Edited from Original post – September 2010
When and if you are next potty training a toddler, please follow these instructions…
1. DO: remove diaper and watch ’em go. Brynna has been showing the signs she’s ready to nix the diapers, and my checkbook was in agreement. So Saturday morning, we got up, took the diaper off and away we went. I read that going no-diaper helps you see when they are going and it removes the step of taking off the diaper when trying to get there fast. Right. It does those things. It also ensures you have a 2-foot-tall streaker in your house. I have never seen someone so excited to run naked in all my life. (And I’ve seen that guy in Austin who sits naked on the corner playing his guitar!)
2. DON’T: place potty seat on carpet or other stainable/smellable surfaces. I am one of those people who doesn’t believe in child-proofing the house. I believe in house-training the child. My breakables aren’t put away; my glass vases weren’t replaced with primary colored plastic wear when a child entered the scene. I don’t even like the word “potty” so it pained me to have one sitting in the middle of the sun porch. It pained me more to try and get that stain off my living room rug. Trust me. Just leave it on the tile. And keep lots of paper towels and Clorox wipes handy.
3. DO: give lots of juice. The more they drink, they more they go. The more they go o the potty, the more they learn that’s where you’re supposed to go. Makes sense. I was told repetition would help drive the point home. Yes. True. Or it gives me a new appreciation for the aforementioned Clorox wipes. One or the other.
4. DON’T: wear anything you might, possibly, someday ever want to wear again. While I did laundry and got the house back in order this weekend, David and Brynna played. They stayed pretty close to the potty seat and wipeable surfaces until Daddy got brave. They were talking to Honey K on the phone when I heard a frantic, “Mom, I’m going to have to call you back!” I turned to find Brynna reading a book and David wet from chest to knees. (What can I say? She has a strong core and great bladder control. When it comes, it comes with a vengeance.) I’ve worn a lot of gym shorts and tank tops this week…
5. DO: reward good behavior. You earned it. Thin Mints never tasted so good. Oh, yeah. Reward the pottier, too. Just be aware that offering M&M’s from the freezer might cause a 20 minute session of screaming at random points in the day where your child yells, “Treat! Treeeeeat!” and bangs on the refrigerator door.
6. DO laugh. A lot. We’ve had a number of accidents this week, and while I tell her that pee-pee doesn’t belong on the floor, I can’t help but smile when she stands there pantless petting the dog while I clean up the floor. At one point today, I stood laughing at my little lady sitting on her potty seat with a stack of books next to her, Minnie Mouse panties around her feet. At another point, I hugged her while she cried because she needed to “poo-poo” but doesn’t yet understand fully that she controls the ability to do so. She didn’t want to get up; she just needed some TLC. So I sat on the floor with my arms around her while she sat on her potty. Now that’s funny. And an image I will carry with me forever.
A couple of freebies:
Don’t get so consumed cleaning up the grossness you miss what a big deal this is. Do stop to remember what a turning point this is. Don’t think it means he’ll never need you for anything again. But do let him embrace this stage of independence and each that follows after it. Don’t share it on social media, but do take a MENTAL pic that you can cherish PRIVATELY later. I’m serious. Think before you post. Nobody needs to see that – definitely not your child’s friends when she’s 13.