The Toilet Training Saga – Penultimate Chapter

August 8, 2008


I was quite dreading toilet training the twins way back in June when I hadn’t started but thought I should. I hadn’t a clue how to go about it and even more worrisome was the fact that every new article I read about it warned of timeframes stretching from 3 months to a year and beyond!

And now, looking back, I can’t believe it was so easy. One week they were refusing to use their little floor-level potties, the next week they were running for the high toilet seat as though they’d been doing that since forever. Altogether, it took less than six weeks to get to a state of relative stability and predictability. And the worst was over in two to three weeks.

Now it’s still ten days short of two months, and I’d say that the twins are pretty much “house trained”. Accidents are down to fewer than one in two days (between the two of them) and false alarms are about one or two per head per day, down from about 30. The total number of toilet calls has reduced, and they even go dry an hour or more at times. The last nut to crack was Tara’s potty, which tended to land everywhere but in the toilet, but she seems to have got a handle on that in the last few days.

I can’t believe how quickly it has all settled down. I still clearly recall the tension and stress of those first few days, when absolutely everything in the house was liable to be peed on (if not worse). It was really tough keeping any eye on both of them, running behind them when I thought they wanted to go, trying to coax them to use their little potties. Then there was the phase when they would run to the bathroom but go standing up in the shower stall, resulting in a trail of pee down their legs. Ugh.

But it all turned around so quickly and easily after I got them the toilet seat for the adult toilet. Even the significant dislocation of our ten-day trip to Delhi and Chandigarh, and the subsequent bout of diarrhoea did not make much of a dent in their desire or ability to use the toilet. All I can say is: Hallelujah!

A few challenges are left. Because they can’t hold on for very long, we still can’t risk taking them out without diapers. Also, they haven’t taken to wearing underwear yet – I hope they get that idea before they go to school, but right now it doesn’t worry me much. And finally, they still can’t go to the bathroom on their own – they need me for moral, emotional, physical, and logistical support. But, well… given how cooperative they’ve been in this whole process, I’m not complaining.

Toilet-Training the Twins: Two Steps Forward…

July 5, 2008

Wow. Things are certainly hotting up around here with the girls going all out to out-do each other and win the toilet-training contest. Their every success is rewarded with a few sips of Tropicana Premium unsweetened orange juice, which they love (good business for Tropicana, bet they never thought of this sales opportunity). It must be served to them at the dining table… in a glass glass, if you please. And they would rather not share the glass on the occasions when they both earn their rewards at the same time.

The good news is that Mrini has clearly realized that the bathroom is where you go to pee, and that peeing in the bathroom leads to an orange juice reward. What she still doesn’t get is the squatting bit, or the concept of the potty. So, every time she wants orange juice (which is many times), I get to do a lot of cleaning up. But. It’s progress – just yesterday, she was happy to mess anywhere in the house, now she actually says “potty” and makes a beeline for the bathroom!

Tara is equally keen on the orange juice reward, but, unlike Mrini, she can’t always produce on demand, so she’s had fewer successes. She’s very keen to learn, though – which is a good thing. It seems to be easier to train a child who wants to learn even if she doesn’t yet have the ability, than to work with one that has the ability but doesn’t yet want to use it.

Still, successes in the shower stall notwithstanding, two girls running around bare-bottomed is pretty much a full time occupation for me. There’s not a single task I can complete undisturbed during this time – at all times I have to be ready to drop whatever I’m doing – and I do mean WHATEVER – and rush one of the girls (or, worse, both) to the bathroom. The disruption to life as I knew it is immense – something I’m still trying to cope with. I suppose it’s a good deal of exercise, running around and mopping up behind them, not to mention doing quite a bit to dampen my appetite – it should be helping in Mission Weight Control. All the same, around early evening, when I’ve had enough for the day, I take the easy way out and put the diapers back on. There’s only so much I can do, after all, without completely losing my sanity. And tomorrow, as they say, is another day.

Toilet-Training The Twins: Trying, Trying

July 4, 2008

As far as toilet training the twins is concerned, I still don’t know whether I’m coming or going. Pondicherry was a welcome break for all of us, but now that we’re back home, we’re back to the pee and poo mess too, I’m afraid. I’m trying very hard to be patient and gentle and not put any pressure on them, just like all the books and websites say, but I have to admit that at times it’s pretty much impossible. It’s a little easier now that the depression has passed and I’m back to a (somewhat delicate) stable state; it’s also easier with only one of them – currently Mrini – going diaperless at a time; but it’s still difficult not to lose it and force the girl to sit on the pot when you can clearly see that she’s desperate to go but she’s just running around in circles like a chicken with it’s head cut off (or so they say – I’ve never personally never seen one). Mrini seems to have completely taken against the pot and will not sit on it at any cost. Her current favourite place to let loose is the shower stall, which is ok with me, being generally easy to clean, or the bathmat, which is less nice. Apart from those, she’s not picky about anywhere in the rest of the house, though she has so far spared her high chair and our bed (but not her own).

Tara, as long as she was diaperless before the Pondy trip, seemed to have less bladder-control and therefore provided more mess for me to clean up. Right now, she seems really eager to use the pot, so I probably should provide her the opportunity by leaving her bare-bottomed for a few days, while I allow Mrini the luxury of diapers again. But then again, Mrini seems to be developing a level of confidence with the shower stall, so maybe I should just persist with her.

Or maybe I should bare both bottoms? Horrors…

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