If you ever have an extra bottle of wine just lying around and you’re like, “Oh, I wonder who I should gift this to?” give it to a mom who is potty training a toddler. In fact, just go to your wine rack right now, grab the closest bottle to you, put a little bow on it, and hand it to your favorite friend with kids. You’ll become a hero.
I’m actually fairly lucky in this department. Sofia has been beyond great with this dreaded task. Potty training her is still a messy pain in the butt, but it could be worse. At least for us there haven’t been any tears. It’s been a slow process. I was nervous to start toilet training her too soon because I have heard some flat-out horror stories from parents (mine included) about the repercussions of starting too early. Jarred and I were just going to wait until she gave us some signs that she was ready. Sofia gave us a few signs when she was just a little over a year old by pointing at the toilet and flushing it constantly. Jarred and I got pretty excited, so we rushed to the store the next day and bought her her very own potty chair. This thing was a beast. It was all princess themed and made this magical little twinkling sound whenever you “flushed” it. It even came with this unbelievably soft insert pad so her little buns wouldn’t get uncomfortable on the seat. Any time she looked like she was ready to go to the bathroom, we would just place her on it and say all those ridiculous things parents say when they really want their kid to do something. “There are thirty cookies in it for you if you go potty right now.” “No one potties as well as Sofie potties!” “All those other babies out there are so jealous of you right now!” And my personal favorite, in correct sing-song fashion, “Go Sofie, go Sofie, we’re gunna potty like it’s your birthday.” None of it worked. It’s a shame one-year-old’s don’t understand the concept of bribery. We didn’t fully give up hope until we caught her biting into the toilet seat cushion (unused, don’t worry) like she was a dog with a new chew toy. So we pressed on.
She didn’t really start showing signs again that she was ready until she was almost two. I was really excited for her (and a little for my wallet – no more diapers!), but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m the type of person who has to have everything be on a schedule. No two milestones can run into each other. At the time, I was slowly weening her off of breastfeeding, and I just couldn’t deal with adding another thing to my plate (moms who have breastfed, I know you hear me). So we waited again. After her second birthday, it was game on. Every time I would take a big drink of something, I would say something stupid like, “Oh boy, do I need to potty or what?!” Stupid, yes, but it got her attention. Then she would mimic me by taking a big gulp and running to the bathroom.
The first time she peed in the toilet, I screamed with excitement. The second, third, fourth, fifth time, I did the same thing. She lit up with joy. But then something bad happened – she started to correlate water with going to the bathroom. Every sip from a cup meant it was potty time. Every shower or bath meant it was potty time. Every public pool meant it was potty time (but I’m pretty sure public pools are about 60 percent pee anyway). And not just peeing. Any sight of liquid also gave her the urge to “go number two” as my mother-in-law calls it. Gratefully, as Sofia gets older and her bladder gets bigger, she’s starting to realize that being in or seeing bodies of water, no matter how small, doesn’t mean she has to push anything out. It’s happening slowly, but it’s still happening. Just don’t let my kid near your pool. Or your shower.
Not all heroes wear capes. Most of them just fish poop out of a bathtub.