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Myth Buster!

We're trying to toilet train The Squirrelly, but it's tough going. He knows how to pee (does he ever) and he knows how to sit on the potty, but the idea of doing both simultaneously hasn't quite clicked. On the rare occasions that it happens accidentally we praise him to the heavens and generally act as though his pissing in a pot is as momentous as the fall of the Berlin Wall, but our positive reinforcements have yet to forge the link in his mind. Usually he just sits on his little throne, happy as a unmicturating clam and blissfully unmoved by our exhortations. "PEE! " we cry. "VOID THAT BLADDER FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY!!" Honestly, I think the phrase "getting urine from a toddler" ought to supercede "getting blood from a stone" as the cliché for describing difficulty.

Yesterday I had The Squirrelly all stripped down and ready for his bath and noticed his potty was nearby, so I got him to sit down. Then I waited. And waited. And eventually thought to myself, "if only there was some way of tricking him into peeing ..."

Anyway, long story short: the whole "put the victim's hand in a bowl of warm water" thing turns out to be an urban legend.

Posted on August 16, 2006 to The Squirrelly





Comments

*lol*

Posted by: shy me on August 16, 2006 12:27 PM

Try pouring water from one glass to another, like in The Goonies :D

Posted by: premiump on August 16, 2006 12:35 PM

Well then, you're just going to have to resort to putting his underwear in the freezer or making prank phone calls to him in the middle of the night. Whatever it takes!

Posted by: Shannon on August 16, 2006 12:45 PM

It's summer which means that you can take him outside for a fine mutual pee session. Our son was potty trained in one weekend that way. He still loves to pee outside and he's 20 now.

Posted by: Karan on August 16, 2006 12:54 PM

Try putting his hand in a bowl of shaving cream. It won't help with potty training but you'll at least get a laugh out of it.

Posted by: Edward on August 16, 2006 1:05 PM

Very imaginative. I, however, now urgently have to go.

*running*

Oh wait - I stole your review. Credited, but stolen. So thanks!

Posted by: Kelly on August 16, 2006 1:21 PM

We are going through the potty training woes now was well. My son will pee every time he sits on the potty. Loves to pee on the potty. Couldn't care less if he is soaked in urine and freezing cold. Our poor couch has had it! I am using more "nature's miracle" stain and odor remover with this attempt than we did with the dog. So, no tips for getting him to pee in the potty (the running water in the tub may help though!) but if you figure out how to make my kid miserable enough not to go in his pants I would love to hear some tips!

Posted by: JenBlake on August 16, 2006 1:24 PM

I once tried turning the faucet on while KJ sat on the throne thinking that might spark something. I once said, "PEE KJ PEEEE, for the love of God mawn!" I was about to give up and started pricing adult diapers when all of a sudden, it was as if KJ woke up one morning and said, "Think I'll start peeing in the toilet today. Yeah." Total time, about three weeks.

Posted by: Wickwire on August 16, 2006 1:41 PM

Three weeks? Jeeze, that's a long time to run the faucet.

Posted by: Matthew on August 16, 2006 1:44 PM

At the risk of sharing too much, this worked with both of our boys: whenever I had to go to the restroom I made sure to take them with me and sit them on their pots while I did my thing. Of course this meant sitting when I would rather be standing for a while, but the whole "lead by example" thing seemed to work pretty well.

Posted by: SMurph on August 16, 2006 1:56 PM

*lol*

PEE! (said in a high voice) reminds me of a story my favorite neighbor (R.I.P.) told about growing up in a large family.

Posted by: Mike on August 16, 2006 3:20 PM

My step-grandmother said she toilet trained her son by playing "Shoot the Cheerio" with him. I realize that doesn't involve sitting, but it might be useful at some point...

Good luck!

Posted by: Jenna on August 16, 2006 4:39 PM

When my kids were dry through the night, I would immediately move them from bed to potty for a try. Often we would have success (balloons would fall from the sky, trumpets would sound). I also would give them a big glass of apple juice and then try again in an hour. Sometimes we would have success (uninflated balloons would fall from the sky, recorders would sound). It's a tough road. Good luck

Posted by: MotherReader on August 16, 2006 5:39 PM

My parents bribed me with Starbursts. I still remember looking at the jar they kept them in, really wishing I felt like peeing.

Posted by: Margaret on August 16, 2006 5:53 PM

Shoot the Cheerio sounds good. Hey, try squeezing his bladder! Nothing like the direct approach.

Posted by: Davey on August 16, 2006 7:16 PM

Our boys were train nuts, so we had the Potty Train. Each successful voiding added a car to the train, posted prominently on the bathroom door. When he completed a train of five cars (insert your favorite goal), a positive reinforcement would be delivered - probably a Thomas BRIO character. Substitute your favorite capitalist-pig trademarks.

Posted by: Andy on August 16, 2006 7:57 PM

I know you're not there yet, but I thought I'd throw it out there for you. The only way my daughter successfully sleeps through the night without wetting her bed is if we have this little conversation before she goes to sleep:

Me: What are you going to do if you need to go pee-pee during the night.

Ella: Wake up and go to the potty.

If she says it, she wakes up. If I forget, she wets her bed. I'm really hoping that I don't need to remember for the next 14 years...

PS--That luke warm water trick only works when the person is sleeping.

Posted by: Melissa on August 16, 2006 9:08 PM

Karan: Joining the Boy Scouts has the same effect....

Posted by: brendan on August 17, 2006 12:49 AM

I thought the "hand in warm water" thing only worked if you were asleep?

Posted by: Ryan Waddell on August 17, 2006 1:51 AM

We've been playing the bribe game. 1 M&M if she pees in the potty, and 1 Hershey's kiss if she poos in the potty. It seems to work, since she's very swayed by all things sugary.

Hmmm...chocolate. Are we sensing a theme here?

Posted by: Kim on August 17, 2006 8:31 AM

For the potty, if you haven't already, stick him in briefs (or boxers) and let him wet himself and stew in it for some time - our son quickly learned that wet undergarments are very uncomfortable.

As for overnight, it took quite some time before he was able to wake up to go to the bathroom by himself. I think it's biological (their bladder needs to grow, etc.), and you can't rush this phase. Plastic coverings for mattresses are your friend. I think he was around 4 or 5 when we didn't have to worry about it anymore.

Posted by: Jonathan on August 17, 2006 9:28 AM

The other day while I was visiting the Squirrelly, the Queen decided it was time for him to sit on the throne to do the deed. He sat and sat with no success. Finally his mommy pulls up his training pants and he toddles off to play. A short time later we spot him squatting slightly in a sort of bowlegged cowboy stance and the stream is coming out the side of his pants leaving him totally high and dry. Oh yes the Queen and Yeti Grandma are left to clean up the mess while Squirrelly merrily goes on his way. LOL Squirrelly wins again!

Posted by: Mom on August 17, 2006 10:20 AM

looks like there has been a lot of mythbusting as of late. see http://www.ljcfyi.com

And kim, that hershey's kiss for pooing is far too visual for me.

Posted by: Meredith on August 17, 2006 3:28 PM

I feel your pain. We're potty training our son right now, too. What's worked for us: give the kid a neverending supply of slightly watered down apple juice, and let him run around the house wearing only a t-shirt.

No diaper, no undies. He almost always goes in the potty when bare-butt because he doesn't want it running down his legs.

Every time he successfully poops in the potty, he gets the prize of getting to wear underwear, in his choice of Spiderman, Superman, Batman, or Darth Vader. He won't pee in his underwear because he'd rather die than soil Darth Vader. Which is, I guess, good sense on his part, given that whole Force-choke thing.

Posted by: Vermicious Knids on August 17, 2006 6:05 PM

I tried and tried and tried to potty train my 2 year old and got so frustrated that I gave up every time. Then, I talked to my mom and said, "Mom, would you watch V for the weekend while David and I go out of town for the first time in 3 years?" My mother did not reply at first as her wheels were rolling for an excuse to get out of this grandmother night out that she did not want. An hour later, thinking she was being slick, stated, "I will watch V for an entire weekend while you go off with your husband and enjoy yourself like a wild single woman (ok that's not what she said but that's what I heard, when she's potty trained."
Well, that was all the incentive I needed. I put V in panties and let her wet herself 4 times a day until she was potty trained. It took about 4 days. Persistence and the right incentive. My husband went away for the weekend and had a GREAT time!!

Posted by: Michele on August 18, 2006 6:39 PM

Been there. Here's some advice:

-- Wait until he's three.
-- Let him pee standing up, even if it involves spraying. He understands what's happening and that it's fun.
-- Don't go crazy praising. Play it cool. If you overdo the emotions get too intense and he can't do the deed.
-- Wait until he's three.

Posted by: Andy James on August 18, 2006 10:25 PM

I meant to say that my husband and I went away for the weekend.

Posted by: Michele on August 20, 2006 10:46 AM

Dear Matt,
My school-chum Lindsey and I were having a grand time using the ole "Buddy Chat" and we got to talking about "The Squirrelly." It had been a while since I'd seen the site, so I checked in, and while conversing with Lindsey, we reached an agreement. Hear me out!
It's a new day and age. It's the generation of gaming gone to the extreme. We feel the name "The Squirrelly" is outdated and clunky. We understand the awkwardness of a legal namechange, but we propose a new moniker for online purposes. "Teh Squirrellyx0rz!" Please know that the exclamation point is included.
Thank you.
(P.S. omfg i'm so sorry i just went insane--ignore me!)

Posted by: Chelsea on August 21, 2006 4:48 AM

I have totally tried this with my toddler. It didn't work worth a darn!

Posted by: Julie Qidwai on August 21, 2006 6:14 AM

Took us 3.5 years with each kid.
Now we have a dog that has been able to pee on command since he was four months old.
Go figure.

Posted by: Goldie on August 21, 2006 8:58 AM

DUDE! I tried that with my first kid, too! Imagine my sadness and disappointment when it only resulted in her eyeing me like I was crazy.
Heh.

Posted by: Melanie on August 22, 2006 2:43 PM

Don't know if this works on boys, but my daughter learned because I'd sit her on the potty, then hold a cup of lukewarm water over her lap and let it trickle between her legs into the toilet.

Posted by: Linda on August 23, 2006 1:14 PM

I've heard it said that making a game out of it helps. I don't know really. I have a friend who swears by dish soap. They keep a bottle of cheap dollar store dish detergent beside the potty. when he goes in to do his business, they pour some detergent in the bowl, put him on the seat backward (apparently for a better view into the mouth of the beast)and say "Okay make bubbles". At first he wasn't certain about the bubbles showing up as promised, so they poured some water in the bowl so he could see that it worked. And that was all he needed. New problem, getting him out of the bathroom. "Mommie, I wan't more bubbles"

Posted by: Lee on August 25, 2006 12:56 PM

I've heard it said that making a game out of it helps. I don't know really. I have a friend who swears by dish soap. They keep a bottle of cheap dollar store dish detergent beside the potty. when he goes in to do his business, they pour some detergent in the bowl, put him on the seat backward (apparently for a better view into the mouth of the beast)and say "Okay make bubbles". At first he wasn't certain about the bubbles showing up as promised, so they poured some water in the bowl so he could see that it worked. And that was all he needed. New problem, getting him out of the bathroom. "Mommie, I wan't more bubbles"

Posted by: Lee on August 25, 2006 12:59 PM

My kid had to go commando before she would toilet train. We tried everything - running water, hand in water, sticker charts, bribery... toilet training is not for the weak.

Posted by: CJ on August 25, 2006 1:04 PM