I scrapped the whole potty present plan.
I wasn't spending any more time at night wrapping up those stupid little presents. He already knew what was in each wrapper, and he'd already lost all interest in 27 of those 28 toys. And I wasn't about to go buy more.
This was about the same time that morning sickness hit hard. I was too tired and nauseous to care. When he pooped and it was a bad poop, I'd just march him off to the shower and spray him off. It was the easiest thing to do, and sometimes the only real solution so that I didn't have my own vomit to clean up. You know? We'd hit survival mode pretty hard.
But, a few weeks ago -a month after his third birthday- we decided to try a new tactic. We went and let him pick out a toy from Target. He chose a little tyke's truck. We have it sitting in our dining room, in the box, where he can see it everyday. I drew 10 little circles on it, explained approximately 12,000 times that he will get a sticker for every day he can put all his poops and potty in the toilet. When all those little circles have stickers he can drive his truck. He explained it over skype to grandma so I knew he got it.
And still about 50% of the time, he just wouldn't leave his show or his toys or whatever he was doing to take himself to the toilet.
Hubs and I talked it over and about 10 days ago we decided positive re-enforcement and praise and bribery... these things don't work for our son. Not when it comes to this anyway. So we turned to punishment.
Now, when he has an accident we take away whatever it was that was more important that getting up and going potty. He's too busy playing with his trains and pees on my floor? No more trains. He's too busy driving his pirate ship around the living room? No more pirate ship.
I've also turned the TV off. After his undies go on in the morning, he does not get to watch any shows unless he puts a poop in the potty. He can watch one show every time he poops. Guess who hasn't once put a poop in his pants since? Guess who can make himself squeeze out four poops in a day, just so he can watch Curious George?
About 10 days ago he had one lonely sticker on that box. The sticker he got the day we bought "the ultimate potty training bribe." Today he is only 2 stickers short of earning that truck. And so far so for good today!
I feel like we're at the end of a dark and miserable tunnel. I can see the light ahead and we're almost, almost there!! Hubs and I are high-fiving and happy dancing over here.
Potty training this boy has been nothing but misery!