My three year old is finally potty trained.
I’m so excited I just don’t even know what to do with myself!
Potty training has been a hell of an ordeal- quite possibly my biggest motherhood challenge to-date.
Frustratingly, my daughter got the hang of it and knew what a potty was, as well as its proper use pretty early- the problem lay in getting her to utilize it consistently.
The whole thing was a game for her. She’d wake up one day proclaiming, “Mommy, I am not your baby anymore” which meant she was going to go pee pee on the potty. She’d do a great job- for days at a time- and just when I was beginning to breathe that sigh of relief, and dare to hope I would never have to buy any more diapers, she’d change her mind.
Suddenly she’d announce, “I’m your baby now”… and promptly pee all over herself.
I’d throw my hands in the air, grit my teeth, clean up the mess and yank my child into yet another pair of pull-ups.
This had been going on for the better part of six months, and has been absolutely maddening. I’ve tried everything from positive reinforcement to desperately pleading with her, to all-out bribery. Once, I bought her a package of Dora the Explorer undies and told her that she cannot go pee pee on Dora- or else Dora will be very sad and cry. My daughter didn’t believe me, and set out to prove me wrong. After immediately peeing all over Dora, she looked at me and said, “See Mom? Dora’s not crying”.
I was becoming a bit unhinged over this, and at her most recent checkup begged her pediatrician for some guidance. There’s gotta be a pill or something they can prescribe to make a kid suddenly want to use the damn toilet, right?
Further, I’m doubtful the woman has any children of her own.
After doing a horrible job of hiding her amusement at my child’s thriving manipulation skills, the doc’s advice was to merely be patient. She told me the worst thing I could do is rush my daughter or discipline her for having an accident.
“Children have their own priorities and she will decide in her own time whether or not she’s ready”.
Times are tough, and diapers are expensive. If she can manage to be a “big girl” for days at a time then she’s smart enough to do it consistently- and permanently.
I’m on a budget, dammit!
So last week I sat my daughter down and very calmly told her in no uncertain terms that effective immediately, she is now potty trained.
There may even have been a threat involved… but regardless, I am happy to report that she got the message loud and clear.
Now, several days later, my daughter has been in nothing but big-girl panties, and has had zero accidents.
She’s even managed to make it through the nights without any mishaps, and we have successfully maneuvered more than one trip outside of the home.
I must say I am quite satisfied with myself.
I do realize now that I’ve recorded my ordeal, etching it permanently in cyberspace, I’ve probably just jinxed myself.
Oh well. At least she’s headed to her dad’s house for the upcoming week…