And the book of the week at our house is... !
Yes, we have entered into a new world of potty training! Just like Joshua in the book sat and sat and sat and sat on his potty, Calvin has been doing some sitting and sitting and sitting on his and we, his parents, have sat and sat and sat with him. We're using an approach from the book Oh Crap. Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki which we heard about through our friend Rachel who had only good things to say about it after using it as a guide to potty train her son about a year ago.
I read the book and I think it is awesome and I think Jamie Glowacki is awesome. I didn't bother reading any other potty training books or asking for other potty training advice. The way she lays it out and the way she talks about parenting in general resonates with me and with James so we like it, we went with it and we'd recommend it. Basically you start by watching your kid very closely to learn his "tell" or sign that pee or poop is coming so that you can help prompt him to use the potty even before he is able to initiate going to the potty. Then eventually the kid goes from having no clue that he is even peeing to being able to tell the feeling of needing to go and knowing what to do about it (with some steps in between, of course). The book has lots of really helpful information and tips and it's all written in a very honest, down-to-earth tone.
It's been 6 days and we are not accident-free, but The Bean is doing great and I fully believe that he is getting it and that the bumps we're hitting will smooth out. He generally tell when he needs to go and he definitely tries to make it - he just doesn't always quite get there! The first two days were so. hard. I did not expect my own feelings about the process in the beginning. I did not think I was going to panic when he didn't pick it up as quickly as I'd hoped and I definitely didn't think it was going to make me feel so insecure about my ability as a parent! The thing about the Oh Crap book is that it says very clearly that the secret to potty training is the parents. Meaning that parents really have to be committed to the process and mindful of how they are playing their role in potty training. Which I took to mean that if things are not perfect it is all my fault. And it kind of is... but in a very I'm only human way, so I am reminding myself that he and I are both learning and its ok if we both need a little longer to get the hang of things. It just means more time and more laundry. And the occasional floor clean up.
Rachel's son had picked it up really quickly and I really put pressure on myself because I felt that they were a tough act to follow. I didn't want it to be like "oh well, Calvin's special so of course he took longer to figure it out..." Even if... in a way... that is true. But it's not because he is special. I don't think it has to do with 22Q or developmental delay or his age. He just takes his time to take things in. He's always been that way. He may be brave enough to slide the big slides with the big kids but he is not reckless, in fact he's very thoughtful and even cautious. To stick with the slides example, we didn't explicitly teach him to slide the way he does - on his belly, feet first. He started doing that on his own, presumably because it feels safer. He's a smart little cookie, he just takes it slow to get it right. And like I said, it's really more about me getting the hang of how to be there for him as he's learning this weird new thing.
On top of learning to use the potty, our big boy has also been saying more words! It's tough to understand him, because he leaves out most consonants, especially initial consonants, but he's definitely talking more. He's saying inside and outside, owl (which is easy because there are no hard consonants!), jump, up, and out. He will also randomly say or repeat other words, but those are the ones he's pretty consistent with. The ball is rolling very slowly on getting him started with speech therapy (we got bogged down when our regional center case worker left and we are now working with an interim case worker), and he's definitely going to need it, but he's already making some progress on his own.
I remember that in February and March last year, Calvin went through this crazy awesome development burst where he learned to scoot, commando crawl, sit himself up, then crawl on hands and knees all in the span of a few weeks. It felt like he wanted to catch up at the last minute before his first birthday. It feels a little like that now, like he's making a final sprint to his second birthday as if to show us all that he is indeed a big boy and he's more than ready to be two!