Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Great Potty Race of 2009

We're deep in the throes of potty training, and though we haven't implicitly discussed it, I think we're currently engaged in a race to see who--Ronan, Aaron, or Gretchen--will be trained first.

Since Ronan is 4 1/2 months older than the twins, he certainly has an edge. But since Gretchen is a girl, she's got an edge too. And Aaron? Well, he looks really cute in the mouse costume he's taken to wearing all the time.

The twins definitely started far in the lead. We offer the kids a small piece of candy for peeing on the potty and a lollipop for pooping. Gretchen seemed to learn a remarkable amount of bladder and bowel control, pooping and peeing just enough to earn her prize, always holding back just a little bit of excrement so she could go a few times each hour. Bravo, Gretchen!

Aaron, the dutiful twin, followed suit with a strong start.

Ronan was tougher. I didn't start trying until he turned 3, which was early last month. I thought having an older brother would mean Ronan would train quickly, since he sees Declan using the potty all the time. Ronan did look up to Declan, but in a way that made it even harder for him to potty train.

Since Declan pees standing up, Ronan insists on doing this as well. When you're 37 inches tall, with a penis that's, er, proportionate to that, it's rather difficult to pee standing in front of a toilet. Until you get the hang of it, the pee tends to go wherever the penis is pointing; in this case, right up in the air, into the sink next to the toilet, or right onto the magazine rack. Ronan got frustrated very quickly, and abandoned the pursuit altogether, refusing to even try to use the potty.

Amy gloated. "Can you believe my little prodigy! She's not even 3! She's the bestest potty-trainer in the world! Ronan can eat her dust!" (I'm paraphrasing.)

But then, Ronan suddenly got the hang of it (maybe it was the goldfish crackers I put in the toilet to help his aim). He's got at least 2-inches on the twins--a clear height advantage--and soon started going to the bathroom by himself, even able to hoist himself up onto the potty if he needed to poop. His fierce independence kicked in and he no longer allowed us to take him to the bathroom. "I do it myself!" he yelled at us when we tried to help.

Gretchen seems to have plateaued, but is likely only one weekend in underwear away from being fully trained (you former potty trainers know what I mean). Aaron seems to have lost interest entirely, the candy rewards no longer enticing. And Ronan? He wears underwear after school, but did have an accident yesterday. His teacher said I could send him into school wearing underwear next week, so we'll wait until then...

...unless Amy decides to put Gretchen in underwear first.

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