Monday, August 30, 2010

Michael Bentine’s Potty Time...

...has nothing on this.

Here in the Blake household it is potty training time. In earnest. After a couple of false starts we’ve figured that Tom is now ready to make the big jump from pull-up nappies to no-nappy at all.

He understands the concept mentally.

He understands the ploys him mummy and daddy are employing to get him to do his business in the potty. These basically revolve around bribery – both material and emotional.

We’re also employing a variant off the Pavlov technique. Each time there is a little golden shower on the carpet we sit him straight down onto his potty to establish the link.

Tom understands all this.

But he ain’t going for it.

“No potty,” is his answer. This is sometimes followed by the potty being forcibly ejected into another room.

This plainly is the wall that we have to break through.

The wees aren’t too bad. Kiddy wees aren’t horrible like grown-up wees (unless of course that’s just the parent in me talking). They’re easy to mop up. Not nice. But easy.

It’s the poos that are causing us headaches.

Tom’s always been a private pooer. To the point where he’ll completely remove himself from company, often by shutting himself in another room or the hallway where he can pass his motions without audience participation. I kind of feel the same about my poos so I know where he is coming from.

However, this makes throwing the potty under him when a log is about to fall extremely difficult because as soon as he spies our approach the bomb bay doors lock tighter than the Coalition Government’s budget. Arrested development. Not a dicky-bird. Just the high pitched whistle of foiled expectation.

Most kids have a problem with control. Holding it back. Not Tom. He can hold it in for a phenomenal amount of time. His problem is letting go. Saturday he refused to poo at all and Sunday looked to be going the same way. As Tom is prone to a touch of constipation if his cycle is broken we gave him a quick shot of lactulose; he finds constipation very distressing so we don’t want to colour his perception of potty training with that kind of experience.

So Sunday afternoon amid much foul smelling wind we knew our little boy (to continue with the bomb analogy) was about to drop his Little Boy. There is only so much “watching like a hawk” that you can do. Somehow he managed to sneak off, shut himself in the kitchen and, just as daddy valiantly arrived with the eager potty, dropped a brick of humungous proportions onto the welcome mat in the kitchen.

I felt like whistling the them tune from The Great Escape.

*Sigh*

Missed it again. So we put it in the potty. Sat Tom on the potty. And then we all trooped upstairs to give Mr Brick an honourable send-off (discharge?) down the toilet.

It blocked the toilet.

I’m not kidding.

It backed up. Right to the rim.

Great, I thought. Now we’re going to have to call out an emergency plumber (and you all know how I feel about calling plumbers).

But as it was the internet came to my aid. A fantastic site called www.howtomendit.com. On a forum for blocked toilets – yes, really – it recommended tying a bin bag around a mop and using it as a plunger.

Well blow me if the thing didn’t work a treat. Torpedo away. All clear in the tubes. And Tom was feeling pretty lithe too.

So. This is how we are spending our Bank Holiday weekend. We are re-enacting the blitz. There’s been no direct hits at present but the payload is all ready to be loosed.

I’ll keep you posted. I know you want to know.


P.S. News just in. Direct hit on Pottyville with a large incendiary device at 10.30 hours approximately. Street party about to commence.


42 comments:

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Next time Captain Hilts is on the potty give him a ball to throw against the wall....

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Yay for Tom, potty training is a very stressful time for all concerned, but usually once they've got over their fear of crapping somewhere different, it's all systems go.

chickenruby said...

I have a child that can block the loo and he still saves it up to go once a week (wheat intollerance)an easier way to unblock is to poor hot soapy water down the loo after flushing but before the bowl starts to refill may have to do it twice but its easier and cleaner than a plunger

Being Me said...

Oh, my sympathies! When it was L's turn, she shut up shop for days. And I never ever caught one DRIP (or plop) in a potty. She flat refused and went straight to toilet. So he's doing marvellously, if your news-just-in is anything to go by.

Heather said...

We are in pretty much the same position here. I'm considering just keeping him in nappies until all the kids at school laugh at him and he gives in to peer pressure. Too cruel?

What worked wonders for our daughter who is now thankfully well and truly toilet trained, was getting her one of those seats that go on the toilet rather than a potty. So she could be a big girl like mummy. We tried it on the boy but he just uses the step to climb up for climbing in the sink and emptying the bathroom cabinet. Little sod.

Steve said...

Trish: Cooler!

Very Bored in Catalunya: he got a toy car as a reward... I suspect if he has plans to open a flly stocked garage the potty might be seeing rather a lot of action this week!

chickenruby: I might try that next time - it sounds far less hardwork (and less wet) than shoving a mophead down the there!

Being Me: he's certainly as proud as punch. I just hope we can pursuade him to have a wee victory too!

Steve said...

Heather: we have one of those seats too. He likes the idea of sitting on it but is yet to produce "at height".

-eve- said...

Wow. :-) Ok, I couldn't get my dog toilet-trained, so in the end he just had to live in the garden, but I KNOW you'll have to get Tom toilet-trained somehow ;-) lol.

Steve said...

Eve: yeah, much as Tom loves the garden I think we'd have a visit from Social Services if we let him live out there all year!

French Fancy... said...

Hurrah for the closing statement hot off the press - well, hot off the potty really, (and to think I moaned about housetraining the dogs)

Steve said...

FF: what is the technique for house training dogs these days? I nmy grandfather's day it was wiping their noses into it if they desecrated the Axminster... I believe these days (according to TV dog training goddess, Victoria Stilwell) you reward them with a piece of cooked chocolate when they get it right? We're doing something similar with Tom - we've just swapped the chicken for chocolate. Tom's potty trainin is being sponsored by Cadbury's.

libby said...

Is it a normal potty? or one of those novelty ones? y'know .. a dog or a car or something? either way good luck with it...one day these pooh days will be a dim and distant memory so although you are frustrated now it won't last for ever!

Steve said...

Libby: it's as normal as they come; purely functional though it's function is yet to be fully embraced. It is fair to say that Tom is not yet fully "in love" with his potty.

misssy m said...

Aw man this brought back memories. Of my own kids but of my cousin (who is now 18!) He wouldn't ever ever do a crap in the potty or toilet- he would go into a corner of the room and do it like a stray dog. After many weeks of fecophilic nonsense his mother decided that she wasn't going to win and decided that at the very least she had to save her carpet. So she started putting a nappy down for his to squat over.

She moved it bit by bit towards the toilet. I presume he's trained now- either that or the University he's just gone to may chuck him out!

misssy m said...

Also never read "We need to talk about Kevin" whilst potty training....

Steve said...

Misssy M: sort of like a bread crumb trail? Hmm. I like it. So far today the poos have hit the potty; it's the wees that are proving to be arbitrary. The sofas have had a couple of dousings now. On the bright side I think our house is pretty fire retardant at the moment.

Previously (Very) Lost in France said...

Oh god, this has brought back all sorts of horrible memories.....(sitting rocking in the corner now!) good luck, it will happen before he hits his teens, I can promise you that!

cartside said...

very funny, and sounds awfully familiar. We had dry nights before we got the withholding of no. 2s sorted. I think we're getting there now, 9 months later.
Thankfully there is lactulose... and plungers (yes, we have blocked pipes too. Regularly.)

Steve said...

Previously (Very) Lost in France: and then he'll hit his teens, get into alcohol, and piss and shit in the street... I guess that's progress of sorts.

Cartside: 9 months?! 9 months? Hell. What's wrong with wearing nappies to school anyway?

FF: cooked chocolate? I did of course mean cooked chicken.

Kelloggsville said...

I didn't use a potty went striaght for the small seat on the loo approach with daughter but I do remember tryingto give her smarties as a bribe and in the end just bursting into tears - you are not alone brother, it's a parenting rite of passage. PS the dynarod man told me to put loads of loo roll in loo and at the moment of flush push with the loo brush. Clears stuck logs a treat!!!

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: I might go for the bursting in tears approach myself... except that Tom usually finds that hilarious.

Fran said...

My favourite bit of this was him doing his poo on the welcome mat. I like that boy. He's smart.

Steve said...

Fran: yep. Any would-be burglar trying to come in through that door is going to get a really nasty surprise...! ;-)

Clippy Mat said...

This is why I love your blog.
Love it
:-)

LöstJimmy said...

You may have just reported a direct hit but please beware of shrapnel or fall out...

Steve said...

Clippy Mat: thank you. I could publish some photos if you'd like? ;-)

LöstJimmy: don't worry - I'm wearing protective clothing and I've built an Anderson shelter for when the bombing gets heavy.

Mark said...

I can never quite believe how such big poos come from such little beings.

But then down our road lives one of the biggest teenage shits I've ever seen too. I wonder if that particular local yob was potty trained - probably not; or not yet anyway.

But I digress, as usual

Alienne said...

Oh god, you poor things. They are all different but all get there in the end. Lenin particularly liked getting her potty out and joining her father in the bathroom. As you know, you have no privacy with small brats around and he was at home with them while I went out to work. They used to share the newspaper (for reading purposes I hasten to add, not that she could read) but she was very furtive about pooing on it for a while, and used to run down the garden and hide in the bushes to do that.

Anonymous said...

I am a TERRIBLE MOTHER,I am useless at potty training.
call in Supernanny!

ALLY
(Google is messing with my mind again and will not let me sign in)

Readily A Parent said...

Yay for Tom. And for Mom and Dad, shaving cream gets poo out of carpets (thank Vix for that tip) and any of those oxygenated cleansers do a great job on peed on fabrics if you catch it fresh, otherwise baking soda and then rub with a half lemon.
Our little guy loves to joke with Mommy and Daddy be going potty for 2 or 3 days straight and then going several weeks dropping bombs and water bombing all over the house. The worst is when he removes his poopy diaper and wiupes his bum in the carpet.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Haaa!! This reminds me so much of my own son who is also a private pooper. He loves to disappear into a closet or under a table where no one can view him doing his private business. If you ask him if he would like to go on the toilet, his prompt response is, "No thank you. I go in my diaper."

English Rider said...

Our potty went everywhere with us and everyone was expected to join in applause and subsequent festivities. I can still envision Lovely Daughter seated on her potty in the back of the (stationary) station wagon. Many books were read while the red-ring imprinted her behind.

Curry Queen said...

Aah, so many memories! I can recall my son proudly bringing me an overflowing potty to admire only he had neglected to pull down his trousers before he went - happy days! (NOT!)

Steve said...

Mark: plainly the yobs parents should have been potty trained.

Alienne: I'm wondering if it might not be easier just to build Tom his own stall.

Ally: I guess sooner or later peer pressure will drive them to it... but I'd rather have him potty trained before he takes his university exams.

Readily A Parent: our eldest once pooed on the carpet and then rode and reveresed his tricycle through it just for good measure. Thanks for the cleaning tips!

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip: if we approach Tom we usually get "the hand of no approach" and told to go elsewhere. There is no argument.

English Rider: ah yes, we have done the applauding thing. Anyone would think we'd been watching an opera.

Curry Queen: getting things in the right order is sooo complicated when you're young!

Miss behaving said...

Oh for the good old days..
the eldest was a poo hoarder too.
How was your eldest?
The boys` potty training wasn`t too bad but still neither have a good aim...

Steve said...

Miss Behaving: I think Ben was already in the potty training process when Karen and I first began going out together... but I do remember once incident (recounted above) where I arrived to find a huge poo stain on Karen's carpet. It tranpsired that Ben had dropped a hefty mutha on the carpet and had then rode his tricycle back and forth through it to make a nice pattern...

Selina Kingston said...

Oh poor little Tom. He must have been in a lot of distress to pass a poo so big that it blocked your loo.
I completely understand his need to be private. I have been known to hold it in for over ten days It's usually when we are away with friends and I don't want to be ....heard !!!

Steve said...

Selina: ah - holiday constipation; I know it well. It was the scourge of my childhood. To this day it still takes me a few days to get used to a strange loo...

EmmaK said...

I don't know if its worth getting into a battle of wills about! Some kids just dig their heels in more and start holding their shit in - I had one nutty mum of my acquaintance who was gung ho about the whole thing and in the end her son (who was not fully potty trained until FOUR) wouldnt go for weeks and the doc gave him mineral oil to let the crap out and well it was a fiasco. I would be more like 'when it happens it happens' - as long as its before he turns thirteen!!

Steve said...

Emma: we're going for the carrot but no stick route... lots of praise when he gets it right and brief commiserations when we have the sofas sprayed and manured. He'll get there in the end; in the meantime he's very proud of his first ever Ben 10 underpants.

vegemitevix said...

Very educational. Sooooo pleased the potty training days are a long way back now. We have more problems with keeping the food out of our monsters, rather than getting it in and out! I cannot remember what tricks I used even for training Miss Ten. I do remember having to housetrain the puppy at the same time, and that my days seemed a perpetual cycle of cleaning up sh*t.

Steve said...

Vegemitevix: Karen and I are reconciled to the fact we're going to have to get the carpets shampoo'd once this is all over. At the moment the house has a slight whiff of ammonia...