Drill Instructor: Mommy
Age of Recruit: 28 months and 5 days
Mission: Operation Flush
After speaking with a veteran of high potty training respect in the field, I finally understood the basics required in potty training. Everything I had thought was needed, wasn't. Detachable toilet seats? Don't need 'em. Dvd's, books and the like? Nice fluff but not necessary. Pull ups? No. Fancy toilet seat look-a-likes? No. Diapers that make your child feel cold? Ummmm...no. My 'Potty Training Whisperer', or so she likes to hope she is (she is) understood that I am a work from home mother and my passion was to have my 2 year old start going to the bathroom like the rest of us do, and with that she provided me the 5 most important points to note down in my mental potty training vault:
1) no more diapers...say good bye and never look back.
2) cloth training pants/panties. Not the water proof noisy ones....the cloth ones.
3) Stickers and a board...the stickers of characters or things your child loves.
4) Use your toilet seat with a cushion meant for training toddlers
5) Stick to it. You must with this to get the job accomplished. Don't slack off...do it and be physically and mentally (and emotionally) completely invested in it.
I got off the phone feeling motivated and emotional. Happy to embark on my new path with my daughter and sad as I look at the remaining diapers in its stack waiting to be used by my once-upon-a-time babygirl. My girl is growing up on me. I didn't want to do this. I changed my mind once every 20 minutes or so. I would look at my girl talk, dance and follow the beat to a song on t.v. and think wow...well, she's not 3 yet...maybe I can wait. Then 20 minutes later when I hear myself say "Sophia, will you put your applesauce cup in the recycle bin?" and watch her actually do it with ease, I think 'what the hell am I doing? She's so ready for this'.
Took off Sophia's diaper. Dry. hmmmm....odd. Good! She'll pee on her 1st sitting and we'll be over with the training! (yeah right, fool). Told Sophia about the potty and had her sit on it. She nervously cried a bit. I sat with her and showed her stickers that she liked and explained what it could sound like. Psssssssssssss....! Turned the water on...psssssssssssss! Poor Sophia felt it was too much and pleaded after 5 minutes "No potty mommy, pleeease!" Kept her on for total of 10 minutes and no pee. That's okay...we've got plenty of chances. Put on her new white underwear - taking a deep breath.
11:15am - heard the trickle and Sophia's "uh-oh!" and repeated the same routine. She laughed again because I'm crazy with my excitement. All the pee was again in her underwear. Scrubbed, cleaned and went back to play and get lunch ready.
2:30pm - She did it again! "Mommy! Potty!" I zipped her over to the toilet. No pee this time in her underwear. Asked her if she wanted to pee or poopy? Had poopy problems (has always had them since birth). She tried to push! WHAT?!? How awesome! A little pee trickled in the potty! I praised her but she was scared because that was new and cried to please get off the toilet so off she came. I told her not to worry that we'll come back to the potty as many times as she wants to. Congratulated her and gave her a sheet of Disney stickers to use. She put Goofy up.
a few minutes later - She asked to go back to the potty. No problem girlie. Let's go! She pushed and was so upset and frustrated. After we got her off the toilet I just had to give her 2 m&ms (I don't give hard candy, but chocolates will never be shunned in my house) and she went for her nap.
After dinner - nothing...just playing...
9pm - still playing happily...
9:50pm - "Mommy! Go potty?" Sophia says. OMG YES! Let's go! All in her panty. (sigh) Okay...we'll try again tomorrow.
10:15pm - nigh-night....
DAY 2 Sunday 8:15am
Sitting on potty...sad...pleading with me. "No come out Mommy!" nothing came out. Nothing in her panty from the night either...so strange. She's not possibly holding it in already??? Sat with her for 10 minutes and gave her a book to look at with me. One of her favorite books. "Mommy, please" she cried "all done please!" Okay babygirl....let's go downstairs for breakfast.
10:10am - "Mommy, go potty?" As I whisked her she began to cry out of fear and confusion. Oh my gosh...why is she crying? awww this is all so new. Deep breath. She was crying, and whining to get off. I said "No, baby...you're staying on here. You'll pee, you just have to calm...down" she wouldn't. Sophia? Calm down...Sophia? you don't have to cry baby. It's going to be...SOPHIA. I spoke firm and loud (usually do this when she's done wrong so I felt BAD - but guess what?) She looked at me and froze. I froze.
AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You DID IT! SOPHIA!! YOU DID IT!! She had no idea why I was making an ass of myself but it made her laugh. Thank G-d she laughed. Let's see if she'll do that again later!! YAY!
2:10pm - Sophia woke up from her nap and asked if she could go to the potty. I'm speechless. WHAT? OKAY! Pee was in her panty. ohhhh that's okay. She was disappointed this time. (wow, I'm amazed.)
3:10 - asked to go to potty...whisked her to the toilet - and nothing in panty or toilet.
3:12 - asked to go to potty...whisked her to the toilet - and nothing in panty or toilet.
3:14 - asked to go to potty...whisked her to the toilet - and had a little trickle...YAY!
3:16 - asked to go to potty...whisked her to the toilet - and all was in her panty. (sigh)
4:10pm - Sophia asked to go to potty...whisked her to the toilet - and this time walked away from her and stood with my back to her in front of the door (thought maybe she needs privacy to concentrate)
5:55pm - Dinner is done. Sophia said "Mommy go potty?" For some reason I asked if she's sure...and she actually answered saying "yes". I took her to the toilet, gave her another book she likes and walked out to stand away but near the door where I can peek in.
OMG! this is SO GREAT!! When she was done she said "All done Mommy! I did it!" (I tear up typing this...I'm so proud of her)
5:58pm "go poopy, mommy...go poopy!" she said. I was in the kitchen washing my hands, spun around and said "ok, babygirl!" and was shocked. There she was - standing on the stepstool in the powder room getting ready to sit down (still tearing up over this). Nothing came out but I didn't care. I was swelling with pride that she is telling me and trying to do the act herself.
6:05pm - saw Sophia grabbing her tushie and trying to find her secret place that she likes to usually go so I came to tell her that we can make the potty room that secret place and no one has to see what she does, that it was her private time. She was hesitant and yet wasn't. Sat her down and told her "I'll be right where you can see me, but this is your time...take a deep breath and look at your board; Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy are all so proud of you baby! Whenever you're ready, you go, okay?" and walked away.
6:08pm (still sitting on toilet) "I did it! I did it Mommy! Mommy! I did it!" I swung my neck around super fast, saw her smiling and ran to her. I said "you did it? You went poopy?" She said "mmm-hmmm!" I was misty-eyed (both because of the putrid smell of poop and the fact Sophia got it all out in the toilet). She explained the plop noise and I giggled and gagged at the same time (I still have a major gag problem with poo smells - oh well).
I texted people I knew...I even made mini brownie bites (a homage to pooping in the toilet - I'm sick, I know...). I know she's not COMPLETELY trained, but it's safe to say that she got the basics down. More so, I got the basics down. I know that not every child will be ready. For me, I felt Sophia was past ready and I went on my gut. I know there will be more moments and confusion, but we had a breakthrough today and Sophia at least knows that there is no more diapers, and peeing on herself feels awful.
The future now relies on the idea of keep on keepin' on and I believe by summer we'll be toilet bound and fancy free :) To any of my friends that are new parents or have a child ready for training, I wish you the patience and tenacity you will require to complete your child's boot camp for your own Operation Flush!