Adventures in Potty Training

I’m living in a urine soaked nightmare.

I woke up last night at 12:30 to a pool of warm urine.  My feet, pregnancy pillow, sheets and comforter were all soaked through.  No, I haven’t gone incontinent with my second pregnancy.  My dog, our beloved first-born, has recently decided that peeing on everything is a cool thing to do.  Fast forward to 4:30 am when A awoke in a urine soaked bed…the result of an almost 3-year-old that refuses to potty train compounded with the sad reality that no diaper is sufficient to contain his bodily fluids.  Did I mention I spent the bulk of Saturday afternoon watching YouTube videos on how to wrestle off remove the covers of our very expensive convertible car seat to wash the urine off it? Because, yes, he peed and the diaper did not live up to expectations.

I don’t even like it when a drop of my own urine goes astray…yet here I am, at any given moment covered in pee.

So this is my life. #glamorous

With a baby on the way and a world of dirty diapers headed our direction, we have decided it’s time to make some changes.

Basically, we are potty training an 8-year-old stubborn as hell English Bulldog and an almost 3-year-old.  At the same time…who do you think will succeed first?

Problem #1: the dog.

Ok, so Riley was the easiest dog to house train.  She had maybe 3 accidents in the house as a puppy which is pretty impressive considering we lived on the top floor of an apartment building with a VERY slow elevator.  She knows where to go and not to go.  That is not the issue.

These are F U pees.

I honestly think she finally figured out I was pregnant again now that I’m quite obviously showing and was like “oh hell no…not another one.”   Don’t get me wrong, she and A love each other.  There are countless moments of them snuggling together and playing happily…but he is a toddler and she is a dog.  Which basically means (although well-meaning) he basically administers toddler torture all day long.  He grabs her wrinkly face, sits on her, thinks it’s hysterical to bury her under blankets and pillows, likes to tease her with food and lay on her bed.  Alternatively, she (our dog) likes to eat his toys, steal any ball he is playing with, eat food he doesn’t have a death grip on, and occasionally likes to attempt to hump him.

After looking up every dog trainer in Los Angeles, I came to two conclusions. 1. Dog trainers are insanely expensive, and 2. We are going to have to resort to the intelligence of Google on this one.

So google I did.  And here’s what I came up with.

Riley’s recent string of accidents is either due to some horrible kidney/bladder issue (which it is not) OR she is doing it to ‘mark her territory’ and establish dominance.  Which is no bueno with a new little one on the way.

Since we let her on the couch and the bed, the best plan of attack is to no longer allow her to do that, which means hours of saying OFF, rewarding and repeating.

I read that when you are training a dog to no longer be on the bed or couch, you should provide them with a comfy alternative ‘place’ to go.  We bought her a cushy little dog bed.  She peed on it.  We washed it.  She peed on it again.  She no longer has a cushy dog bed.

She has a little blanket that she loves, and consequently hasn’t peed on yet, so that is now her “dog bed.”  We have made it two full days and while our couch is imprisoned most of the day by a giant kiddie gate, she seems to be “getting it.”  Ok, so she begs at the bed whining and scratching at me all night long and I have to say ‘off…place” like every 5 seconds when the couch isn’t encased in metal bars, oh and she is well on her way to doggie obesity from the training treats…but all in all, it’s going better than expected and more importantly there have been no more indoor peeing incidents in two days.  So I consider that progress in the right direction.

The plan is to spend three annoyingly exhausting weeks showing her attention, and refusing to let her on the couch/bed.  Then we can apparently start to teach her about being “invited” on to the bed/couch.  Or just decide that those are permanently off-limits and leave her be on the floor.  (Which may be the winning option, considering it’s not terrible sitting on the couch and NOT needing to lint roll my ass.)

Problem #2:  The boy. 

Ok, so the boy is not the problem…quite the opposite.  BUT, he is almost three and HATES the potty, has no interest in potty training and pees more than I thought was even possible rendering diapers no match for his bodily fluids.

I am a firm believer that potty training is 100% developmental and that when kids are ready there is no real “training” needed…they just get it.  I also think that pushing potty training before a little one is ready can make it not only harder to potty train, but can cause problems with them holding it in which is no bueno for the bladder or well, the other end.  But what do you do when all of your gentle encouragement has been less than encouraging.

We have had a potty in our bathroom for almost a year.  We ask often if he wants to use the potty, and the answer is always an emphatic NO.  We have gotten several potty books.  We switched to pull-ups from diapers so he can start being more involved in changing diapers and learn how to pull his pants up and down by himself when he needs to go.  None of these have seemed to encourage any use of the potty.

We have changed diapers.  Natural and eco-friendly has gone out the window, yet even the fully chemical variety has failed to be successful.  So we are gently, subtly upping the ante.

I ordered three more books about potty training on Amazon.  Check out our favorites HERE.

I ordered a Sesame Street “potty rewards” poster that allows him to put a sticker on the calendar every time he tries to use the potty.

We got this “portable potty” just in case by some random stroke of luck he decides he wants to go when we aren’t at home.

We decided that for every 10 stickers he gets, he can pick out a new book (since he LOVES reading.)

We had a long talk about why he keeps waking up wet and how if we try to go potty every night before bed, then we won’t wake up with pee pee all over.

We ask ALL DAY LONG if he has to go. The answer is still ALWAYS no.

So where are we now?

He now tries to go potty every night before bed, and some nights is successful.  He still has zero interest in going any other time of day.  And sometimes, despite going before bed, he still wakes up SOAKING WET.

So now we wait.  And while we wait, we use this piddle pad in his car seat and stroller, and we continue our epic search for a toddler proof diaper for day and night. One that actually contains pee and a lot of it.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I will update you guys on where we stand periodically and wish you all luck in your own potty training journeys.  May it be a short and not so messy trip.

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