...I think I finally found a way to keep them in their beds! We are still in test mode so I am not yet positive that this is going to work but, so far, so good. It turned out to be pretty simple. I let them choose a small match-box sized car or truck to take with them to bed. If they get out of bed, I take their car/truck.
The interesting thing about this is that, when they get out of bed the first time, if I take the car/truck and keep it, they continue to get out of bed, regardless of the punishment. This happened during nap time a day or two ago. Tonight, I gave them a second chance. When B got out of bed, I took his truck. I waited outside of the door for a few minutes and, when he stayed in his bed, I went back in, told them both that they were doing a good job of staying in their beds and gave B back his truck. This time, they stayed in their beds! Yay!! Hopefully I have finally found the key. We'll see. I'm not convinced yet because there are just too many things where you try something and it works for the first time or two and then behavior changes again and you have to come up with another solution. So, we'll see.
I think I forgot to mention that N no longer sucks his thumb. Isn't that great? The only thing we did was keep a bandaid on his thumb for a couple of weeks and, voila!, he is no longer a thumb sucker. We ended up taking this approach because he had cut his thumb on something while playing outside and it was getting infected due to his thumb sucking. So we started out doing this because he needed it and then we just kept it up because it was keeping him from sucking his thumb. Our dentist had told us that his thumb sucking was starting to cause his front teeth to shift outward so it was best to stop it now. We stopped using the bandaids about a week ago and N has not started sucking his thumb again, so I think we are done with that now. Yay!
An interesting aside on the thumb sucking story. When N was a thumb sucker, he always fell asleep very quickly at nap and night times and B would lie awake, talking to himself and playing. Now that N is no longer a thumb sucker, he is usually the last one asleep and I hear him on the monitor, talking to himself and singing songs. And N is pretty much always the first one awake in the morning.
The other good news for today is that, again, Ben went the whole day without one accident. He always told us when he needed to go to the bathroom. Nick had two accidents, one of each kind:), so I still have a little work to do with him but, overall, I think they are both doing great. We even made a trip out of the house today to go to Home Depot and the boys made it just fine. It was very obvious to me that they were both able to go much longer between bathroom trips today, which was a relief. Today seemed almost normal, with the exception of no more diaper changes and with me still giving occasional reminders to them to tell me if they need to go to the bathroom. The other exception was that we decided not to take them to church today, as I didn't want to put them in pull ups during the day because I think it would confuse them and it is too soon to put them in that kind of environment. Hopefully next week, we will be all set. We are also very low on groceries, since I have basically stayed home since I started potty training. We definitely have to get out to the grocery store tomorrow.
If you are contemplating potty training and you are like me and have no idea on how to go about it, I highly recommend the website / ebook at www.3daypottytraining.com. My case was a bit different than the normal case, since I was training two children at the same time by myself. So I expected it to take a little longer than 3 days and I chose not to do nap and night time, since I was pretty much doing it on my own. I needed my rest during nap times and my sleep at night during this extra focused attention time of potty training. It has been exhausting but I think we are on the down hill side of things now. The money spent on the ebook at the above website was well worth it to me and you get email-mentoring to boot, which I also used and found reassuring. My friend with twin girls also used it and had good results. We both ended up feeling that it was a positive experience overall, for us and our kids. The positive part for us was that we spent so much one-on-one focused time with our kids. It was a very rewarding experience, from that perspective.
I think the kids have pretty much enjoyed the whole experience. We have a rule that they use the bathroom before going to bed and right after waking up. They sometimes don't like this rule, especially in the morning. So I get some objections on this one (especially from Ben) but then, as soon as they sit down, they start going and then they look up at me and smile and laugh through the little tears that were just getting started in their little eyes.
Well, the car/truck thing almost worked. They had gotten really quiet so I thought they were both asleep. I was in bed, typing away, and suddenly I heard "what's that?" and looked up to find Ben standing in my room pointing to the TV (I was half watching/listening to the news as I typed). I scolded him and took him back to his bed. He cried on the way up the stairs and woke up Nick who came running down the hall to see what was wrong. I put them both back in bed and it now sounds like they are both asleep (I hope!).
Nope, Ben was still not asleep. I heard the sound of a door closing over the monitor so I went up to check on the boys and saw a light going on and off under their door. I went in to find Ben standing in the doorway of their closet and turning the closet light on and off. Nick was sound asleep again. I sent Ben back to his bed again and again he cried and woke up Nick, who also started crying. It is now quiet again up there so I am hopeful that they are both asleep this time. Not sure why Ben is having so much trouble tonight because, as I mentioned above, he is normally the first one asleep these days.
The husband just finished putting down the heating system in the floor of our master bathroom. I guess he will be ready to start laying the tile tomorrow. He is really moving right along with this project, which is great because I am anxious to see how the new tile will look and I really want my bathroom back:).