I have to say, this was the part of parenting I was dreading the most.
Potty training. Ugh.
I have to admit, when we made the decision that I would stay home, one of the things I was really disappointed about was the fact that the girls wouldn't be in daycare for potty training. Madison was in a home daycare with a wonderful sitter who had been potty training kids for over 20 years. She'd seen them all: easy, stubborn, quick studies and slow learners. I totally trusted her to take the lead.
I did not trust myself.
I mean, if you screw this up, you can give your kid lifelong issues, right?
And we all know, you can't make a kid eat, sleep, or go to the potty.
I must have read five books on the subject. Potty Train in One Day....Potty Train in Three Days...No-Cry Potty Training (still haven't figured out if that's mom or kid)...Stress Free Potty Training...Potty Training for Dummies.
We have a stand alone potty, a ring for the seat, a travel seat, a car potty.
We used M&Ms, Dollar Tree toys, iPad time.
We did all the right stuff. At least, what the books said was the right stuff. The stuff that didn't contradict the other stuff.
And guess what? I still hated this process. Heck, we're at the end of the road and I still hate it.
5) Your life revolves around body functions and where they'll go.
No matter where we are, we're talking about where pee goes, where the potty is. We have asked each other, in public, how much pee the child produced. Did she pee? A lot? How much?
4) Your kid realizes they have TOTAL control over you.
Oh, it's bedtime? I need to poop. I'm in timeout? I need to pee! We just sat down in a restaurant? I need the potty? You decided not to bring extra clothes? I think I'll have an accident. We're stuck in traffic? I can't hold it!
3) You carry the bulk of the embarrassment.
Madison would have accidents and be totally fine about it. "It's OK. Accidents happen. I'll put on new pants and try better next time". She had no shame about telling anyone and everyone she ran into about her successes and failures. I, on the other hand, am humiliated when she wets her pants at a friend's house, or tells a waitress that Mommy had to put wet underpants in her purse. Not sure why this is so embarrassing to me. I am not wetting my pants. But since potty training is a reflection on me, I hate having these failures on display.
2) You are terrified to claim your child as "trained".
No? Just me? All I know is that every time I dare to verbalize that Madison has finally crossed that finish line, she proves me wrong. I've been telling me people that Madison is about 90% trained. That last 10%, however, is going to be the end of me.
1) Even once the training is done, you still have a job to do.
I'll spare you the details, but let's just say that even when the poop goes in the potty, I'm still wiping butts. Or, more likely, I'm finding skid marks from an extremely independent three year old who dislikes this help so much that she "sneak poops" so I won't wipe her.
I'll wait. Madison showed a huge amount of readiness and interest at 27 months, so I went with it. Thought I was following her lead, threw out the diapers (ok, that's a lie. I saved them for Reagan). Nine months, one major regression, and countless accidents later, we've been at the 90% mark for what seems like ages. If I'd waited until this spring, I could have saved myself a lot of aggravation and cleaning.
I won't compare. Just because a friend of ours trained at 19 months or has the bladder of a camel doesn't mean that my kid should. It's just a milestone, like everything else. The world is full of people who a) have selective memory loss about the awful parts, and b) have a different kid than yours.
And above all...
I'll keep my sense of humor. Because if you don't laugh about pee in the carseat, you'll cry.
Because, God help me, Reagan is starting to show a lot of interest.
The second kid is easier, right? RIGHT????