Consistent and Persistent

By:  Abby Keane

We’ve been going through a lot of changes lately in our house.  Finn has not only given up his binkies, but is also now potty trained!  (Yes, that was a chorus of heavenly angels you just heard rejoicing in the background.)  Both of these activities took about three days for the majority of the change to happen, and another week or two to really be reinforced.

For giving up his binkies, we just started talking to Finn a few days before, telling him that the “Binky Fairy” was going to come and take his binkies and give them to other baby boys who needed them.  We may have also bribed him with the promise of some new Thomas the Tank Engine toys if he did good sleeping without the binkies.  On a Friday morning, we put the last binkies in a baggie, and put the baggie in the mailbox for the Binky Fairy to take away.  While Finn was gone that day, the binkies were replaced with a note from the Binky Fairy telling him what a big boy he is and thanking him for his binkies.  She also told him to remind Mommy and Daddy to take him Saturday morning to get more Thomas toys.

The first few nights were rough.  There were tears at bedtime, cries of “Binky, come back!”  But by the third night, the tears were minimal.  By the middle of the following week, he didn’t even ask anymore.  At dinner, he would tell us “No more binkies, I a big boy!”  It was so much easier than we expected!  As long as we were consistent – we kept reminding him that he was a big boy, he didn’t need the binkies, we were so proud of what a big boy he was, etc. – and persistent – we didn’t allow ourselves to be swayed by tears, a little bit of lost sleep, or his persistence that he needed a binky.

Even after the surprising ease of getting rid of the binky, we were still afraid of potty training.  My husband had heard good things about the “Three Day Potty Training” method, so we waited for a long weekend, bought the e-book, and prepared as best we could.  It was a long few days.  The first day was split evenly between actually making it to the potty and having accidents.  The second day improved quite a bit, but was still exhausting.  The morning of the third day, it was like something finally clicked with him, and he was able to start accurately telling us when he needed to go.

Once that happened, I realized that, once again, the most important factors in our success were consistence and persistence.  I also realized that the rewards are at least as important for the parents as the kids.  We let Finn pick a sticker each time he successfully used the potty, and he put them on a sheet of paper.  He like the reward, and on the second day, when he had as many stickers by lunch as he had gotten the entire first day, we knew that things were improving, though it may not have felt like it.

We now have a big boy in our house.  He sleeps without a binky, and pees in the potty.  Grabbing his little tushie now yields a handful of tushie instead of a soft diaper bum.  As much joy as it brings me to see him successfully passing these milestones, it is definitely bittersweet, especially as not only is he getting so big, but we are preparing for Eamon to turn one in just three weeks!  When did my babies turn into little boys?

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