I don't like to brag, but there are so few parenting moments when I feel like I have done something correctly that I am going to seize the day and give myself a little pat on the back. I hope we can still be friends even if I start to sound like I might actually know what I'm doing.
A few weeks ago I talked about the process of potty training my daughter. (FYI- don't ever put the potty training stickers in a place where your child can reach them, unless you want to walk in on a scene like the one pictured above.)
Actually, I've been talking about potty training for well over a year now. We thought she was ready, then we thought maybe she wasn't ready, then we were sure she wasn't ready and then we thought she should be ready even though she said she wasn't ready. And then finally we blamed ourselves for her not being ready.
Basically, I forgot all about the potty training flow chart I made last summer. Remember this bit of wisdom?
When Mazzy turned three, I decided to start training even though she resisted. After one unsuccessful weekend, she got sick and it seemed unfair to make her do something she didn't want to do when she already felt miserable.
So I didn't pressure her and waited.
A few months later, Mazzy had a week off from school which seemed like the perfect time to try and make potty training stick. More importantly, when I brought it up with her, she didn't seem entirely opposed to the idea.
She was three and three months.
During that week, we had two to three accidents at home but within a day or two, Mazzy started to go to the potty without us having to remind her. In fact, when we asked her if she needed to go, she said, "No, I will tell you when I need to go." Which she did.
When we finally took the risk of venturing out, she had one accident at a friend's house but then asked to use the potty the next time.
The following Monday, we sent her to school in underwear and she has yet to have an accident.
This is the part, where I would usually segue into the AWFUL POTTY TRAINING DISASTER that happened after I got too confident, but oddly enough, it hasn't happened yet. (Yes, I'm fully aware that after I post this, disaster will strike.)
We were told to expect many emergency scenarios where we must find a bathroom immediately or else. But we have yet to find ourselves in that situation. So far, she's never asked to use the potty while at the playground or while in transit.
It seems to me (knock on wood one hundred times) that Mazzy is able to hold it in until she knows she is some place where a bathroom is accessible.
I think it comes down to her finally being old enough to have full control over her bladder.
Remember that post I wrote for Babble about bladder maturity? Not to get all medical on you or anything, but pediatricians say your child's bladder isn't fully deveoped until the age of three. Which is, therefore, the age parents should potty train.
It's kind of like that time I freaked out because I thought my unborn child was going to live inside my belly forever, when in the end, Harlow came out exactly on the day the doctors said she would— her due date.
So, here's my advice. If you are contemplating potty training and your child is not yet three, give yourself a break and wait it out. At the end of the game, your child will be just as potty trained as those who started a year ago, except you probably saved yourself a lot of aggravation.
Full disclosure— Mazzy is only pee-trained. Poop is a work in progress and we still let her wear a diaper at night. I asked her today when she is going to start pooping in the potty and she told me, "When I get a little bit older." I decided to trust her because she's been right so far.
Pooping aside, I let Mazzy collect on her potty training prize. Initially, she asked for a Lego Castle, but then changed her mind and asked for something else.
"I want a pink furry caterpillar."
"A pink furry caterpillar."
"I thought you wanted a LEGO castle."
"I want a pink furry caterpillar."
"A pink furry caterpillar?"
"Okay. I'll see what I can do."
Luckily, the internet exists and a parent can google "pink furry caterpillar plush toy" to see what comes up. You know what I found? THIS:
Check the measurements on the damn thing.
Congrats, Mazzy. May you pee in the potty, poop when you're ready and outgrow your ginormous caterpillar as quickly as possible.