Of all the parental mistakes I have made in the past 5 years pushing Bella to potty train at the age of 2 was my biggest. Like a true jackass, I ignored her pediatrician's repeated suggestions that I should wait till she was 3. "No way Doc, my child's TOTALLY ready and I REALLY don't want to have 2 children in diapers and I'm CERTAIN that she won't regress when Mia's born."
Yadda, yadda, gag me yadda.
What a superficial idiot I was. I pushed her too hard. And she pushed me back by wizzing on the couch :) and we both ended up frustrated. As a first time parent I had way too high of expectations. But in the end, I figured it out. Grasping the concept that humans pee in a toilet is completely different than having control over your body. But somehow I blurred that line and I promised myself to do it differently the next time around.
For the past 4 months Mia has been randomly going #1 and #2 in a toilet. Great. But it didn't mean that she was ready, it just meant that she was understanding the concept. In fact, I've actually been putting off potty training with her because for the life of me I couldn't seem to get my shit together enough with 3 kids to maintain any kind of consistency with her. For the parent, it's not easy folks. It takes constant reminding, tactical planning when you're out of the house and a ton of patience. All of which I haven't possessed since Chance was born.
So I planned a strategy, I knew that when the time would come I would probably need more motivation than she would so I figured a big production would benefit us both. For the past couple months I've been hyping Mia up for "Potty Week" a week-long celebration marking her new big girl status. We talked about the big girl underpants we'd shop for, we talked about the balloons we'd get and the big "potty party" at the end of the week. Complete with big girl cupcakes. She got so excited, but I told her that she wasn't ready yet but that she was soooo close. I persuasively convinced her that she would know when she was ready.
Last week, she woke up with a dry pull-up and told me she was ready for Potty Week.
No turning back Gina, seize it, embrace it-she's come to you!
I took a deep breath and knew it meant that I needed to get my act together fast. And several hours later, there we were in Target picking out every licensed panty on the shelves. Rapunzel being the most coveted of course. We went out to lunch and talked about what it meant to be a big girl. And somehow, she managed to mature right there in front of me.
We told everyone we met that it was Potty Week and she was congratulated by the local librarian all the way to the manager of Noodles and Company. She felt so confident and was on cloud nine ALL WEEK!
I was doing pretty good too. Granted, for the first couple days I needed to set a timer to remind myself to take her regularly. But towards the end of the week I too was settling into our new routine. Although the huge whopping banner I made kept me on track too!
I'd encourage Bella to take her as well and would toss a couple M&M's their way when they were done. We made crafts in honor of her new status.
We'd sing our "big girls pee-pee in the potty" song to the tune of "Big Girls Don't Cry"
every time she was done.
And as promised, we decorated with balloons.
My parents came over every day after work to congratulate her and gave the kids little gifts as rewards. We'd celebrate with ice cream or by going to her favorite park.
Anything to make her feel proud of herself.
And you know what happened, I witnessed fewer tantrums. She was less aggressive with Chance, in fact even took on more of a "big sister" role with him. She talked things out with me instead of flying off the handle. She grew up--- all because we gave her the opportunity to do so. Treat a child like a child and they'll act like one. Give a child a chance to shine and grow and they'll do just that.
I'm happy to report that she's doing AWESOME. Just when I think a new challenge comes up and she can't handle it- I stop, I take a breath and I give her that chance to succeed, and she has.
Except when she randomly flashes her new panties, yeah, still working on that one.