Weaning was pretty effortless. Improving nighttime sleep hasn't really involved that much input from us ... though I gotta say, I'm still not loving the naplessness. The worst is when he does nap on one day, because of having been in the car at the wrong time or having had a bad night's sleep, and that sets off a cycle of sleeping badly at night, wanting a nap the next day, and sleeping badly the next night. The only way to break the cycle is to deal with a tired, cranky toddler who is trying to fall asleep across your lap all afternoon. But other than that, we've been getting pretty steady improvement without a ton of work.
Potty training is another story.
The first few days were great. Sometimes Marko would go in the potty. We'd all cheer. Sometimes he'd go on the floor, and we'd mop it up. Either way, no biggie.
But it's been over a week now and I just feel so frustrated. Not that we're not making progress, because we are. But I just don't know where to go from here to make sure we keep making progress. I watch Marko like a hawk to guess when he might need to go. I keep track of when he last went. I lure him onto the potty and keep him there by reading endless books. Often it works. Sometimes it works unexpectedly -- like yesterday when he zipped over there all by himself and went without saying a word -- and I feel so proud! But sometimes, he inexplicably does not go in the potty, and five minutes later goes on the floor. And I have no idea why.
I just want to yell, "What the heck, kid? An hour ago you took yourself to the potty and I didn't even need to do a thing till you asked me to dump it out! And now you're randomly peeing next to the potty and telling me to clean it up!"
Scheduling was working really well for awhile there. I'd just put him down every hour, and he'd usually go. But then it suddenly changes partway through the day. He goes two hours without going, then goes, then goes again 15 minutes later. It just feels like there's no rhyme or reason to it sometimes.
I just don't know how to get from "willing and motivated to go on the potty" to "willing and motivated NOT to go anywhere else." I don't want to punish him for having accidents. But I don't think he really thinks it's important not to go on the floor. He's quite happy to help me clean up. But I think my little talk of, "When you need to pee, you go on the potty ONLY, never on the floor" is going in one ear and out the other as he answers "Marko pee on the floor! Clean it up!"
I remember being at this stage with the dog, too. And eventually, he did get it. I can't say what specific thing I did to seal the deal on potty-training the dog. I just kept taking him out often, staying out till he went, taking him out immediately if I saw him starting to go ... and eventually he got it. Without even any M&Ms. But it did take awhile and maybe I've just got to have more patience.
The really frustrating part is that I don't want to go anywhere while we're working on this, for fear that putting him in a diaper will just confuse him and cause us to lose all our progress. But we can't stay home forever, either. Some people tell me I must never put him in a diaper while we're potty training, and others say it makes no difference. I do know that he was totally clueless all of Sunday evening, after having been in a diaper for church. But the previous time he was in a diaper for half the day, the other half he was just fine and only had one accident. I don't know what to make of that.
I'm trying to work on deep breaths and not freaking out. After all, I've been putting up with occasional, or more than occasional, pee on the floor for months. He's finally doing it less and my life is getting easier. Would it be the end of the world to stay at this stage for a month or more? No, it wouldn't. There is no deadline. We'll be okay. If we get too fed up, we can always stick him back in diapers and try again when he's three. I'm sure he'll be out of diapers before college. I repeat these things to myself many times.
Please tell me they are true. Also, if you have potty trained a child successfully, I'd like to hear how you did it, how long it took, and whether you were super frustrated too!