Sometime in the last month, I decided the potty was not a reading station or a bath time procrastination device, but a place in which my daughter should actually pee and poop. I think it was the day she crossed her arms, stomped her foot and said…
"I want to wear diapers FOREVER!!!!"
In my mind, if you know how to emphasize the word "FOREVER" in a sentence like a pimple-faced pre-teen, than you are most definitely ready to shit on the pot.
So, this past weekend, with the fear that my daughter would INDEED be the kid who goes to college still in diapers, I forgot everything I ever said about waiting for her to tell me she was ready and forced the issue.
I put up a chart. I bought a bag of M&M's. I let her chose a "grand prize" for when she had successfully peed in the potty 12 times. Lastly, I told her that she would not be training alone. We would be training Minnie Mouse too.
Obviously, I'm no expert. I parent with bribes and stuffed rodents. And we were only semi-successful. But I learned a lot. Here's your opportunity to learn from my mistakes…
12 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Potty Training:
1. If you've read, memorized and are prepared to stick to a trusted potty training method, chances are you will abandon that method and make it up as you go along within the first fifteen minutes.
2. Just because you have a seemingly intelligent child, doesn't mean they can follow simple instructions like— how to wipe from front to back. I gave up on the whole front to back thing once it became clear my daughter didn't even know the difference between her "tushie" and her "pagina".
3. Making fun of parents who would dare to use something as ridiculous as the iPotty prior to actually training a child yourself, will suddenly seem very silly once your child has convinced you to let them use the iPad on the potty.
4. Every instinct you have ever had about piss and shit will disappear. You will cheer. You will describe. You will admire. You will triumphantly walk that bowl of crap over to the toilet all together like it's THE SHIT PARADE and this is the world's greatest family bonding moment.
5. If you think your child has mastered potty training within half-a-day, that is the exact moment they will forget everything they've learned and pee inside a carseat sitting on the floor in your hallway.
6. If you are in the middle of potty training and your child decides to randomly sit inside their carseat, be suspicious. Be very, very suspicious.
7. If your child's favorite pooping corner is also where she keeps a disassembled 50-piece jigsaw puzzle, you might want to clean it up, put it back in the box and line that spot like Dexter's kill room.
8. Remembering to use the potty while fully naked is an entirely different skill than remembering to use the potty while wearing pants and underwear. Think algebra as compared to calculus.
9. Peeing in the potty is a totally different skill than pooping in the potty. Think earth science as compared to physics.
10. At some point there will be piss and/or shit on your carpet and you must act like this is no problem whatsoever.
11. For every M&M your child eats, be prepared to eat five yourself.
12. When you reach the end of your potty training chart and you're cheering "YAY! My daughter is potty trained!!!", she might start crying because she thought at the end of it, she'd get to go back to wearing diapers.
So, where are we now?
My daughter can pee in the potty when she isn't wearing any pants.
Calculus and physics have not been mastered yet.
But… the smile on her face each time she used the potty on her own, might have made three years of diaper changes worth it.
I wish I could post a picture of her smile here. But for my daughter's future googling protection, I will refrain.
Now, please excuse me while I clean my carpet for the 47th time.