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Monday, February 11, 2008

Adventures in Potty Training

I write this with a gigantic smile on my face.

Ann Catherine is potty trained!!

Seriously, if you had told me five years ago that a two-year-old using the potty would have given me so much joy, I would have laughed.

Let me preface this post by saying, I consider myself a pretty laid-back mom. I don't force my kids to do things until they are ready. Ann Catherine didn't walk until she was 16 months old, and it truly didn't faze me. I figured she would walk when she was good and ready.

Same with potty training. I'm not one of those moms who started working on it as soon as she turned two. I figured she would let me know when she was ready.

The last few weeks, she had done just that. She had all the classic signs: she could hold it for hours at a time, she would tell me she had to go and she did the little dance that is a dead-on signal.

I blogged on here a few weeks ago asking for your advice. And I realized that the best thing for Ann Catherine was to make the jump into wearing big girl undies. We had been talking about it for months and she really wanted to wear them.

The delusional mother in me thought for some reason that as soon as I put those "magical" undies on, and my daughter had a few accidents, voila! She would be potty trained.

Not so.

We started wearing them on a Saturday, and she had accidents all day long. I mean Same thing Sunday. Monday I let her wear them to school. Same thing - accidents all day. I called my best friend on the way home from daycare that day (Olivia, I know you are laughing reading this) PANICKING that Ann Catherine was still having accidents.

We tried it all. Candy, stickers, 'you make Cinderella cry when you tee-tee on her' - everything. Nothing fazed Ann Catherine. There was no reward worth using the bathroom for. I couldn't understand it.

After seven days of this, I was so tired of cleaning up puddles and washing clothes each night. I was ready to throw in the towel. But we kept on.

In watching her and talking with her teachers, I realized something. It's not that Ann Catherine was having accidents. She was CHOOSING to have accidents. She would sit on the potty for 15 minutes and hold it, and then go have an accident.

That's when I realized it. My two-year-old daughter needed to be in control. She was going to potty on her terms, and no one else's.

The Sunday after the Havoc game, it just clicked for Ann Catherine and she did it. I looked like the biggest idiot, jumping up and down, dancing and screaming because my child had used the potty.

We haven't had an accident in 5 days, and we only had that one because I was gone and Lily was sick, and Chris was taking care of both of them and couldn't help AC in time. Lately, she just tells me she has to go, takes off for the potty and does her business. It really is a beautiful thing.

I really wouldn't wish potty training on my worst enemy. For one week, I was as miserable as can be. But she did it! It's just one more hurdle that I'm glad - no make that relieved - that we have crossed.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it is working out! That's very encouraging. We are just starting the process. We've had a few successful ventures, but Elena isn't there yet.

:) Claire

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! What a blessing. It's wonderful to see the support received from North Alabama for your family and the NICU. I can't imagine how excited you and Chris are. Michael & I can't wait to see you, Chris and the girls in March. (Only 4 1/2 more weeks!) Until then, pass on our best to your family.


Amy George said...

I so glad to hear you guys are coming!! We'll definitely get together.