This. This is what I tried on this fine September Tuesday.
I tried potty training my Sweet Pickle. And can I tell you… She surprised me!
She turned two and a half on Sunday and thanks to an overload of information on potty training I was pretty convinced that if I didn’t do it, like, right now she would be in diapers and in a therapists office at the age of 18. No one wants that.
So I took a deep breath, talked up the “big day” for a week, and Monday after school we put the diapers away forever! (or so we all hope)
It’s only been a day and a half, but thanks to some pretty sound advice, I have remained calm and it has remained fun. The advice?
Don’t worry about accidents. Accidents are opportunities to learn. If they don’t have accidents, they’ll never learn!
That made my job easier. Suddenly my goal was no longer to keep the panties, carpet, and couch clean, it was to guide and teach lovingly THROUGH the wet panties, dribbled carpet and damp couch. (so much for having people over now)
I’ve also learned a lot about my little girl.
She is definitely a big girl now. She is so proud of herself when she goes. She uses full sentences through the process. Today she even looked up at me from her cute little blue potty and said, “Here I go!” before she peed. These are priceless moments, I tell you. Nothing of the trauma I had imagined.
I’ve also learned that my Pickle is NOT extrinsically motivated. My spell check is telling me that’s not a word.. . Whatever. The suckers aren’t working! We spent the first half day fighting because all she wanted was a sucker. The potty had nothing to do with it. So she lost suckers the first day. Then today…? Half the time she forgot about the stickers and the m&ms. She was just excited to wash her hands and use the “Owl towel.” So, charts and prizes aren’t leading this thing. Nor is “Mommy will be SOOOO happy if you go potty!!!” Nope. She doesn’t care. She’s just gonna have to decide on her own how she wants this thing to look for the long haul. I am merely an experienced facilitator.
And finally, I’m learning a lot about being engaged. No, she doesn’t need me in her face playing blocks 24/7. Long term, that would serve no one. But for these few days of watching and learning her little wiggles and waddles I am present for more hugs and more giggles than I’ve ever known.
Like today when she sat on the counter in her t-shirt and underwear helping me make macaroni and cheese, and she looked at me, smiled big, and said, “Mommy… I Love You!”
I would clean up potty messes forever.
My sweet, sweet big girl.