What I am telling you –

We are into week 3 of the protocol we received from Potty U. Thorin has become more and more and more successful. The tracking sheets they gave us are getting filled in by the Batman stickers he picked out.

The social worker may be a miracle worker.  At our only meeting so far she gave me some guidelines which included:

  • When asking him if he has to “go” he refuses don’t push it
  • If I really thought he had to “go” wait after his refusal approx. 10 – 15 minutes and say, “Let’s go to the bathroom.”
  • If he went after being brought to the bathroom use praise
  • If he went when he “initiated” go crazy with praise and a special treat
  • Accidents happened don’t make a big deal over it

She also read him a book about using the potty and had a stuffed animal turtle named Thomas go to the bathroom on a little toilet. (When I told Ward about Thomas I failed to mention he was a toy and Ward said, “How did she teach a turtle to poop on command?”)

This woman is confident and to the point. (She is what I imagine people in Montana being like.) When I asked if I should buy a book like hers and a turtle she said, “No, I already read it to him and he just saw Thomas poop.” (Less is more I am guessing.) When she explained to Thorin that he will “initiate” going to the potty I injected, “He doesn’t know the word initiate. Can he say “I have to go to the potty” instead?” Her response, “Too many words. He will learn what initiate means”. (Less is more, Lady!!! I get it!)

Since my post Sid Vicious (and his little dog, too) I have heard from more than a few people about their insights regarding us attending Potty U. My eighty year-old mother and her friend both shared something to the effect of, “They had never heard of such a thing. No one went to a school to learn how to potty train their child.”

Hey, something to think about as you fall off your pedestal – you drank and smoked throughout your pregnancy with me.

I had an acquaintance tell me she didn’t have to do anything special to get her children toilet trained.

My thought was, “That makes sense since nothing you do seems special to me.”

Another person asked if I “felt bad about having to get help”.

If asking for help made me feel bad I should get out the parent business. That statement is even truer if you have a child with special needs. Our family relies on the assistance of a multitude of professionals for Thorin to succeed.

Brene Brown, a researcher with an emphasis on vulnerability, notes that people who accept they need help and accept they will make mistakes tend to like themselves more. They have higher self-esteem than those that can’t accept imperfection. In case you haven’t noticed, I tend to like myself.

In the “About us” section of this blog are these words –

Our intention in writing about our son and our lives is to echo the words of Walt Whitman that our son lives every moment –

I exist as I am, that is enough.


This entry was posted in Adopting, Advocacy, By Notatypicalmom, Down syndrome, education, Parenting, Rants, Special Needs by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: kariwagnerpeck.com Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NotAlwaysHappyLive/ Email: kariwagnerpeck@gmail.com

8 thoughts on “What I am telling you –

  1. We used M&Ms as incentive. They worked. Also used Camper Barbie to get Rachie out of our bed. That worked, too. I’m not exactly proud of it but whatever works. That includes stickers, pooping turtle, and the occasional deeply unfashionable bribe.

  2. Just got approved to go to potty u! Guess there is a waiting list? Maybe u can share some suggestions with me? Would love to catch up w/ u guys! We need to take potty training to the next level, but our summer is so us being on a crazy schedule that poor Maggie has not had lots of home time! Let me know what your schedule is like? Hugs, amy

  3. Here’s a bit more of that Whitman quote. Appropriate much?
    I exist as I am, that is enough,
    If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
    And if each and all be aware I sit content.

    One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,
    And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten
    million years,
    I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.

    My foothold is tenon’d and mortis’d in granite,
    I laugh at what you call dissolution,
    And I know the amplitude of time.

    And here’s the part that comes before. So frickin Thorin:
    Who goes there? hankering, gross, mystical, nude;
    How is it I extract strength from the beef I eat?

    What is a man anyhow? what am I? what are you?

    All I mark as my own you shall offset it with your own,
    Else it were time lost listening to me.

    I do not snivel that snivel the world over,
    That months are vacuums and the ground but wallow and filth.

    Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids, conformity
    goes to the fourth-remov’d,
    I wear my hat as I please indoors or out.

    Why should I pray? why should I venerate and be ceremonious?

    Having pried through the strata, analyzed to a hair, counsel’d with
    doctors and calculated close,
    I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.

    In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barley-corn less,
    And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them.

    I know I am solid and sound,
    To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow,
    All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.

    I know I am deathless,
    I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter’s compass,
    I know I shall not pass like a child’s carlacue cut with a burnt
    stick at night.

    I know I am august,
    I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood,
    I see that the elementary laws never apologize,
    (I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by,
    after all.)

    • You and I connected from the beginning over our love of Uncle Walt. And – it is Thoirin and us and everyone.

  4. Kari, Anybody who criticizes you for getting help, OBVIOUSLY needs to get it. Loving every word of your blog. Betsy Dawkins

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