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September 24, 2006

Diaper Math, Part II (or What is the Probability my Twins will Ever get out of Diapers?)

Diapers I recently found out that Amazon is having a diaper promo -- buy $100 worth of Pampers products and get a $30 Amazon gift certificate.  $100 will buy me a total of 352 (4 boxes) of pullups.  At approximately 5 diapers per day per boy, that works out to about 35 days.  It looks like I'm going to be buying a lot of cd's soon because I'm going to be needing way more than a measly 35-day supply of diapers.  To my utter frustration, my twin sons (at 2 yrs, 9 months) are in no hurry to toilet train. 

I had it all planned.  I started seating them on the toilet occasionally a month or two after they turned 2, but I would start the process in earnest once they were 2 years and 4 months, just like with my oldest.  I hoped to get it done in about 1 month or so, just like she did -- ok maybe 2 months since there are 2 of them -- ok maybe 3 months since they are boys and everyone says it's harder to teach boys.  So by 2 years and 9 months, 10 months tops, we should be ok. 

Ha.  I don't know what I was thinking when I planned the twins' toilet training based on my daughter's developmental timetable.  Whatever I did with her, it isn't working with them.  As they say, every child is different, and my boys are just different from my daughter.  They began hopping, skipping and biking way earlier than she could, but I guess their bladders are just way behind hers.  There are personality differences, too:  when asked, my daughter would happily sit on the potty and read a book with me till something came out.  My sons will scream bloody murder if I make them sit and they don't want to.  Even when they decide to play along, if nothing comes out within the first 10 seconds of sitting on the potty, they get right back up again.  I can see them looking at me and thinking, why are you making me sit here when I clearly do not need to go?  With my daughter, the only motivation or reward needed was the promise of princess pullups and underpants.  I've tried motivating my boys with big boy pants, fancy pullups with Bob the Builder and Spiderman, even Skittles and M&M's.  But after a couple of days, the novelty seemed to wear off, and they forgot to ask for their reward (I guess I should be thankful that candies don't motivate them).

The other day, James stayed dry the whole morning, much to my delight.  Until I found the downstairs bathroom littered with his wet pullups.  He had been putting on new pullups every time he peed.  How do you toilet train a kid who changes his own diapers?

So regular visits to the potty don't seem to be working so far, and neither is bribery/rewards.  What next?  I need to start reading those books which promise to train your kids within a day or two or three.  Or should I just ease up and revisit the whole potty thing in a month or so?   I am not yet in panic mode; they are not yet 3, our preschool does not require potty training, and people do not yet steal glances are their backsides with a shocked "Still in Diapers??" look.  I'm still optimistic; something may click at any moment, and just like that, they will no longer need pullups.  It will probably happen the day after my Mega-shipment of pullups from Amazon arrives.