Friday, May 24, 2013

Adventures in Potty Training

As if we weren't busy enough, we decided to throw potty training into the mix. Ok, it's not that we've been busy, we've been avoiding it like the plague.

Zoey has pretty much lead us by the hand through most of this parenting thing, but with this, she absolutely refused to use her potty chair. I can't imagine why - it has a crown on the lid, is pink, and when you use it, it plays a trumpet and says, "Yaaaayyy!" When she was over a year, she went in the potty and was pretty excited about it, so we were a little confused about her angst. I've asked people for tips and the big one is "just make sure they're ready." What the fuck does that mean? How will I know when a little person who has been arbitrarily peeing since conception just suddenly knows it's time to use the toilet? How will she know to tell me she has to go? Does she even know what that feels like, or how to communicate it? Oh yeah, Mom, that pressure in my lower abdomen is totally my full bladder. Can we get to a toilet asap. Thanks.

Then one night last week, Rachael and Layne came over and I picked her brain on the subject. Layne did a lot of the same things Zoey does - adamantly refuse to use the potty, we have an open bathroom-door policy - but she said one day they just went for it and Layne was pretty on-board. We bought Dora the Explorer underwear in anticipation for this very moment and that night we just dove right in.

First up, you can watch one of your shows so you can relax on the potty and go. Didn't work. She just sat there, sucked her thumb, and watched Go Diego Go like she would if she were lounging on the couch.

Second, bribing. We know the signs of Zoey having to go to the bathroom so when she went to her poop-corner - the coveted space between her dresser and changing table that's her favorite to drop a deuce - we offered up a bribe. I said, "If you use your potty, you can have......" *Looked at Jacob in silent desperation* He mouthed, "Whatever you want." I mouthed back, "What do we have?!" So he ran out that night and got a big bag of chocolate that we ended up eating most of simply because we are up way later than she is. But bribing and TV-watching still wasn't the ticket. Even after my proposition, she still didn't want to use the potty chair. Throwing caution to the wind, we decided to try a different approach and put her potty chair in her poop-corner.

BINGO! Now she goes like gang-busters! All of a sudden she's 10, asking mid-pulling-her-undies-down, "Daddy, can you please shut the door?" One day she took 5 number-twos in her potty chair (that's for you, Grandpa; she knows that's your favorite number) and has only slightly looked back. Of course, she's had a couple of accidents, but she's reached the point when she starts to go in her underwear, she feels wet immediately and cuts it off. Ahh, to have young, pre-baby control like that again.... And she's not close to being ready for diaper-less nights. She does, however, still ask us for help going on the potty chair if she has to go shortly after going to bed.

She doesn't seem to mind that the potty chair is in her room; in fact, I think she prefers it since she doesn't have to go very far from playtime to bathroom-time. Miss Independent even pulls out a wipe and "cleans up," (wiping to her means lightly touching herself with a wipe) and once tried to dump the contents of her chair into the big-person toilet.

I should mention - in the interest of bragging - that her big-girl potty-using isn't restrictive to her potty chair alone. I was afraid it would be so I brought it to daycare but should have realized there are state daycare regulations that prohibit open, easy-accessible containers filled with excrement. I guess it's good for everyone I didn't open up that daycare I considered briefly in a moment of desperation. Armed with only two other fresh pairs of underwear and daycare's small toilet seat to fit over the big one so little toddler bums won't fall in, Zoey did - you guessed it - fantastic. She seemed to have no qualms using the toilet and has spent every day at daycare this week in the same underwear she arrived in.

Next week, maybe we'll apply to a few colleges.