Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Potty Training Hell

We are currently in Potty Training Hell. Apparently, my worst fear is coming to fruition. I have this terrible concern that I will be unable to ever completely potty train my children. And Athena apparently believes it too.

But why do I even have this terrible paranoia? Oddly, it's my dog.

When I got Murphy, I asked the nice, pimply-faced pet store employee (yes, I bought her at a pet store, and yes, I feel guilty about that) how easy it was to housebreak a dog. I asked this because I had never had a dog and didn't have a clue about the best way to do it. He assured me, in no uncertain terms, that it was very easy. He explained crate training to me, I listened, and I obeyed.

Murphy, unfortunately, did not.

So I took her to a K-9 trainer in a sort of desperation. Murphy learned to sit, stay, lie down, and heel. She was brilliant! They recommended she enter advanced training for things like obstacle courses and frisbee catching. I said I'd enroll her as soon as she was housebroken.

What? Not housebroken? They seemed puzzled. So they offered something really special. They knew I was going to Europe for a couple of weeks that summer. So they offered to board her and housebreak her while I was gone. The cost was reasonable, and their work was guaranteed.

I went to Italy, Greece, and France, and dreamed of returning home to a really well-trained dog. And once again, Murphy crushed my dreams in her cute little paws.

I was told that despite their best efforts, they could not housebreak my dog. These were professionals. They train police dogs to sniff out drugs and take out bad guys. Yet my little princess would look them in the eyes and pee squarely in the middle of their kitchen floor.

They returned my dog to me, tore up my bill, and made me promise to never return.

I will say, this story does have more of a happy ending than you might think. When Murphy grew ill a few years ago, they began to medicate her for her liver issues. Suddenly, and without warning, Murphy ceased to have accidents in the house. She was 13. That's 91 in dog years.

Athena had three accidents at school today. She was doing beautifully last week. This week has simply fallen apart. I am at a loss. I don't have a K-9 school equivalent. And with my track record, it wouldn't matter if I did.

Let's just hope that it doesn't take medication and/or 87 more years for this to stick.


Sophie said...

Hmmm... I'm guessing Marcus hasn't taken that step yet? Hey, with summer coming up, being a boy, you can just send him outside to kill the weeds :) I think that's what my mom did with my little brother! Or you can do the "aim at the cheerios in the potty trick". Apparently, it works wonders.

eaf said...

Marcus is actually coming along just fine. My theory currently is that he will be completely potty trained before Athena. Every time I buy pull-ups for her, I swear it will be the last... but alas... it isn't.

Jason said...

Bernie has a friend who potty-trained both her kids in 8 days using some method meant for autistic children. I'll see if she can get hold of the manual.

Chris said...

The problem is that she knows to go potty. She knows when she has to go. Sometimes she just has better things to do, or gets caught up in something else, or pees a little bit and says nothing rather than going to the bathroom and thus makes it worse.

Very frustrating.

Jamie said...

Let me assure you that Athena will be potty least by the time she goes to college!! (That's what people used to tell us about Sofie.) She was a late trainer, too. FYI, ask any kindergarten teacher, there are kids who still get distracted and forget to's the nature of playing!! I know it's frustrating but don't blame yourself, it's more about her free will than anything.

Anonymous said...

Well probably at 8 or 9 she'll at least be old enough to clean herself up, rather than you having to do it. I guess.

Bern said...

I'll email you the method.
It's too long to post it here.

eaf said...

That's a good point, Amy. And Jamie too. I know it's bound to happen (although that's what I said about Murphy as well). It's just so frustrating.

AND, since she has so many accidents but refuses to tell us, she gets terrible diaper rash. The daycare teacher asked if I was aware of how bad the rash was.

Yes, I am. And yes, my parenting skills leave a lot to be desired. Shall we take this conversation outside?


Sophie said...

Maybe seeing her little brother do so well will motivate her. Hope Marcus has a great birthday party this weekend :)

Brant said...

Hey, every time we though we had Kieran good to go, he'd backslide. Finally when we got to CA this past Christmas he didn't want to be the only kid having accidents (his 2 cousins are older: 6 and 9) and the light went on in his head and he's had very few since then.

We think maybe it had something to do with the approach that school was taking with him, but honestly if I'd been them, I'd've been sicking of cleaning crappy underwear, too.

eaf said...

Yeah, she was perfect in San Fran... even when she had the IV in her at the hospital... no accidents.

I think we're going to schedule a trip to visit friends in Columbia in the next month and let their kids apply the peer pressure.

A Girl From Texas said...

She'll also want to be grown up like the other kids. When she realizes they aren't wearing pull ups anymore, she won't want them either.

I have a friend who struggled getting the pacifier away from her daughter. Once her daughter discovered her peers didn't have them, she let it go.