I waited a few days before posting this because I wanted to be sure this time, but I think I can safely say that Bitty is now officially potty-trained :). At age 4 1/2, it took him about a year longer than it took his brothers (they were about 3 1/2, finished potty training not long before Bitty was born), but the process was much less messy with him so I have no complaints. ;)
After he did his #2 business in the potty that one time, we hid the pull-ups. I admit I started to question that strategy when he got really upset and decided to hold it rather than use the potty. He figured out that he could wait until bedtime and use his bedtime pull-up (because he's not always dry at night so we always put a pull-up on at bedtime).
But it wasn't long before he got tired of having to wait and decided the potty wasn't so bad after all. That, and he decided our offers of chocolate made the effort worth it, even though that didn't work before.
So whenever he went, he'd come running running to tell us,
"You di' gwayjah poop-ah-da-paw-yee, you geh CHWOCWIT" (you did a great job pooping in the potty, you get chocolate."
That's quite a sentence, huh? He can do that when he's repeating something he's heard, and of course he was telling us what he expected us to say, hehe.
We did, in fact, reiterate what a great job he did and offer him a little chocolate (he's partial to the "red" chocolate, the plain Nestle mini's that come in a red wrapper).
In fact, for a little while there I thought he'd figured out how to "game the system" because he'd do a little bit of #2 in the potty, ask for a chocolate, and then do a little more and want another chocolate... like he was trying to spread out his business to maximize the chocolate, lol.
Anyway, I noticed that today he didn't ask for any chocolate, so I guess it's becoming "old hat" for him now :). He WAS pretty impressed with himself for waking up dry this morning though, and we haven't made a big deal out of that yet. His conversation with himself (heard while I was half-asleep because it was the crack of dawn) went something like this:
"Iss 'Bitty' weh o' dwy? 'Bitty' iss dwy!"
(yells loudly) "GWAY-JAH 'BITTY'!!!"
He is his own best cheerleader, it's so cute to see him cheering himself on :). Obviously he's internalizing what he hears, both from us and from his teachers at school, and it's great that he recognizes on his own when he did something good.
Anyway, so the next step, as he already decided on his own, is to work on staying dry all night. He still likes a cup of chocolate milk to help him relax at bedtime though so we're not going to push that one for now. It's not entirely realistic to expect him to stay dry at night until he's ready to give up the bedtime drink. Another goal for another day - for now I'm just enjoying the newfound freedom from pull-ups during the day :).
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