Potty training house arrest

We have been working on potty training just a little bit for the last few months.  We started slowly with letting her sort of do her own thing.  Sometimes she was interested.  Sometimes she wasn’t.  Then the last couple of weeks, she was more and more interested and wanted to go to the toilet every time I changed her diaper.  I bought big girl underwear a couple of months back and we’ve talked about them off and on.  We’ve talked about how she can wear them when she goes to the bathroom in the toilet and not in a diaper.  She was halfway interested.

Then came Monday morning.  I mentioned the underwear again.  She got very excited and really wanted to wear them.  I talked to her about if she wore them then she’d have to use the toilet.  She said she was on board.  (Of course she didn’t use that phrase.  And, of course, I didn’t take that as gospel knowing that she’s only just turned 2 and didn’t completely grasp the full meaning of what I was saying.)  So, I decided to give it a shot.  (Score 2 points for being flexible.  Ideally, I’d have loved to have planned this week ahead of time.  But, being a mom means learning to go with the flow sometimes.)

The kiddo's reward sticker sheet. Had this week been more planned, I might have written on it or something. But, she loves just sticking them wherever she wants. All that really matters is it is working!

And thus has begun our potty training house arrest.  I’m happy to say that things are going well.  She doesn’t fight me about going to the toilet every 30 minutes like I thought she might.  She loves getting stickers when she does go.  We have a sheet hanging in the bathroom for her to put them on wherever she pleases.  She loves doing all the related things like flushing the toilet and washing her hands.  She’s still working on knowing ahead of time that she needs to go.  And we are definitely still having accidents, but we’re making progress.  I’m proud of her.

At the same time, I somehow feel a bit sad about her being out of diapers.  It makes no sense.  It will save us money.  Eventually it will save us time.  (Right now we are spending way more time dealing with her output than we do when she is wearing diapers.  And we are spending LOTS of time in our bathroom.)  This is one more way that reminds me she is growing up and becoming a big girl.  I’ve also really enjoyed our times on the changing table.  When she was only a couple of months old, once she got over being mad about having her diaper and clothes changed, she would look at me and we’d engage with one another.  When she started babbling, she was most babble-ly on the changing table.  Now that she’s full on talking, we have all sorts of conversations there.  Sometimes we talk about what we’re going to do next.  Sometimes we talk about the toy she is playing with.  Sometimes we talk about the squirrels she sees out the window beside the changing table.  Sometimes she tells me she sees a giraffe out the same window.  And we laugh.  We have a good time on the changing table — even now that she is too long for it and we have to be careful to not conk her head.

This week, we’ve also had a good time in the bathroom.  Just over a month ago, I told you how frustrated I was with potty training.  Now, I am not.  It’s like a switch went on for both of us that this is time.  Yes, I have had moments of frustration like last evening after dinner when I knew she needed to go, but she just wouldn’t after spending 15 minutes on the toilet.  Five minutes later, I was changing her out of wet underwear.  Yep.  That’s frustrating all right.  But, overall, we’ve both come to this sort of agreement that we’re doing this now for better or worse.  We’re having some fun with it.  We’ve made up a song about it (which gets stuck in my head).  We sing other songs.

I don’t know if I’m doing it the right way.  I’ve read an article or two.  I’ve talked to my mom.  I’ve talked to other moms.  I know that we are making progress and she seems to be on the right track.  I don’t think we’re ready for a public appearance just yet, but I am looking forward to her spending a few hours with my in-laws today so I can run some errands and get a few things done out of potty training house arrest.  I trust my mother-in-law to continue on the potty training path for us.  After all, both my husband and his brother are fully potty trained adults.

I will also tell you that these days have been pretty tiring.  My kiddo has needed more attention these last couple of days than she’s needed since she was a newborn — or sick.  I informed my husband last night that I was proud of myself that I’d gotten laundry done and made dinner this week.  Granted, the whole dinner process last night took just over three hours when all was said and done.  I made sloppy joes and frozen french fries.  But, I had to keep pausing during cooking and cleaning for bathroom trips with my girl.  That’s OK, though.  It won’t be like this forever.

I’m pretty sure that we’re going to make it through this potty training thing.  I’m pretty sure that God is giving me patience to do it.  I’m praying for myself and I’m praying for my child as she’s learning this.  I know it seems silly to pray about potty training, but I can’t think of any better way to help us through this process.

I’ll keep you posted.  I’m sure I’ll probably blog about our first diaper-less trip in public (I’m not counting the car ride to my in-laws’ house today and we are skipping story time this morning so we don’t have to deal with it).  I didn’t really want to blog about potty training.  I thought it was a private matter, but it’s consuming me this week.  And it’s something that all parents deal with and obsess about.  I just couldn’t keep it in!  Wish me luck — and pray for us while you’re at it.

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