Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Four P's of Potty Training: Patience, Persistence and Princess Pan.ties

Oh, Peanut. You certainly do make life interesting.

You've been wishy-washy about potty-training ever since our Potty Party. It almost seems that as soon as you learned what a big deal going in the potty truly was, you no longer wanted to do it. You only liked it when it was an ordinary act, with no applause and great cheer.

So we let the potty training wane.

We let you refuse to sit on the potty. We let you shake your head and scream "NO!" when you were anywhere near a potty.

I've never been one of those parents who does the 3 day Boot camp potty training, or who feels compelled to push their kid before they are ready. But you changed me, Peanut. You called my bluff, and you forced my hand.

After one year of you partly potty training, it was on.

See - you know when you have to pee. You sing-song "I'm NOT going pee in my pull-up right now." And, yet, you ARE. Then you laugh and say "I get a new pull up now. This one is wet. I want another Ariel!"

Guess what, Peanut? The gig is up. I'm not buying any more fancy-pants Ariel pullups. No more Rapunzel or Cinderella or Doc McFreakingStuffins. I don't like spending $10 for stuff that gets wet and thrown away (or, as we have had lately, eaten by the Dog. That's another story, though.)  From now on, if you need a diaper, you are getting the generic, ugly, plain white non-pullup pullups.

Because now you have Princess Un.dies. And you are going to learn to wear them.

When I told you on Monday that you could have Princess Un.dies if you stayed dry for three days, you did. Easily. And then you picked out the prettiest, pinkest, girliest ones you could find.

You stayed dry all night, and put on princess un.dies in the morning. You peed in the potty.
You stayed dry the whole two hours at the gym. You peed in the potty at the gym (all by yourself!).
You stayed dry at the kids park with NO BATHROOM (seriously, who designed that?!). You peed in the potty at home.
You stayed dry all through your 3 1/2 hour nap.

And then you refused to pee in the potty.

I didn't push you, Peanut. It was early evening by this time, and I was fed up to my eyebrows with tantrums and fits for the day. My patience tank had run out the 300th time your brother asked to watch TV and play with my phone. You threw a mini fit when I mentioned going on the potty, so I let it slide. One more tantrum might do me in, and I was determined not to go down tonight. I gave up on forcing the issue with you,  and figured - hey, you're smart enough. You'll head to the potty when you need it.

Twenty minutes later, you had an accident. A big one.

Oh boy, Peanut, did you hate it. (Does anyone actually like having accidents? I can't imagine it ever feels good.) You were trembling and your voice, shrill and anxious, called out to me across the house. "MOMMY?! Mommy - my chair is all wet. It all WET! It smells like PEE PEE!"

Oh, Peanut, it smells like that because it IS.

We talked then, Peanut, about going to the potty after naps. We talked about pullups and un.dies and how everyone - even Princesses, especially Princesses - go pee pee in potties.

You put on a pullup, and I told you you couldn't have your Rapunzel un.dies back until you told me you had to go to the potty, and then went. A few hours later you did just that, and danced for joy afterwards.

I'm sorry I've been lazy with you, Peanut. I underestimated your persistence and my patience. I think if we work on this together, we can make it happen. We can make it fun and simple and easy.

What do you say, Peanut? Are you in?

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