It's no secret that Michael is pretty late with potty training. I know it really bothers Andy and my mom. I can see where they are coming from, your average 3.75 year old should most likely be potty trained. I'd be more concerned if I thought there was something wrong with Michael that was inhibiting potty training. However, when he does seem interested, he is able to do what needs to be done. The problem is not ability, it's attitude.
To combat this, we have been working very hard at making potty training an entirely positive and optional experience. He get's praise for using the potty, we talk up the positives of using the potty, but if he's not comfortable with underwear or the potty we back off. He's gotten pretty good about peeing on the potty, but he refuses to poop on it.
A few weeks ago (um...two months ago) we took Michael out and let him pick out a toy as a poopy reward. He picked out a small table soccer game. We bought it, brought it home, and put it where he could see the game but not reach it. The idea was to have a visual incentive to motivate him. Any time he asked about it, we reminded him that all he had to do was poopy on the potty and he could have it.
Last night when I got home from work, Michael and Andy were playing the soccer game. YAY! Big party. Hugs and kisses. Tons of praise. Our house was filled to the brim with positive reinforcement. Michael was so proud to be a big boy.
In fact, he was so proud to be a big boy that we had to help him got to the potty every five to ten minutes. I'll be honest, I don't even know how he was doing it. Many of the trips were number 1 trips, but a disturbing number of them were number 2 trips.
Folks, last night I discovered that Michael is actually a rabbit! He would run into the bathroom, jump up on the potty, and drop a single little pellet into the toilet. When he was done, we would clean up and head back to play. A few minutes later, he would hop up and head back to the loo and drop another pellet. This went on for two full hours. It was like watching a long drawn out version of Plinko on the Price is Right.
Now, Michael was so very proud of himself. He was finally doing the ultimate big boy thing. He was pooping on the potty!
Me? Well, lets just say the excitement wore off a bit faster for me. After the fifth or sixth trip it was getting a little old. Of course, I didn't say anything. I refuse to let my intolerance of repetition interfere with the most awesome achievement ever. I didn't roll my eyes or sigh when we ran to the potty for the sixteenth time in an hour. I praised him enthusiastically on the first trip and the twenty eighth trip. I was all about the potty praise.
Well, I made one slight little slip. On one trip I tried to encourage him to stay a little longer and see if he could finish things up for the evening. Which is how I found myself standing in the bathroom saying, "You know, if you just push a little harder, you'll be a much more efficient pooper!"
Maybe I should leave the program management for the office.