blackwork: the potty
miss e is now proclaimed diaper free! (well, she still wears diapers when she sleeps.)
revised: miss e is diaper free during her waking hours!!!
here are 10 things i learned from our week-long potty training:
10. leggings are harder to take off than pants–it is harder for the child to pull them down herself. they take a few more extra seconds to pull down (in potty training sometimes seconds matter).
9. sing songs–i don’t like to sing, but over the course of the week we’ve made up quite a few potty songs/chants to help pass time and encourage sitting on the potty. (sorry, i will not sing them to you, they are only between my daughter and i. you’ll have to think of potty songs on your own!)
8. it’s hard for mama–no matter how much i prepared myself mentally for potty training it pushed me to my limit and then tested me some more. i was prepared to do a lot of cleaning, mopping, and laundering, but i wasn’t prepared for how strong-willed a little 2.5 year-old can be. i’ll admit it, i’ve snapped, i’ve yelled, and i’ve had to apologize.
7. regression is also a sign of progress–the first two days it seemed like miss e was getting the concept of using the potty, but then the next day she refused adamantly to sit on the potty (this is where i snapped and threatened and yelled). she just stood her ground. she held everything in until nap time when she wore a diaper. but after her nap she never went again, no matter how much water i pumped into her system. so that night i realized i would have to try a different strategy. the next day she started telling me when she needed to go use the potty, and would actually go each time she told me she needed to go. the days before that she would sometimes tell me she needed to go, and even when she was sitting on the potty (for over 15 min) she would not go. i don’t know what transacted on that frightful third day, but here it is…major progress on the fourth day.
6. going while standing uses different muscles than sitting–so it was a struggle even at first just for her to sit on the potty because she was used to going no. 1 and 2 standing up. even after i finally got her to sit down she would tell me that she’s “done” just as the 1 or 2 was coming and would want to stand up, because it felt weird. so i would have to hug her and keep encouraging her (this is where a lot of the singing came in) to stay seated until the business was done. sometimes while hugging her we would do breathing exercises so she could concentrate on something else…yes, a little bit like helping her with “labor.”
5. it’s also very stressful on the child–instead of the once carefree life, miss e now has to be aware of her body even while playing. i didn’t realize how taxing this heightened awareness of bladder and bowel movements could be to a toddler until i noticed that she was taking 3 hour naps (she normally takes 2 hour naps) and still going to bed at 9pm!
4. sesame street potty chart & STICKERS were big motivators–i had all sorts of potty prizes (from target’s $1 section) loaded in the prize box, but the reward system miss e liked best was putting up a sticker on her elmo zoe potty chart (from sesame street potty book) every time she went successfully. seeing her chart gradually fill up with stickers gave her a lot of satisfaction and pride…since the sticker chart system is working out so well i think i’m going to start a chore chart! hehehe!
3. we eventually had to go out–we stayed home for the first five days, but we started running out of food. i’m still waiting for our foldable travel potty to arrive in the mail. until then i try to carry around our little potty inconspicuously. 😛 and when we are going out for a longer duration of time i make sure she’s wearing training underwear that are thicker.
2. accidents still happen.
1. still can’t ditch the diaper bag–i was so looking forward to putting away the big bulky diaper bag and go back carrying my own purses. even though i don’t need to bring diapers i still need to carry an extra set of clothes in case of accidents…and there’s still the snacks, sippy cup, hat, tissues, wipes, markers…etc.
(theses points have not been scientifically tested nor are they applicable to every child, they’re just my observations from potty training my 2.5 yr old daughter. p.s. we have hardwood floors.)
updated april 8, 2013:
11. a new sense of responsibility–this was something i noticed that started occurring towards the end of our first week of potty training. miss e had been throwing less tantrums and insisting less of doing things her way. one example is that she usually would have a fit about being placed in the shopping cart but now she doesn’t seem to mind anymore. just today she asked for more oranges but i told her she had to finish her dinner before she could have more oranges, so without any complaints she proceeded to finish her dinner. if i had told her the same thing two weeks ago, foot stamping, dramatic wailing, and continual whining would have ensued. the the change was like night and day, and it didn’t just last for a few days…even mdh noticed a difference. she’s more willing to comply. i’m thinking maybe it’s because she feels like she more grown up. she’s accomplishing big kid things so she doesn’t need to try to assert herself in the other things. maybe it’s a coincidence and she’s just growing out of her tantrum phase? whatever the explanation, a more tempered behavior started happening after being potty trained.