Potty Training Requires Time and Patience…Neither of Which I Have
I am really not sure why, but the idea of potty training has stressed me out since my first trimester of pregnancy. Which is really interesting considering I was very single and pregnant in my first (and subsequent) trimesters, but despite all of that – the idea of teaching a little human to use the potty instead of their diaper has always mystified me.
Anyone that has ever gone on a car trip for longer than 30 minutes with me has wished that I was still using diapers, so exactly how do I convince a little person with a big will to exchange diapers for the potty?...Maybe my child will be one of those that just wakes up one day and decides to use the potty all on their own…Yes…that will be the way God cuts me a break for being a single mom.
I am not kidding, these were actual thoughts that went through my head when I was pregnant. In the years since then, I have been both excited for and stressed out by the idea of potty training. Excited because I hate changing diapers. And stressed out because I am not so sure I have what it takes to potty train a little person.
There are two primary reasons that I am not cut out for this potty training business.
1) I realized that once I started down the potty training path, I would need to keep tabs on locations of public restrooms as much as I did when I was 9 months pregnant. And that is very limiting and really no fun for anyone involved - specifically me, my daughter, and anyone that we are in the company of.
2) Um, how can I put this? I am not what friends would call, patient. At all. I’ve tried to be patient in life and I think it is a waste of time. And I have also witnessed, this painful level of patience required by parents during this process. On occasion Ellie will sit on the potty, and that feeling of just sitting there, makes me feel the same way I do when I try to meditate.
There are so many other things I could doing right now…Wow, I hate sitting still…this is reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllly boring…
I have things to do like clean the apartment and pay bills and go to work, and sitting on the bathroom floor for 45-minutes isn’t really the epitome of efficiency. But at the same time, we all know being pressured to pee really doesn’t help matters and this could cause a serious case of stage fright – so am forced to comply, albeit begrudgingly.
The problem is, Ellie is totally ready to potty train. She just doesn’t really want to. So I just need to get my sh*t together, and focus long enough to make it happen. So I have come up with a Plan A and a Plan B.
As you see in the photo above, Ellie is sitting on the potty while wearing her raincoat and holding an umbrella. Seem odd? Well when I suggested she sit on the potty, and she said, “I want to hold my umbrella,” I thought about it for a minute, and said, “Sure” just a bit too quickly, so she made another ask.
“And I put on my raincoat?” she said with a smile.
“Ok fine, just please sit on the potty,” was all I could respond, without a smile.
Really, after you let a child sit on a pink princess potty while holding a Minnie Mouse umbrella, you can’t say no to the raincoat. You just can’t.
The truth is, I am not above bribery…um, I mean incentive based learning. The girl wants Toy Story underwear more than anything in the world. Yes, I know they only make Buzz and Woody underwear for boys and I don’t care. Once she accomplishes the task at hand, she will be rewarded with a package of little boys underwear. (Note to self: Buy them sooner rather than later because if she goes on the potty and I don’t have those underwear, I am I in big trouble.)
If that fails, I am calling in the big guns. Yep, if I cannot do this successfully on my own, I will send her to my mother’s house for a few days. My mom successfully potty trained 4 girls, and we all have no need for diapers (so far). If this is the course I take, I will not be present that weekend. Ellie is much more cooperative when I am at least 20 feet away from her. (Note to self: Call mom and ask her if she is okay with all of this.)
What advice can you offer?