Friday, June 20, 2014

And now, potty training

Potty training, potty learning, potty my-child-shall-choose-when-to-exercise-his-or-her-right-to-bowel-control, whatever you want to call it. It is happening here.

Actually, I think Strawberry was ready to start using the potty shortly before her second birthday. Unfortunately, that was when I was nine months pregnant and pissy 23.5 hours out of the day. I just didn't have the time or patience to try reading her signals and getting her to go potty, but for the sake of giving her something novel to do while I myself was in the bathroom (quite often, in that last month of pregnancy), we picked her up this Fisher Price Potty:

Yeah, I know. It's a little creepy. But it was cheap and I thought she'd like the handle that let her "flush" the potty. We solved the creep factor by rubbing the face off with rubbing alcohol and a washcloth so now it looks a little more like a real toilet and less like the soul of a cartoon character trapped in a plastic child's potty for all eternity.

Puppy was born. A couple of months passed. I drowned in the piles of laundry that two fully cloth diapered children generate. One day I said, "No more diapers!" and let Strawberry run around diaperless for a week. We had a lot of accidents. She sensed the creep of the small potty, even though we had scrubbed the face off. Finally, I got a seat that just goes on the regular toilet and began plopping her on there every hour. It worked! Within a couple of days she was holding her pee until we could get her on the "big potty."

Of course, the problem with this was...she couldn't get up on the potty on her own. We shoved a stool in front, but she just didn't have the coordination to remove her training pants, climb the stool, turn around and sit down properly on the seat, all while holding her bladder. So for a couple of months we just plopped her on the big potty once every couple of hours. It sucked, and she'd have accidents when we forgot to put on her on in time because we were watching episodes of Downton Abbey busy doing other housework, but it was better than being overrun by several cotton fields' worth of cloth diapers every time I did laundry.

One day, we were preparing to head to the grocery store, which takes quite a bit of preparation when multiple young children are involved. The kids were playing on the bed and I was fixing my hair in the bathroom when out of nowhere, Strawberry came running in, her hands yanking at the elastic of her training pants.

I taught preschool long enough to realize what was going on and react instinctively, even though what she was doing hadn't quite sunk in yet. I reached over and helped yank down Strawberry's trainers, and she flung herself onto the dusty, neglected little Fisher Price potty and she peed!

I praised her greatly. I gave her a bunch of M&Ms. I said we'd tell Daddy as soon as he got home. I have no idea what spurned her to suddenly go potty on her own but I'm thrilled. Potty training really does come on its own time!

And now to hope for no regressions. Ever.

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