Day one was pretty successful by the end. Alethia had no accidents once she woke up from naptime. Caleb only got pee pee in the potty twice, but at least he got to experience success and get rewarded. So we were well on our way!!!
On Sunday we did the same thing. We skipped church to focus on training and Alehtia didn't have any accidents! One time I asked if she needed to use the potty and she said, "Mommy, I'll tell you when pee pee's comin." Well, yes Ma'am!
Now, here's where the TWIN part comes in. I didn't have a chance to talk to any mothers of twins before we embarked on this journey, so we figured we'd just try to wing it as we went along. Well, poor Caleb was part of our "winging it"!!
With Alethia having success and going every 30 minutes, our focus shifted to trying to get Caleb some success so that he was excited about it. The problem we ran into is this: Caleb goes to the bathroom much fewer times in a day than Alethia. She just tends to drink a lot and go a lot and he doesn't. So we were putting her on every 30 minutes and she'd get some out everytime almost. But Caleb didn't. If we set the timer for 15 minutes later he'd have an accident before the timer beeped. So then we started setting the timer for 10 minutes after one of our 30 minute tries of sitting on the potty with no results. But he'd still have an accident. We'd watch him constantly but man that pee pee comes out quick, we just couldn't get him there on time.
So he started to get frustrated with having to sit on his potty every 10 minutes, having accidents, not getting any reward, and watching Alethia get praise and dancing and M&Ms everytime she sat on the potty. He wasn't interested in it enough to want to stop playing to sit on the potty so he started having temper tantrums every time the timer beeped and it was time to try again. We'd eventually get him on the potty and read our book but when he had no results he'd have another temper tantrum because he didn't want to get OFF the potty without putting pee pee in it! However, if we tried reading more books or giving him a longer time on the potty the pee pee STILL didn't come out even after over 20 minutes of sitting on the potty. We knew we had to get him off it eventually, so when we'd take a stand and make him stand up and put his underpants back on as soon as he'd finally stop yelling and screaming, he'd have another accident on the floor! Man!! We just kept missing it and felt like there was no way to "catch" it on the potty!
Now Chris was watching all of this and he is VERY VERY good with Caleb. You've heard of a "horse whisperer", well he's a "Caleb whisperer." So after having the same results on Monday, he said, "Suz, he's just got stage fright. It happens with guys. He's got you, Alethia, me, and Amanda all waiting for his pee pee to come out on the potty and he just can't do it. That's why it comes out as soon as he leaves the bathroom, the pressure is off." BRILLIANT!!
So Chris suggested we stop completely with Caleb. Don't even mention the potty to him. If he wants to sit on the potty on his own that's fine, but we wouldn't ask him all day or say anything about it. So Tuesday morning when they woke up we had Alethia sit on the potty but Caleb just came in and said hi to Daddy. I brought out his blue tractor pull-ups (we'd been using them at naptime anyway) and told him that today he got to wear his pull-ups all day!!! YAY!! He didn't buy it. He wanted his underpants!! So, we put the underpants on and convinced him to put the pull-ups over top of the underpants. He was fine with that and had a happy, relaxed morning. Around lunchtime Daddy took Caleb on a date and they went to the cafe on campus. Caleb got to choose some ice cream and Daddy was going to just get some for him as a special treat, but Caleb insisted on getting some for Alethia too. And he didn't want to eat his until he got home so that he could eat it with Alethia! He sure does love his sister!! But all in all, we got back our happy, relaxed Caleb. He didn't mention to potty all day and that was fine with us!!
The rest of the week has been more of the same. Each day we made a progression with Alethia. First we added pants over her underpants. The next day we tried going outside to play immediately after she had gone pee pee. And she's had maybe 3 accidents since Saturday!!! She's cruising right along. We do have to ask her to go when it's been longer than 1 hour but otherwise she tells us!
Caleb has also had a good week, choosing to sit on the potty every now and then when Alethia is sitting on it and occasionally he's had some success. But today, he started to say, "pee pee's comin!" and he only had ONE accident all morning. Every other trip to the potty has been met with pee pee!!!! So, he's getting the hang of it watching her and doing it in his own timing!! He still wears his underpants and pull-ups but that's OK for Chris and I when we see that he's still learning, it's just in a different way than his sister and he doesn't seem frustrated anymore or seem to feel a pressure to succeed.
SO THIS HAS BEEN OUR TWIN POTTY TRAINING EXPERIENCE!!!!
In a lot of ways it wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be. Raising twins is always different than raising one or several at different ages, but parenting in general is always filled with problem-solving and learning. I'm just thankful for my precious Caleb and Alethia!! I'm thankful for their similarities and for their differences!! And I'm thankful that God made them the way that He did. I just pray that they continue to love and cherish each other and God as they grow!! What a precious gift they are to me and I wouldn't want it any other way!!!