When my second child turned 2 in early December, I was anxious to get her potty trained and get this diaper thing over with.
I decided during Christmas break that I was going to do “potty training boot camp” for Alli. I confidently told daycare she was coming back from the break in panties. I talked to her about it for weeks and showed her the singing potty and how it only sings if you pee on it.
We were ready.
We got started at 8 a.m. on my first day off from work. No diaper. Just pants. She loved the freedom and how it made her feel like a big girl. I encouraged her every 10 minutes or so to try out that potty that sings and lights up. She’d sit on it and stare at me with a big smile. And do nothing.
Ten minutes later, she peed in her pants. Two soaked pants later, we decided to go pantless. I stuck to it, reminding her throughout the day to go to the potty when she needed to teetee. She left the potty dry all day. And she peed on the floor nine times.
By 2 p.m., I had had about enough and decided to get some work done on the laptop at the bar stool on our counter. Tapping away at my laptop, I heard “Mommy, here!” I turned around, and she handed me a solid, round, stinky turd. In my palm. I shuddered, realizing she had just pooped in her own hand – not the singing potty that was a mere foot away – and then notice the14-year-old Chihuahua is hungrily munching down another of Alli’s turds that had plopped on the hardwood
floor, only about six inches from said potty.
At that moment, I determined that “potty training boot camp” was highly unsuccessful and officially OVER. Alli returned to daycare in pullups, not panties. However, ever since boot camp, she’s been more aware of when she teetees and is requesting to go to the bathroom frequently (perhaps too frequently, like when I have a full cart of frozen goods at Wal-Mart), but at least she’s getting there. On her time.
One lesson of potty training: The kid has to want it. Not just the parents. I learned that one the hard way.
Cindy F. Crawford is the editor of a news publication in Birmingham, Ala., and the proud parent of two spirited young children.
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