She did it. This little Nugget is finally potty trained. It was no easy feat let me tell you. Probably the most nightmarish thing I have encountered as a parent yet. When you really lay down the law, you can pretty much force your kid to comply with whatever it is your working on...sleeping through the night, saying bye-bye to the nukie, switching from a crib to a big girl bed. But not this one. I tried. And it didn't work. I couldn't make her go potty. Sure, I could insist that she sat on the potty until she went, but that resulted in lots of tears, many hours sitting on toilets and two frustrated parents. I can't tell you how many times I told Nick that I wish she was like a fish...that I could just squeeze her and the pee would just come out. We had several failed attempts, but now looking back I see what the problem was. She just wasn't ready.
Back in August I posted a cry for help out there in Facebook land, hoping other Moms could share their secret weapons with me. We tried the sticker charts. No go. We tried bribery. Nuh uh. Read a bunch of books about going to the potty. Nope. Turned the water on while she was sitting on the potty. Nada. The best advice, although it sounded like the worst advice at the time, was to pull back and lay off. What?! Were they crazy? I was not about to stop and start this process one more time. Come hell or high water, I was plowing through and was going to get this girl trained once and for all.
But there's wisdom to be learned from other mothers. One being my sister, who has four girls of her own. And another being my friend, Shari, who has seven kids. Yes, seven. They have been there and done that, and I really trust them and their advice. So I listened to them. They told me to back off, and reluctantly, I did. They both said that potty training should not be hard. When they are truly ready, its a piece of cake. I also got some great advice from another friend, Terrye, who had just walked through a similar process with her own three year old. She comforted me by telling me it was ok and that there was no magic in the number three. I wasn't the worst mom ever if she needed a little extra time.
We put away the potty chairs. Threw away the sticker charts. Didn't read the books. Just went back to diapers without a word, and carried on. Fast forward to our Utah road trip. We were at a gas station and I brought Nugget into the bathroom with me. Armed with a diaper and a wipe, I was going to change her, when she said 'Hold on Mom. Let me pee first.' Did her business, then said 'Ok, now you can change me.' Uh, do you think the girl was ready?
Her reward for learning to go pee, a kitty she's had her eye on for months.
Three weeks ago, I suggested to her that we try wearing undies that day, and she said 'ok'. And so the process began..again. Sister has an uncanny knack for being able to hold her potty in, which I guess is a great potty training skill in the long run. But instead of having accidents, she can just hold it in, pretty much all day. It took the first two days for her to figure it all out and get comfortable, and I'm happy to say that she's going all the time now. When I ask her to go, she goes. When she needs to go, she tells me and gets herself to the potty on time.
We've still got a little work to do, like overcoming the fear of going #2. She's done it a few times, but again, sister can hold it in, which is not good. But just like before, I know she'll wake up one day and decide she's ready for it, and that will be that.
Her prize for going poopy like a big girl!
We couldn't be prouder of our little Potty Princess. And we are so thankful that we made it through this nightmare of a milestone, which turned out to not be so nightmarish after all. My lesson learned? Listen to your kid. And sister. And Shari.