Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Frankie Is Still A Baby or The Potty Training Story

I couldn't really decide on a name for this blog entry. I've also had a really hard time finding the right angle to post our most recent adventure with Frankie.

The truth is that potty training, "cold turkey style" (pull ups out and underwear only), has been a different and trying experience for everyone in this family but mostly for the incumbent, Frankie, also known as Rudolph, Santa, Candy Cane, Frosty, Lolly Pop and lately "Baby Bear." He is taking on every make-believe personality he can just to stay away from being "Frankie," a.k.a., the boy who needs to grow up and stop using pull ups. Mr. Multiple Personality is trying to be slick and has decided that wearing underwear is not for him, although it implies being a big boy, usually his ultimate goal following on the steps of big brother Victor. This time, Frankie is choosing to remain a baby. I tend to believe it has been the "hard work" involved in using the potty that has convinced him not to grow up, at least for now....but then again, who wants to? I know, I don't, and I am pretty sure most of you don't want to do it either! Today marks a week of the beginning of our "intensive potty training," three-day extravaganza, which we were able to pull off with the help of our lovely elves from the UW Autism Center. After the party was over, the weekend was crazy and this week has proven to be no less than insane so far. The three-day stuff was intense but it was also fun; we played tons of games and enjoyed the holiday season together...movies, pizza, stories and of course accidents but most of all, we really enjoyed helping Frankie take the next step in his growing process.

One big helper in the potty training this week and the reason why Frankie is now "baby bear" instead of just "baby," has been "Big Mama Bear" (see above slide show). Mama Bear is busy using the potty, besides doing some cross dressing on the side (wearing Frankie's underwear). She also has an incontinence problem (needs to go all the time) AND is dealing with constipation (ALWAYS trying to do #2) so she spends all day on the potty. Frankie is responding pretty well to sharing the bathroom with Mama Bear and I think we are getting close to accomplishing our ultimate goal! The big red bin full of goodies is working out great for positive reinforcement and avoiding accidents but we've had to resort to the heavy duty stuff to inspire Frankie to do more: WALL-E toys/movie, along with some help from the Monsters Inc. boys.

Frankie's potty training is still a work in progress so we can't really say we are all done yet. Incidentally, it just crossed my mind that we, as adults, are rarely ever done growing, adjusting and/or evolving - we are always dealing with some sort of training, emotional or physical, at one point or the other. Frankie's choice to remain a baby, human or cub, does not seem like such a crazy idea after all when you realize how much easier it is to say NO to change than conquering your fears. In the end, it is all better when it's all done!

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