Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Potty Dance

I swear, this potty training business is gonna be the death of me. This is the time that I've been both anticipating and dreading since Abigayle was born. I know it's not going to happen overnight, but it feels like a losing battle, and I may just rip out my hair in frustration. But not just because of the fact that most of our "emissions" don't make it into the potty...also because of the SWARMS of unsolicited advice from everyone and their mother. Does this never end? I've heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child", but I think that too many people are taking this to heart...apparently they think that everyone in the village deserves a say in how to raise my child. They also say that "every village has an idiot", and I swear I've met my fair share. Even complete strangers, usually ask the typical "How old is she?" followed by, "oh, you must be having fun potty training, then! Well, you know the best way to do it is...". How about...

"Oh, well my little Johnny was potty trained by 18mos..."
Come on Lady, what 18month old is *truly* potty trained? I'm pretty sure that I don't believe you.

"The only way to do it is to let her run around naked..."
Okay, so are you going to come to my house and clean up the trail of pee? I already have a dog who pees in the house, I don't need to steam-clean my floors and furniture because of my daughter, too.

"Sit her on the potty every five or ten minutes, and she's bound to go some of the time...she'll get the hang of it and figure out what to do"
Seriously?! So I'm going to be cooking dinner/feeding the baby/living my life in 5 minute intervals? I know that potty training isn't necessarily convenient, but come on...

"Use/don't use Pull-Up's"
"Use/don't use training pants"
"Reward with stickers, jelly beans, toys, treats, privileges...."
"Put a dolly on the potty to show her what to do"
"create a routine"
"buy her pretty panties"
"Use/don't use the regular toilet/children's potty"

Not all of this advice is bad, and if you were the bearer of this insight please don't be offended - in fact I AM doing some of these things. I'm just saying that I've gotten so much advice that my head is spinning, like the swirl of the water in the toilet bowl. This is just another example of figuring things out for yourself...a trial-and-error. Other moms will always tell you what worked best for them, and it's up to us to wade through their advice and piece together what will work for us. Nothing is ever simple.

Time for a funny story!
The other day, Abigayle told me she had to poop. I was in such a rush that I sat her on the toilet, instead of on her potty (which had been taken apart for cleaning). Our visit was uneventful, and she needed a clean Pull-Up which was right behind me. I told her to "hold on tight!" and showed her how to hang on to the seat so she was sturdy. I did my best basketball-style pivot to reach for a clean diaper, but as soon as my back was turned I heard *splish*, followed by "HELP! HELP! I STUCK!!!" I turned back around, and all I could see was feet and hands sticking out of the toilet bowl. I couldn't stop laughing as I pulled her out and dried her off...People have asked why I didn't get a picture - apparently they know I'm a bit "camera happy"...but for once my camera was out of reach and I would have felt pretty bad if I left her there to wait while I went to find it! Maybe next time ;) In hind sight, I should have flushed - maybe I wouldn't have had to wipe! Sort of like a bidet? No?

Ohhh well. We'll get this potty training thing mastered sooner or later. I keep trying to remind myself that she's still so young, and nobody goes to college still wearing diapers. We're not behind "schedule", and it wont last forever - it'll happen when she's ready, no sooner. Just in time for me to start all over again, with Austin! Oh brother.

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