Sunday, September 19, 2010

Potty Time

Several months ago, I was talking to a mom who had potty-trained her daughter at 16 months old.  Holy cannoli!!! SIXTEEN MONTHS.  She told me she did the 3 day method.  I guess it's like a Potty Boot Camp.  Gianna was probably 20 months then, so I got excited of the possibility and thought Gianna would be a perfect candidate to train before she was two.  And I thought of the money I'd be saving by not buying diapers. I was pumped.
And then I got home. And reality (and a tad bit of selfishness) set in.  Potty training is a big commitment of time, energy, patience and perseverance.  Plus, I'd have to kiss goodbye care-free errands, car-trips, shopping, and be on the constant look-out for clean, or at least decent, restrooms at a moments notice. Frankly, for me, the expense of the diapers is totally worth the convenience.  Changing diapers doesn't bother me....maybe because I only have one child.

Well, one day we were enjoying a sweet little play date with Gianna's friend Annie, and her mom asked me if  Gianna was potty-trained.  With a lowered head and apologetic tone, I shook my head no. "Not yet.  I know I should, but...."
And then, my wonderful friend looked at me and said, "Girl, I didn't potty train Annie til she was 3 1/2 and that's ONLY because she was starting school.  I just loved the convenience of diapers and wasn't ready to give it up."

I breathed a sigh of relief - completely relating to her philosophy.  Well, that was it for me.  I decided I wasn't going to push the issue at all.  I decided Gianna would train when she was good and ready.

And wouldn't you know? The flippin' next week she started asking if she could sit on the potty. So much for postponing for mom's convenience.  So a couple of times every day, she sat on the potty with her books.  TONS of books.  And she'd stay on the potty for a long time....with absolutely no action.
She's occasionally interrupt her sitting time, to scurry to her room to find even more books...
We even read books about numbers....
...focusing primarily on Number 1 and Number 2 (ha!).
Sitting. Reading. Singing. Talking. Sitting.
Still no action.

After about the fifth day, I said a little prayer,
"Lord, if we're going to spend this much time on the potty, could you please intervene and bless us with a tiny bit of success in order to motivate her."
Maybe it was the Lord's prompting that inspired me to 'fill her up' with lots of "special water" (spike with some juice) and vanilla-flavored milk.  I also had a little bit of Show and Tell including the presentation of cool panties that she will wear and the big Potty Prize of the special pony (a unicorn stick horse that I found for a buck at Dollar Tree.)  And then, of course, their was the promise of candy.
Well, not 15 minutes later....
Divine Intervention or just the perfect combination of motivation and luck.....
we hit the jackpot!
There was dancing, singing, jubilant yells, ponies, candy!
Good times!

That was a week ago....and we've yet to fill the potty again.
But we still have the memory....and the motivation.  Who could ask for more.  At least Mommy's a more willing participant in the process now.

* * * * * * * * * * *
I'm not quite sure how I got suckered into the next adventure, but the day following the potty party Gianna convinced me to haul her potty outside so she could be further motivated. What was I thinking?  Didd I really want to start that tradition?  Maybe because it was the day she was recovering from her little "eye incident" and I was bending over backward to appease her.
It didn't do a thing for the potty training effort....which is probably a good thing.
I'm happy to report that she's yet to request another outdoor "visit."

So it is that we are embarking on another adventure.  (But I'm not saying good-bye to diapers any time soon.)


  1. The end is rear! That's so funny! Not that we have any idea what we are doing as parents, but we just let Gram do his own thing. And then magically, one day, he was all ready and completely done with diapers. Good Luck!

  2. I think you're right to let her take the reigns. Honestly, potty training was the pits for me. If there were a potty training camp where I could have sent Jackson off to for a week, i would have done it. I even tried to convince my mom to do it. It's sooooooooo time consuming (even after they are trainined - especially when they are so young - since you have to help dress, wipe, wash hands, etc). Anyway, we used jelly beans as a reinforcer, and now i can't handle the smell of those darn candies because it reminds me of the hours spent in the bathroom. : )

  3. She is so cute and determined! I will say Madeline started training at 19 mo on her own and then baby brother happened and she didn't resume and finish until 2 1/2...It was no fun at all with a lot of regressing. I am not rushing Parker one bit. I am glad Gianna's lil' eye is better- that was crazzzy!

  4. This post made my day!! I can picture both you and Gianna during these potty reading sessions!!


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