Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Gumball Machine and A Potty Adventure

So I had kind of given up on potty training.  Cooper was completely potty trained this summer (about 20 months old at that point).  It was such a glimpse of awesomeness, and while I never expected that would happen with him at such a young age, I was going with it and loving it.  So exciting.  However, upon returning home from vacation (where he pretty much used the potty in every location we visited...airport, car parking facility, golf course, etc.), he decided he was done and didn't want to do it anymore.  Ummmm, seriously?!  Bummer!  

Recently though, I have noticed that while he could care less about using the potty for "potty," he is quite happy to consistently use it for poo.  Yes I just typed poo.  I'm over it.  Are you?!  Okay good.  Let's move on.  He poops like a champ on the potties in our house.  And, to be consistent, we are still giving him M&Ms for his successes, which he loves.  (To be quite honest, so do I.  I do not love changing a poopy diaper, and if M&Ms help him get excited for pooping on the toilet...I will provide an endless supply.)

Now that you have that background, I'll continue.  I was at the Goodwill the other day and happened upon this GUMBALL MACHINE.  Cue beautiful beams of light and angels singing.  I have been looking at thrift stores and on Craigslist for a gumball machine pretty diligently quite recently, and there it was, in all of its glory.  It was a little dirty, but with a 2.99 price tag and a little scrubbadubbadingdong, I couldn't resist.  It was just supposed to come home with me, and that was that.  

I washed it up really well, making sure to keep track of all the pieces and how they fit together as I took it apart.  Who wouldn't, right?  But as I began reassembling the pieces...UGH!  Maybe I should have taken pictures or something?  I just couldn't quite get it right.  Oh geez.  Of course this would happen to me.  I laughed out loud at myself.  Seriously?!  So I did some Googling and found THIS SITE.  Alright, back on track.  I even adjusted the settings so that only three M&Ms came out, instead of a whole handful.  Go me!

I filled this sucker with some M&Ms (and after looking at it...I can see that it definitely needs to be filled some looks a little skimpy on the M&Ms) and showed Cooper.  (I thought that I would try to spark interest in using the potty again, as I haven't been pushing him to use the toilet since he kind of un-potty trained himself this summer.)  I told him how special it was to get M&Ms from this machine and how special it was to use quarters to get to the M&Ms.  Everything about it was special according to me, and if someone was watching me, they might have thought I was a little ridiculous from the excitement I was displaying, hoping it would rub off on Cooper.  I thought that maybe by adding the cool machine and money ( Cooper's language) element, it might change things up enough to make it worth his while again.  Well in fact, he was pretty thrilled with it.  Excitement is contagious baby!  So rolling with that excitement, I started explaining how this machine, these M&Ms, and the quarters it would take to get to them were a result of him using the potty.  We talked quickly about all the details of what I was asking of him, I gave him a new pull up, big encouragement, a practice run, and we were set.  This kid was ready.

I must have asked him a million times if he had to go potty after that...with an answer of NO every time.  Then, when I was checking my email, he came and got me and took me to the bathroom.  He did it.  He went potty.  He prompted it.  His pull up was dry.  We were back on track.  We got a quarter to get some M&Ms.  I was thrilled, and he was stoked.  We had a big celebration, and that was that.  So I kept wondering what was going to happen next?  So a little time passes, and he does it again, unprompted by me.  Woohoo!  It was working.  On a roll now...

Then I noticed that his diaper was a bit warm after a while.  He had made no effort to use the potty again, and was definitely using his diaper purposefully and without hesitation with no mention of having to go.  Really?  Big sigh.  Oh well.

Then Daddy came home.  We told Daddy all about it, and Coop actually prompted using the potty a couple times to show Brian how special it was.   That was fun.  Pretty soon it was time for a bath and bedtime, and well, I guess I will resume the attempts tomorrow.  But at this point, I'm not expecting potty miracles or anything.  And actually, it's really not a big deal.  I think I just got wrapped up in the moment...the idea, and wanted to give it a try.  You just never know when something will work and stick with the little ones.  I think he's just not fully ready.  That's okay.  It is what it is.  The kid has all the time in the world.

When I get a little bummed with the backtracking and think about it, I have to stop myself and just be grateful.  I mean seriously.  My son is awesome.  What a fun adventure this has been.  So fun to watch him learn and experiment with all this.  He is becoming quite independent and pretty darn smart.  And shoot, what am I bumming about?  I am not changing poopy diapers anymore.  Potty diapers are a breeze!  For that, and for the awesome gumball machine I scored on the cheap, I shout a big, "Hallelujah!"

Linking up with The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday

Update: The morning after this post, we used the potty in the morning with success and right before naptime, which was prompted by Cooper.  The time in beween?  Let's just say his diaper was a little warm and squishy.  He he he.  We're a work in progress around here...  Well, aren't we all?!

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