn’t sure it every would. Maybe it didn’t exist. But, it’s coming in now! I don’t know that there’s even room for it. I should maybe take him to the dentist again. Joy, oh, joy.

Two and a half weeks ago I somehow summoned up enough courage to start potty training again. In August I worked on it with both Wes (almost 5) and Carissa (almost 2). I gave up after 2 weeks. It was EXHAUSTING. Neither kid was willing enough to cooperate, and I needed a break. So this time I’ve just been focusing on one kid. One day I showed Carissa her little basket of underwear (Dora and Hello Kitty, of course) and told her she could wear it if she used the potty. So she ran right into the bathroom and went, and put the underwear on.

John and I visited Walmart and bought a few books and toys we could use as incentives. I’ve been trying different things to see what works. We keep a sticker chart where if she goes 5 times without an accident she gets a package of fruit snacks. If she has an accident we take the stickers off and start again. During the first couple of days I thought she’d never earn anything. But then she did. After that we set it up so if she went 10 times without an accident she earned a toy (or “present,” as she calls it): a Dora the Explorer book that plays music. I really thought she’d never make it. But then she did. And she went on to earn another 10 stickers and get a second book.

I was frustrated because I would have to ask her all the time if she needed to go potty and basically had to make her go and sit every hour. My neighbor told me that her 2-year-old boy who was potty training tells her when he has to go. Carissa wasn’t doing this. I asked her how she got her son to do that, and she said the magic was in the mini-marshmallow he got for telling her he needed to go. I invested in a package of colored mini-marshmallows. She gets one (PINK, naturally) if she tells me she has to go, and another one for going. We would practice: “Now what do you say?” “I hafta go potty, pwease!” I wondered if she would get it, and after a few days, she got really good at it. Now I don’t worry about her having accidents during the day. She’s pretty good at recognizing her need to go and coming to get me when she does. I’m really proud of her progress!

We’re still working on the nighttime. She wants to wear underwear to bed but she doesn’t always make it through the night. I get a little tired of the laundry, and changing her and her sheets in the middle of the night when I’m tired.

The other thing we’re working on is poop. She wasn’t being so successful at using the potty for that, and didn’t seem to care, so I made a separate sticker chart for it. If she went poop in the potty just two times without an accident, she would get a really awesome present: A family of ponies. I had originally pulled out a little ambulance that makes noise, which she seemed keen on, but no progress was happening. So then I showed her the pony toy. Whether by accident or because she wanted it enough, she got her two stickers and earned her present. She was so thrilled! She ran and told Daddy and then we sat down together to open it. She was all smiles as she combed the pony’s hair. It came with a mommy pony and two baby ones, plus a comb, mirror, hair clips, and a battery-operated hair dryer. She plays with it all the time. It was so rewarding to see her earn something that made her so happy.

Next I’ll have to work with Wes. I think he’s probably capable of being potty trained, but I’ll have to find the right incentives for him because it is so much easier to just use a diaper. And he doesn’t really care about wearing underwear like Carissa does. But it’s nice for now to have one less kid in diapers. Two is nicer than three.

1 Comment »

One Response to “Stuff and Potty Training”

  1. tara72 Says:

    awww Carissa with the pony – LOVE!! And I love that Elizabeth wakes up one time at night. I’m jealous, too, but I won’t mention that part. :)

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