See this picture of Spongebob ... well it actually moves and he shakes his booty at you while rolling his eyes. That is what I feel like my 3 1/2 year old is doing to me with this whole potty training idea. Mocking me.
About 4 years ago I went through this potty training business with my oldest daughter, also then 3 1/2 year old. I got grief from just about anyone who wanted to give me grief about why my 3 year old was still in diapers. Well, to tell you the truth unless you have a strong willed child ... you just don't understand. They have a mind of their own ... no matter what you work out with them. If they don't like it ... they won't do it. The "books" tell you "don't force them", "don't punish them", etc. so I just let it go, she never showed any signs of interest (well she did a few times at 18 months and then again at 2 1/2, but that went away as quickly as it came). So I waited. Waited for the dry diapers after she got up in the morning ... how about sopping wet. OK, look for another sign. Hiding when she has to go ... nope, she didn't really hide even when she did something wrong (she has a bad habit of telling on herself - nice for me ... bad for her). OK, what else has the literature told me to look for ... Oh, yeah leave her diaper off and let her go "naked booty" to see if it helps her go ... well that lasted a half a day ... she wet a few times in the kitchen without caring and I thought, I do not want my house to smell of pee ... so I am not going to do this one any longer. Finally I became desperate when at the end of my pregnancy with her little sister, I mentioned to the Peds office, Hey, shouldn't she be WANTING to go to the bathroom. I have tried everything, even putting her potty in the bathroom with me (and we have a small bathroom). The nurse gave me the most helpful advise along with a sheet of paper that I have since passed on to friends and relatives (but can't find now) - MAKE THE POTTY HER JOB. Everything about it ... her job. Deciding when to go. Her job. Wiping. Her job (well I helped with poo, but she had to ask). Flushing. Her job. Washing her hands. Her job. And I had to refer to it as HER JOB and ask if she had FINISHED HER JOB if I knew she forgot something. Oh, my word! It was a miracle. The kid went totally on her own. I could not believe she potty trained herself!!!! I told all my friends and they were amazed. We did the sticker chart to help promote positive reinforcement and when she went to the potty for 1 month by herself ... we had a Potty Party - she picked the theme "Dora" and we had just a few people over. We even got a pinata and it was great. I said ... why fight it ... I am going to do this next time.
Well here we are at the next time. This Little Bits is also strong-willed (which is another post in itself) and she too has had no desire. I have encouraged and when she hides I get her and try to make it to the potty in time. I have a very patient preschool teacher that will take her religiously when she goes to preschool and she has even gone there a few times. But alas, she does not want to do HER JOB. She has no desire like her sister to HAVE A JOB. She is about the same age, actually a tad older ... she will be 4 early February. So I didn't make a NY resolution ... but I said when we came back from our trip at Christmas - I am bound and determined to get this child potty trained. So I dug out some training pants ... well they are too small. Every time I go to the store, I forget to get some ... I am not even sure they make them in her size. But I know that is going to be the key to get her in the bathroom on her own. She is not as hep on the small little toilet like we had for her sister ... this one she picked out and everything. She actually has gone right for the big toilet when she needs to go ... OK for me. Except when I get her there sometimes I am not sure if she freezes or what ... but she just can't seem to get it out. I even read to her and not really mention any of it. So I am going tomorrow to get the training pants and we are going to get this thing accomplished if I have to tie each of us to the bathroom for a day.
They say each child is different. They are ... both are strong willed, but different in their will. But I never thought this toilet training would be like this ... I thought sure it would be "just like her sister". So much for that and the books and everything everyone tries to tell me. But if I am anything it is persistent (which used to get me in trouble with guys ... hey, look it is paying off now!) so we will get this done before her 4th birthday ... I have a little more than a month to do it. Her "Pony Party" (or whatever for the "Potty Party") is just waiting for her ... as are her "Princess Panties" (and her "Patient Parents").
The Office Quote for the day ... (let's see if I can make it fit ... )
Michael Scott: I guess the atmosphere that I've tried to create here is that I'm a friend first and a boss second, and probably an entertainer third.
We all know that as moms we are boss first with entertainer and friend in a tie for second.