Oh, how should I start this? Is there a polite way to discuss the toilet and toddlers? I am going to say NO. My grandmother would have been appalled if she read this posting…Nana, EAR MUFFS ON!! L has reached the point where we are ready to save some money and have only one child in pampers instead of two. We began discussing going to the bathroom about 6 months ago. She would follow us in to the bathroom and stare at us wondering what was so interesting about this lone chair with no table next to it. She finally began peering through the sides and crevices to see what the noise was and other things too. This freaked J out. He felt violated and uncomfortable even though L was not paying attention to what was attached to him but more interested in why things were landing in there. I finally broke down and bought one of those little training toilets. Have you been to BUY BUY BABY and seen the wall of toddler toilets? OH MY GOSH! Unbelievable! We are too spoiled in America! A toilet that sits on the big toilet, a toilet that sings when liquid goes into it, a toilet without a lip (for boys I presume), a toilet that is white, black, blue, pink, purple. A toilet with Dora and then one with Thomas the Train. I was with my mother and we both just stared up at the tall wall covered with obnoxious potty’s. I was so in awe of this wall that I just picked the one within reach and walked away completely overwhelmed. Is there a good way to potty train versus a bad way? My sweet best friend sent me a manual on potty training and I was never able to read it because I can’t even finish reading a long text message at the end of the day without falling asleep. We were just going to figure it out as we went.
I brought our new blue and green potty home and made a huge deal about it. “Look L! How fun! A toilet just for you!” She thought it was a stepping stool. She thought it was a chair to read books on. She thought it held a few toys. I told her it was suppose to be in our bathroom just for her. That didn’t really entice her. I brought it into the kitchen area and told her she could use it here or there. Not impressed. If we did manage to get her to use it she would completely disrobe and just sit for a second and then stand up and clap and say “yay!” It was way more trouble than it was worth at this point. My mother in law would take L on occasions and seemed to have no problem getting her to use her facilities. L would say “Nana pee pee” and run to the bathroom. Not at our house. After months of constant laundry we finally went commando for a couple days. We let her roam free, if you will. Oh and don’t forget the M&M’s for bribery. I have heard stories about potty training boys and throwing fruit loops in for target practice, well at this house its all about the chocoalate. “Em-a-ems”, as L calls them. “Pee pee mama, em-a-ems?”, “Yes, L, M&M’s”. She began working the system, holding some back and telling us “mo” after she had downed a couple chocolates. We caught on pretty quick to her operation however we were pretty proud of her accomplishments. After washing what seemed like 500 pairs of Hello Kitty and My Little Pony underwear, she had finally mastered number one. On to number two.
Number two eluded us at first. It proved to be a more difficult task. I don’t know why she preferred to keep it in a diaper as opposed to dropping it off but it’s hard to rationalize with a two year old about why you don’t want that stuck to you. I think it scared her to part with it…gross. She made it more difficult on herself by holding it in for days and then basically losing 5 pounds. She was an opportunist, waiting until we would put her in a nighttime diaper and then casually leave the room to “get something” and unload. So frustrating! I would catch her and try to drag her to the bathroom to finish and she would squat on the floor and assume the position. Oh no! It wasn’t until we had family over one night that she wanted to venture onto the porcelain for a show. We have learned that our sweet, beautiful, L likes company…lots of company. AND, she likes to take her time. L doesn’t just do a symphony; she does a 45 minute movement. Compare it to Mozart if you will. She wants you to come and sit down next to her, maybe sing a few rounds of “The Wheels on the Bus”, or “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. But if its time to push she will stick her hand up in front of her like a stop sign and give you a signal to be quiet. Or, if you try and clean her up, she will stop sign you and say “mo, mo”. No joke. I am usually the one stuck hanging out with her and just when you think she is done, another pound comes out. I brought my computer in with me the other day and managed to go through 10 work emails while trying to entertain her (women have an uncanny ability to multi-task). She has become chatty kathy and loves to talk about everything when she’s in a stationary position. She wants to discuss my outfit “new momma?”, “no, L, my shirt is not new, thank you for asking”, “outshy?”, “Yes we will go outside if you hurry up and it is not dark when you finish!”.
The final task of potty training is venturing out in public and leaving the safe environment of your house where you can change their clothes if they have an accident, and they can touch whatever they want because you know it is clean. The first outing was to Publix to pick up a couple things and we would be gone 30 minutes – max! I was crazy and neurotic in the store, running up and down the aisles trying not to ask her if she had to go. We made it all the way to the car and as I’m buckling her in she says those two words…”pee pee”. Ugh, so close. She was a trooper though, I put a diaper on her standing up and she went, and we were off. Thank goodness no public toilets! Just a tip for you mothers out there, a good friend of mine takes her little portable potty in the trunk of her car everywhere and lays a diaper in the bottom so when her child feels the urge, he goes right into the diaper in the potty and then she throws it away. Genius! I hate that little potty so much that as soon as L felt comfortable on the big toilet that thing went into the garage ASAP.
My first public toilet experience with L was at Fudruckers for lunch with the grandparents. I begged her to wait until we got home but she was thrilled to use someone elses bathroom. I put down an entire roll of TP so she wouldn’t touch anything gross and of course she touched everything. I pretty much bathed her in the sink and wanted to throw her in the bathtub when we got home. That’s definitely where potty training little boys is a bonus, you don’t have to touch those nasty seats! I knew the time was coming when number 2 would be in a public place and I would be able to conclude my blog about potty training. I did not, however, think it would be yesterday at the Viceroy Hotel’s poolside bathroom with 200 people hanging out in tiny bathing suits with only 1 toilet. How could I tell L that she had to wait until we got home? She had ingested a bucket of chlorine swimming with her cousins and from what my pediatrician says, chlorine is like an enema to kids. It was going down… the drain…ASAP. There was nothing I could do, I was at a loss. I just sat there with L, in this modern bathroom, with my niece who was eight years old and shocked at what was occuring. People knocked, but when I quickly opened the door and flashed them what was going on they just smiled at us. And if this wasn’t enough to make you laugh out loud, when we went back to our lounge chairs, L decided she had an itch right in her bottom and pulled up her dress to show all the people laying out behind us while screaming “eeeeech mama, eeeeech”. Oh I was embarrassed. Very embarrassed. I just looked at J and said “let’s go!!”. And thus concludes my potty training blog. Thank you for reading it until the end, I know you probably wished that you didn’t right now, but if you’ve already been here then you are glad it is over and you are laughing. And if you are getting ready to experience this…then good luck!
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11