By Rachel Steele | Category: Pursuing God, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sometimes I feel like a toddler in potty-training. I’m gently guided and directed again and again, day after day, with positive reinforcements only to poop in my pants once again. I forget that a toilet even exists, that a huge M&M jar awaits my successes, and I start whining and throwing tantrums about the excretions I’m sitting in.
Lately, my prayers have been to “see as He sees” and “hear as He hears”. God has been faithful to answer my prayers, and he has shown me that my human nature produces a continual dependant state of potty-training. Just when I think I’ve finally graduated to training pants, a change or stressor comes my way and I’m best pals with the Pampers again.
I remember the daunting task of potty-training my oldest son. It literally took an entire year. In the morning I would put him in “big boy” underwear and I would cheer for him and sing potty songs with a huge cheesy smile and have parties with cookies and candies and peruse through Toys R’ Us catalogs for the perfect “fully potty-trained” toy. By the evening, I would be washing and scrubbing that “big boy” underwear. Frustrated and on my last nerve, I stashed away the cookies and candies and slammed the toy catalog closed. I tried EVERYTHING! It was beyond me why after so much coaching and instruction, it was just not sinking in. It was a mentally and physically exhausting time for both of us and there were days that we were both in tears.
I think about how God has to potty-train us, not just a few years, but our entire lives! Whereas we get to the end of our rope and respond in frustration, annoyance, and irritation, His response is always patience, love, and acceptance. The cookies and candies remain on the table for the taking and the toy catalogs are open right where we left off, available for us to pick up and continue whenever we choose. Not once does he ever refuse to clean us up, or tell us we stink. He has a never ending supply of wipes and diaper rash cream, all of which he has paid for out of pocket, but continues to distribute among his children free of charge. It is called potty-training, not potty-reprimand, potty-chastise, potty-rebuke, or potty-vengeance. It is training; it is time invested in someone that is indispensable. You take time to train someone that you have confidence will eventually be able to skillfully carry out the tasks without constant reminders.
I hope that someday I will not have to be reminded that I “gotta go”, but that I will automatically recall how to “see as He sees” and “hear as He hears”. God doesn’t always answer my prayers the way I believe to be the best option, but he does answer them. He doesn’t always provide the easiest way. If he did, I’d still be sitting in my own waste waiting for someone to come by and change me! To see and hear as He does, takes a whole lot of time, continual training, and heaps of grace for a prodigal pooper like myself.
I laughed when I envisioned a heaven full of chatty MOPS groups on puffy clouds, eating heaping bowls of delectable chocolates, delighting in their wings and wonderfully dry “big girl” panties!
By Heather Ledeboer | Category: The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Sunday, December 12, 2010
Just shy of two months ago, the “pee alarm” was passed from Ashlyn to Hunter. I have been waiting SEVEN weeks to type this post and boy am I thrilled to be doing it now!
Hunter has graduated from the pee alarm!
We are now big-kid diaper free!
To celebrate, Hunter and Ashlyn are enjoying a night together in Hunter’s bunk beds. My celebration was packing away the sleeping bag and mini camping mattress from the foot of our bed where Hunter has been sleeping for the past several weeks. You see, after the first month, it occurred to us that it would be easier to wash a small child’s sleeping bag and replace it with another one (we have two) than to strip a bed of sheets or mess with towels each night AND it would be easier to get up and move 10 feet to help him during the night than to go across the house to his room. All these little tricks of the trade that you pick up in pee alarm boot camp!
So my final review of the alarm after using it with Ashlyn and Hunter: although it can take a long time to work and it is a bit pricy, (click here to find the bedwetting alarm on Amazon) IT IS SO WORTH IT! One thing that did surprise Trent and I was that the kids actually started learning to sleep through the night more often than getting up to go the bathroom. We anticipated that the alarm would simply help them learn to wake before going the bathroom (and they do that on occasion) but more often they are simply sleeping though the night. So somehow their bodies have learned how to hold it. I can’t figure out the science of it but hey, a dry night=a happy mom so that is all I am going to focus on!
Although admittedly tempting, we are going to restrain ourselves from passing it on to Quintet just yet. Although I did just remember that it had crossed my mind to try EC’ing (Elimination Communication) after he was born. Guess I forgot. . . oh and if you don’t know what EC’ing is, do a google search. But I will warn you, your eyes just might pop out of your head (just a fair warning). Have any of you done EC? If so, leave a comment about it, I would love to hear.
Maybe I will give it a go with our next baby (for those of you occasional readers, you can catch up on that part of our family life here).
By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Family Focus, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010
We now have a graduate!
Just a little less than a month ago Ashlyn began the “pee alarm” adventure with the goal of training her brain to wake up her body during the night BEFORE having an accident in her bed. After having a week of dry nights and seeing regular successful midnight bathroom trips, she has proudly removed the alarm and passed it on to her brother.
He has enthusiastically taken on the responsibility.
(Ashlyn looks slightly apprehensive)
We will see if he remains as enthusaistic when abruptly awoken for the first time. . .
I will keep you updated with our progress.
By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Family Focus, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I have officially had it with wet nights. Every morning Quinten wakes up with a ripe poopy diaper (and usually clothes). Oh well, he’s only one, what can I expect? BUT his older siblings. . . well lets just say (hypothetically of course cause that wouldn’t be fair to have this on their public permanent record) that they are creating extra laundry for me each morning too.
I thought I had heard of every potty training aid out there but I couldn’t have been more wrong. No one had ever breathed a single word to be about the . . . “pee alarm.”
What?! You haven’t heard of it either? Well oh uninformed one, let me enlighten you!
The pee alarm (see photo above–oh and also note Ashlyn’s adorable collection of “retired” WubbaNubs which have had ‘surgery’ to remove their Soothie pacifier) is a device that is affixed to your child’s clothing. The red squarish portion has a large diaper pin on the back which allows you to attach it to their shirt. The other end is a small clip that you clamp onto the front of their panties (or underwear). These two parts are connected by a cord that is long enough to allow the panties to be pulled down to go potty but still remain attached however, they can be detached in the case of an “accident” (which I will discuss below).
The point of the alarm is to wake up your child as soon as they begin to go the bathroom helping their brain to begin to retrain itself to recognize the feeling of needing to go the bathroom with the need to wake up. Once the alarm signals the child is then led (not carried) to the bathroom by the lucky parent who is “on shift” that night (we take turns in our home) and given the chance to finish what they started in the toilet. After this, the clip end of the alarm is rinsed out under water and fully dried.
Then comes the laundry–new panties, new pajamas and new bedding, re-affix the alarm and then back to bed! The tub has become our “pee” hamper holding all the night time soils and awaiting the morning trip to the washing machine.
After a few nights I got smart and realized that we should forgo the “modern bedding” and simply use towels for the time being. (By the way, do you like my $3 bed canopy yard sale find?)
Our pee alarm journey began just over a week ago. I am told that it can take several weeks to fully retrain the brain to wake up on its own when it is time to go potty. I am cautiously optimistic because the last two nights Ashlyn woke up dry, but we are holding out for a longer track record before she officially graduates from the alarm (it can’t be that easy, nothing ever is). The wonderful friends that are loaning us this pee alarm have boasted of its success for several families that have used it. We can’t wait to add our names to the list and begin the process again with child #2. I will be sure to share with you when we reach that milestone so that the celebration can be shared on a wider scale.
Oh, I almost forgot. In case some of you are crazy enough curious enough to want to consider this alarm for your child, you can find this bedwetting alarm here on Amazon. It isn’t cheep but neither are diapers and for moms who have HAD ENOUGH it just might be worth the try ! I noticed the Amazon reviews are pretty glowing and if it was only mom invented I would likely carry it on Mom 4 Life !
Do tell: Have any of you used a bed-wetting alarm? Had you even heard of one (maybe you all have and I was just somehow in the dark)? Anyone else struggling with getting your older child(ren) to stay dry though the night?