And our lovely Mary-Rose has graduated with honours from the Swamp road potty training school at 21 months of age! She does her business on cue, flushes it like a pro, waves her little hand and says, “Bye-bye poopy di’pah!” The record is going down for posterity, since I am going to forget the details otherwise. Then I will have to fall back on confabulating when giving unsolicited advice.
First, she asked to go on the little potty spontaneously about a month ago, had wonderful productions, raisins, and I thought I had a wonderchild. The next day she had a fever, had to have her rectal temp taken, was really traumatized and decided not to go on the potty any more. So I let it go. Figured, kids would go to Nana’s, and we’ll get trained.
For about a week before the training process, we would sit on the little potty before and after having a bath. Had a couple of small productions, raisins, was sitting nicely with no objections, but not much happening.
So toilet training proper. Day 1. T-shirt on, underwear off, peed once or twice on the potty but then refused to sit there despite reassurance, books, songs and such. Dancing around like she really had to go, but refusing to sit on the potty. So I decided to force the issue and held her down on the potty hoping she would settle down. She didn’t. So after about 3 agonizing minutes I picked the 2 seconds she was calm and took her off the pot.
She went down for a nap, and I ran to the trusty computer, got the “3 day Potty Training” by Lora Jensen ebook (thank you, MaryAnne), and read it up and down three times. Decided to do it the right way – no coersion, no bribes.
Mary Rose got up from her nap, we installed panties and took the diapers out in a garbage bag as suggested by the book, and proceeded to drink lots of liquids. I moved the little potty to the bathroom from the kitchen. The afternoon was full of the little girl running around holding her crotch, and having four or five accidents. When she would start, we would rush to the toilet, try to go on the little potty (no success), examine the panties to demonstrate that they were wet, throw them on the laundry, put on dry ones with admonition to keep them dry, and wipe up the ai-ai-ai with no comments. By the evening, she was really cranky and frustrated from holding it in all the time and being unsuccessful, and I was really cranky and frustrated from watching my little girl being really uncomfortable. We even had a bathtime squabble.
I put her to bed with no diaper or pull-up, then got her up as soon as she woke up at 6. Decided not to wake her up in the middle of the night, since she seemed to hate the potty idea. In the morning, the bed was wet, and the bum was very diaper-rushy.
Day 2. We regroupped, she continued running around in panicked circles saying “No!” when I asked her to tell me if she needs to go. Had 2 BM accidents, which I faked by dropping into the toilet. She was really upset about ai-ai-ai, and didn’t much buy that she did it in the potty, but consoled herself with chocolate bunny pieces. At least we got some “success”.
Naptime in a pullup. By the second afternoon I decided to modify the approach to “yes coersion” and “yes offering bribes”. We had no more accidents, but we would fight the potty every time and vehemently deny the need, so would stay there for only about 30 seconds. I gave her raisins when she sat there semi-quietly. Went to bed in a pull-up and in a better mood.
Day 3. Continued 30 second coersion every time she looked like she had to go, and liberal bribing. 2 BMs on the potty, and 3 or 4 kap-kap-kaps, all with resistance and compensation for good work (we settled on date and cracker for a pee, and a piece of chocolate bunny for each hand for a poop). Not ready to pass her on to Lilly or Baboolia or Dedoolia, since still needs irm but gentle 30 sec restraint applied on the toilet. No accidents.
Day 4. Went with Lilly (asked for a date, told that she needs to perform for this). Went like a charm. By the end of the day, production on cue with full equanimity.
Lessons learned in a separate blog.