Eirinn has been potty trained for well over a year now, but, as with most children, she wears a diaper or Pull Up to bed. In the morning, said protection is generally wet, never dirty, but rarely dry. We’ve discovered that she usually pees after she wakes up, as opposed to in her sleep.
We decided that it’s high time we start working on eliminating this. She is at the age where she can go to the washroom completely on her own (unless she does a #2; in that case I insist on wiping for her so that I know it’s done properly) and she is able to pull both her pants and her Pull Ups up and down herself. For weeks, maybe even months, we have been telling her that she should try going to the potty as soon as she wakes up so that she can keep her Pull Up dry. And if she can do that for a long, long time without having an accident, then she can start wearing underwear to bed like a very big girl (being a big girl is important to her). She is always so excited to do it – “I can do it. I promise.” – yet every morning, she pees in the Pull Up. When we ask her why she did it, we always get the same response – “I didn’t mean to. I won’t ever do it again. I promise.” She throws promises around like some sort of politician.
So we’ve started Eirinn’s “No Pee Pee In The Pull Up” Chart. It’s your basic potty training tracking chart, where every dry morning she puts a sticker in a box. When she gets seven stickers, she gets a prize. We’ll start off with fabulous, irresistable prizes, somewhere in the Barbie and My Little Pony realm, and fade off into chocolate bars and lollypops as the weeks progress and we grow more confident that she has this thing in the bag.
We’re on Day 4 of the chart, yet there are only two stickers. She started off strong; two days straight of her remembering to go pee as soon as she woke up, even if it meant she was up for the day at 5:00 a.m. (when she’s up, she’s up; we’ve really got to teach her to tell time, and that just because the sun’s up, doesn’t mean she has to be). Buuut…then she slept in on Sunday. The little cutie-pants came into our bedroom and said “I don’t think I get a sticker today,” all sad-like. If her poor little body is used to waking up at 6:30, it not fair for us to expect it to hold the pee until 8, when she finally crawled out of bed, already having wet herself. She is still so new at this. And then today I asked her why she peed and she told me, you guessed it, “I didn’t mean to. I won’t ever do it again. I promise.”
I think when she finally makes it through her first set of seven stickers and actually gets to pick out a prize for the first time, she’ll be hooked. Right now it’s kind of an abstract thought for her. Yes, she gets stickers with the promise of something currently imaginary, but that’s a hard sell for a three year old stuck in her ways. But when she gets her hands on a brand new Barbie, that she got to pick out herself, the she earned by staying dry and using the potty in the morning, it will stick with her. Going pee in the potty will be the greatest thing since Christmas, or her birthday, or Easter, or Hallowe’en.