The past 3 months, I’ve woefully found myself sliding into the trenches of the ‘preschool mom’. Don’t get me wrong, I have you all on the highest pedestal possible.
Mothering is tough.
Mothering young children is tougher.
Up until Norah was born, I’d been so prideful and so extremely grateful that I didn’t have to engage in any form of potty talk with any of my children, other than warning them against the use of swear words or name calling. When your kids come into your family at 6 and 7, they are fully capable of using the bathroom, tying their shoes, chewing and swallowing solid food, etc. etc. etc. I was over the moon about all these things and gloated that I didn’t have to really teach my kids anything!
Fast forward to ‘my youngest kid is already 3 years old and has zero interest in using the toilet’. I, of course, still refused to engage in any form of potty talk, read any articles or books on toilet training, ask any friends for tips, etc. etc. etc. “I am not a baby mom,” I tell myself. “I am a teenager mom who also happens to have a toddler.” Well. Door slams in the face of said mom and at some point. That point is now.
I’ll spare you the details, but the extent of my potty training efforts was 1 1/2 hours of no diaper. During the course of that 1 1/2 hours, toddler pees twice on the floor and poops once while attempting to climb on the table. All hell broke loose for me as I attempted to catch the poop on a cardboard box I was holding while simultaneously sideways carrying said toddler to the bathroom.
We stuck with diapers from that point forward. Whether or not she was ready...I wasn’t.
I know most of you have plenty of horror stories about bodily fluids from your children and, quite honestly, I don’t want to hear them. That is why I have avoided you all for so long. And I haven’t learned anything in this process about how to get your kid to use the toilet. But, I have learned a lot about my kid.
Norah potty trained herself. Just like she taught herself to crawl and taught herself to walk and taught herself to climb. This girl is on a bit of a different time table than what is considered ‘developmentally appropriate’, and takes more time before she attempts things. She’s a watcher. She sits and observes without really trying anything. She just watches things happen and when she feels like she’s ready, she just does it. She didn’t ‘practice’ walking with 2 steps and fall, 3 steps and fall. No. She sat on her butt for the longest time and didn’t do anything while I was all huffy saying, ‘why doesn’t my kid want to move at all?’. But when she stood up and walked, she took over 20 steps. She actually walked, not stepped. And that has been the pattern. I kept nagging her about the fact that she needed to start using the toilet. And she kept saying calmly, “When I get bigger I will, Mama. When I get just a little bigger.”
And my anxiety slapped me in the face one morning two weeks ago when she said, “Mama, I think today I’m going to use that potty.” And she did. And she has had zero accidents. Zero. We’ve had a few roadside/trailside potty stops, in the dirt on the side of the road, but who hasn’t?
So today, we celebrated the end of the diaper era by burning all our leftover diapers!! (No, but I think maybe that will be my own devious private celebration. Any other potty training parents who hate all this potty talk are more than welcome to join me). For her, we celebrated by taking a road trip to the Jelly Belly Factory. For some reason, against dentists good wishes, this girl has taken a liking to jelly beans. And, for good measure, we used them as rewards for using the toilet. (Please, no judgement here, you all know you did something...sticker charts do nothing for this kid).
And, without further adieu, a few pics of the incredible workings of a candy store that spits out jelly beans faster than I can say Jelly Belly. America, what is our fascination with anything and everything mass-marketable?! And/or our fascination with sugar?!
But, of course, this girl loved it so much she wanted me to take pictures of her dancing by the Jelly Belly car on the way out of the factory. And, like any good mom does, I obliged.
Cheers to you, baby girl, on your journey in underwear and cavities!