Today (Thursday) was day two.
There was no marked improvement, except that our worries about Shlomo’s constipation were put at ease around ten o’ clock this morning – on the floor.
Yes, he goes in the toilet. But he doesn’t seem to care too much where he goes. He is happy to get the praise, and the stickers (he loves stickers, so I thought it would help), but he doesn’t care too much where he pees.
When he pees in the toilet, he gets praise and stickers. When he pees on the floor, he gets disappointment and has to help clean it up. But he doesn’t really care, as long as he gets the praise when he wants it.
Today I took a break and left Yitzchak with a sleeping Shlomo to go shopping for Shabbat. By the time I got back, of course, Shlomo was awake. I reminded Yitzchak that we had to take him out today, and we agreed (while on speaker, so Shlomo heard it all) that if Shlomo had made a peepee in the “toilet”, he would get shorts, shoes, and come out to meet me. I told this to Yitzchak, then to Shlomo, and then heard Yitzchak telling Shlomo.
Of course, if he didn’t peepee in the toilet soon enough, he would just stay home till I arrived.
I got off the bus and started walking home. About halfway there, I see Yitzchak – carrying a diapered, pants-less, shoe-less Shlomo towards me. Something obviously was funny.
Had Shlomo peed in the toilet? Yes. What had happened was that after Yitzchak told him that he could go out, Shlomo waited a few minutes until he had some pee, peed a tiny bit (standing) straight into his potty, without missing at all, and then looked at Yitzchak expectantly, waiting. Yitzchak, of course, praised him. And Shlomo kept staring expectantly (instead of dancing and smiling proudly from ear to ear), waiting for his sticker. As soon as he got the sticker, he went straight to the door and banged on it.
As we say in Hebrew, “nafal ha’asimon”. Or, Yitzchak finally understood. Rather, he understood what we had known since yesterday. Shlomo was using this as an opportunity to have both parents staring at him, singing and praising him, and giving him stickers. He saw that peeing in the potty would allow him to go outside, so he peed in the potty. But did he care about potty-training? Nope.
What is really depressing about this story is the following: Besides for the fact that since yesterday, Shlomo hasn’t really shown improvement (we know he understands, because he’s peed little bits in the toilet at least twenty times, sometimes stopping, getting praise, and then continuing for more praise), Yitzchak spoke to his mother.
And his mother said that both he and brother #2, Ron, refused to potty train until they had no choice. For Yitzchak, what changed that was daycare. He saw other kids peeing in the toilet and decided it was a worthwhile thing to do. That was at three years old; it took a month. For Ron, it took until four years, when his parents locked him in a room for a whole week and didn’t let him out for anything other than to go to the bathroom (meals he ate in his room). Within a week, he was trained. Both potty-trained themselves. MIL tried the 3-day method on Ron, and it failed utterly. He simply didn’t care if he pooped on the floor, and in his mind, it was better – he wasn’t sitting in it. Because of Yitzchak’s similarity in personality to Ron, she didn’t even bother trying it on him.
And then Yitzchak has the audacity to complain that Shlomo is taking advantage of us. It’s his genes, after all. Or rather, the not-caring is his. The intelligence required to not care is mine (intelligence is on the X, and Shlomo’s only got one of those).
We are thinking of where to go from here. I don’t mind the diaper changes (though underwear would be cheaper), but Shlomo fights, and it’s getting harder and harder to force him to let me change his diaper.
At least we only lost two days. We’re not giving up yet, but we definitely need a change in strategy.