Guess how much I care about the Mariners!
He is STILL picking up crayons

Not that I'm DECLARING anything...

but Jack has had exactly one accident since we came home from LA. And that accident happened yesterday, in the yard, and I'm pretty sure it WAS an accident, not a Oh, Who Cares If I Use My Underpants As A Potty moment, as he is STILL talking about his "accident". He goes over the whole story with me ("I went pee in my underpants, Mommy, I sorry") and then reminds me that he still gets to go to preschool. 

And then this morning, July 21, 2010, Jackson Cheung woke up with a dry pull up. He also sat up in bed and whined for ten minutes straight (until I figured out what he was saying over the baby monitor) to be allowed to get out of bed and go pee. 

(Why he thinks he is allowed to get out of bed and go in the bathroom and stand on the stool and reach for my makeup brushes and take them back to bed to play with two hours after we've put him to bed and that he is NOT allowed to get up and go pee is a mystery for us all.)

So, I feel that I should remind all of you people that we've been doing this since CHRISTMAS. And we've had the potty seat for A YEAR AND A HALF. Which means this is the slowest potty training session on record. I don't think I really started to hard core talk up the potty until around Christmastime. And for a while there he was doing really well. He was never afraid and started using the big potty almost right away. It was always a matter of, shall we say, Taking Initiative, and I think both Jack and I failed on that one. A lot of stuff went on during the last six months, not least of all our Big Move, and we basically had to start all over in the new house. TORTURED SIGHS.

But after the last time I wrote about potty training, there were a lot of comments about how pull ups are from the devil and you know what? I think that's what has made the difference this time. It didn't seem to be about feel or getting wet or anything like that, it was more of an ORDERLY kind of thing. As in: pull ups are just like diapers, so they are diapers. Underpants are another thing entirely. You pee in a diaper, you don't pee in underpants. The end. 

I also pulled my Mean Mommy card and every time there was an Oh Who Cares moment, I informed him that if he kept it up he would not be going to preschool. Ever. And this is truly the only motivating factor I have. Jack isn't IN to any kind of toy, the way some kids are into Legos or Thomas or playing cars or whatever. He likes all those things, but he's never gravitated towards one kind of toy or play, not for very long. So we've never had a good idea to fill in the, "If you have dry pants for one week you get a ____!" But preschool... oh, he is GOING to preschool. Nearly every day he puts on his little backpack and informs me of the fact. 

We HAVE used "potty treats" which are usually M&Ms or marshmallows or whatever, and this has worked great. UNTIL NOW. See, once he started going regularly, I was handing out potty treats all day long. I could never renege on the potty treat. It's part of the DEAL. Right? But like I keep telling him: does MOMMY get a potty treat every time SHE goes potty?!

My big idea for this is a sticker chart. The boy loves stickers. And I think he can understand the Chart Concept. I just have to think of a big enough prize at the end. Ideas? Again, we REALLY don't know what The Best Toy or Best Fun Experience would be. Phillip even took him to Chuck E. Cheese with his cousins this weekend (I KNOW. I KNOW. I KNOW.) and he didn't particularly enjoy it. So. I have to think about this. 

Again, I am compelled to say, I haven't DECLARED anything. I am still IFFY. It's been over a week, but I'm not sure that qualifies. Even though he's taken naps and woken up with dry underpants. And told his cousin that he couldn't go dig in the rocks right then, he had to go inside and use the potty. And interrupted my picture choosing process yesterday morning (best department store photography was finally a winning experience!) to say he had to go potty. I AM NOT YET THE VICTOR. 

But probably soon enough, I think.  

P.S. I wrote about how free time makes me nervous at Parenting today. It's just one of the many things my husband and I failed to discuss before entering this whole legally binding have-to-live-with-you-until-I-die thing.



Some kids get the chart thing, some don't. Asher has a poop chart now (this is just to get him to poop, he's been holding it in for a WEEK) and ten poops equals a new train but ten poops could be an entire eternity away as far as he's concerned. In other words, the chart is not motivating AT ALL.

We're lucky we have trains to motivate him with. Maybe Jack would be motivated by an activity? Like, picking out some school supplies for preschool? I mean, nothing fancy, maybe some crayons or markers or something??

Kate P

He puts on his backpack and says he's going to preschool? Love it! I need to share this with SIL. . . let's just say my niece & nephews (except the 12yo) are not permitted in my car. They need preschool!


I read an idea about the potty treats thing - that once they were going regularly, you make them brush their teeth after every potty treat, too. It might still take awhile to phase out, but it will eventually w/ that extra chore hanging over their heads and at least you get some extra teeth brushing out of the deal, so less stress over the sugar rotting their teeth issue. Just a thought.

We started the potty thing at the beginning of this year, but I confess I haven't been very consistent, either. (Being pregnant makes me lazy) We are still firmly entrenched in the world of diapers.


The best idea for ending the potty treat thing that I've ever heard came from a friend of mine - when she potty trained her daughter, she threw a Potty Party, with a cake and hats and everything. Their family celebrated that her daughter was a Big Girl, and Big Girls don't need skittles to go potty anymore, because they already know how. She let her daughter help her decorate the cake ... the works. After that, no more treats. But no more treats felt like a reward - for being a Big Girl - rather than some sort of punishment.

Also, if you decide to use stickers - we have been letting ours earn a date with Mom or Dad, and he gets to decide what he wants to do. Last time he wanted to go eat ice cream. This time he wants to take his brother, and go eat pizza. Just an idea - if he's like my three-year-old, he might like getting to decide for himself most of all.


The sticker chart helped with Olivia in getting her started, but it was the switch to underpants that did the trick. She still whines that she wants a diaper when she needs to poop (because pooping while sitting down is SO inconvenient), so I KNOW she gets it...underpants are to stay clean and dry. She knows. And it's working. Of course we had to add big stickers AND a toy for every success, but still.


We do this: If Charlie goes alllll day at school and home without an accident, he gets a donut for breakfast.
But he doesn't really care about rewards. We did reeces pieces for the first 2 days and then he was "over" them. He didn't eat it. I found it on the floor a few minutes later.
But my kid is weird. When he makes up his mind to do something, there is no looking back. He was potty trained from 0-100% in about 6 weeks.

Sticker charts work. And I'm fully on the pull-ups are the devil bandwagon. I'd much rather change the bedding once a month than waste a pull-up at night. Or change clothes and shoes once in awhile.
I think once they've mastered the potty thing for the most part, if they have a pull-up on, they KNOW they can pee in it. I've seen so many kids in my preschool class regress because of those damn pull-ups.
Anyway, go with the chart. Yay Jack.


This sounds like progress! And the sticker chart plus preschool sounds like a recipe for success.

Could you ask him what he thinks a good prize would be? Maybe you can pick something together.

Ellen W

The sticker chart worked for a while with us. My son's big "prize" when he was through potty training was a whiteboard for his bedroom. He wanted one because daddy has one at work.


Go Jack!

In daycare, we switched to treats only for poop in the potty. We just couldn't keep up with that many kids when it was an every time thing.


For us, the sticker was the reward. As in, "Yippee! You peed. Here pick out a sticker and put it on your chart. Good job." He's going to be upset when he gets older and find out other kids actually got more stuff.

Spin Mama

Sticker charts are the bomb! They have gotten me through every challenge with my kids. My 3yo has a sticker chart now, and every 5 stickers, she gets to do a "special thing" (like Stephanie's date above) with either Mom or Dad. That could be reading a book, playing a game, riding her bike, whatever. She counts her stickers every day and talks about wanting her special thing. Hope your good mojo continues!

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