Potty training is like sky diving. Or how I imagine sky diving would be…scary, intimidating, anxiety inducing. You watch other people do it and survive and you think “ok, I can do this” as you inch a little closer to the unavoidable edge. Then you just jump, fingers crossed you survive.
I dreaded potty training. It sounded miserable. Spending every waking moment watching her every move and anticipating her bodily functions? Using the word “potty” no less than a thousand times a day? I cringed. As my friends braved the trenches I tried to pick up tips from their experiences. I knew the general rule is to wait until the kids show signs of readiness. But what the heck does that mean? Leia wasn’t telling me when she would go, she didn’t wake up dry in the mornings. It was all so confusing. My main reason for procrastinating? I didn’t want to give up the convenience of diapers. I wasn’t ready to hear “mommy I have to pee!” then frantically drop everything and rush to the nearest bathroom.
My car broke over Thanksgiving. Knowing I would be home bound for several days, it seemed like the perfect time to face my fears. I didn’t follow a specific method, and tried to keep low expectations. I let Leia run around half naked and followed her around with a small plastic toilet all freaking day and night. There were lots of accidents. I was exhausted, and felt defeated. When she peed in the toilet for the first time I was beyond excited! I clapped and cheered and hugged her…I was so enthusiastic it scared Leia into tears. Days passed and eventually going in the potty clicked. She started having fewer and fewer accidents.
Nearly two months later I feel totally confident in saying my child is potty trained. No accidents in weeks. She can hold it if I tell her we need to wait to find a bathroom. I put her in pull ups for naps and bed, but they are consistently dry. The only time in the last month she woke up wet was the one time she didn’t wear a pull-up…figures. She’s been going by herself more often, especially if I’m busy in the kitchen or taking shower. Sometimes she announces her stuffed animals have to potty. She takes them to the bathroom, shuts the door, and all I hear is a flush before she comes out again. I’m sorry fragile planet for the water she’s wasting, it’s a temporary fascination.
True story…it’s 11pm as I’m writing this (or it was yesterday when I was writing this…not when I published it) and she just woke up and came into the living room to tell me she had to pee. I went with her, then carried her back to bed. She fell back asleep right away. Who is a proud mom? This lady!
So we survived potty training. Stopping to find a bathroom when she needs to go isn’t as impossible as I feared. I love not using diapers. That said, it was definitely the hardest parenting task I’ve tackled so far. I realize potty training will seem like a piece of cake compared to the parenting challenges as she gets older, just let me have my moment!
After the first few weeks it wasn’t as terrible as I expected. See? It’s exactly like skydiving. Once your feet hit the ground you feel like a bad ass and it wasn’t that scary.