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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adventures in potty training.

I was thinking that I'd wait to try potty training with Mira until after baby #2 arrived.  I had several reasons for this.  1) Mira's still pretty young.  Even when the baby is born, she'll likely not even have had her second birthday yet.  It seems awfully early to potty train.  2) She's not talking much yet, so she currently has no way of communicating to me that she needs to go to the restroom.  3) I had heard that the introduction of a new sibling can be such a shock to the older child that they regress back away from recent achievements, including potty training.  I don't want to have to potty train twice.  4) Tying in to #3, I want to keep things as familiar for her as possible during the transition from being an only child to being a sister.  I figure the more things that stay the same for her, the less disconcerting the whole experience will be for her.

A couple months ago when I took Mira in for her 18-month checkup, the doctor asked about my potty training plans, and I told him everything in the previous paragraph.  He seemed to agree with my assessment, but he suggested that I go ahead and get a little potty for her to play with and get familiar with.  It was also around this time that I noticed that Mira was starting to want to be dry.  When she had a wet/dirty diaper, she would come up to me saying "ah ah ah" and pointing at the diaper.  Every time that happened, I tried to encourage it by praising her and thanking her for telling me.  I was really excited to see this development, because it's one of the most important milestones to hit before attempting potty training.

So a couple weeks ago, I took her to the store to pick out her "big girl potty".  I found a couple that would work as a little stand-alone floor potty or the top could come off to make a little seat on top of a big toilet, and then I let her pick which one she liked better.  I brought the new potty home for her, put it together, and explained what it was for.  I kept the tone very light, saying things like, "Whenever you are ready..." and "If you want to...".     At this point I was still thinking that we'd wait to "officially" potty train until after baby #2 arrived, but there was no harm in warming her up to the idea in advance.  

Well, she really liked the potty and for about a week I just let her play with it however she wanted, sitting on it while still clothed, putting the seat on and off, taking the pot in and out, pulling out the TP dispenser and spinning it around.  Then about a week ago, Brian and I started letting her sit on the potty naked right before her bath every night.  She thought that was interesting, but nothing much happened... until last night.

I was getting Mira ready for her bath and, as is our routine now, I undressed her and sat her naked on the potty.  About then, I realized I needed to go, too.  So I did my business on the big toilet right next to her and as I did, I explained that Mommy was going pee-pee in the potty and if she wanted to she could go pee-pee in her potty, too.  I finished up, washed my hands, and started putting toothpaste on Mira's toothbrush.  (To keep her sitting on the potty a little bit longer, I had been brushing her teeth while she sat on the potty.)  Well, I turned around with her toothbrush and SHE WAS PEEING.  IN THE POTTY. 

I tried not to make too big a commotion, but I still wanted to congratulate her, so I said in a happy tone, "Oh good, you're peeing in the potty like a big girl."  Then I showed her how to wipe with TP and let her stand up and turn around to admire her accomplishment.  She seemed pleased with herself.  We said "yay" and clapped our hands.  Then I showed her as I took the pot out and dumped it into the toilet, flushed it down, washed out the pot, and put the potty back together.  She immediately sat back down on the potty and signed "more".  I then had to explain how Mommy can't make the pee come.  I've also had to explain how Mommy can't make another airplane fly over, the rain start or stop, Daddy come home from work, Mira's hiccups come back, the traffic light turn green, the dog bark again, the sun come back up, more butterflies come, or another train go by.  Part of me loves how she thinks I'm omnipotent, but man are those big shoes to fill.  

So now that we've had a big success, I'm rethinking my plan to wait until after baby #2 arrives to potty train Mira.  I don't want to ruin any momentum.  And if she's ready, then I should take her lead.  So I guess I'm thinking now that maybe we should attempt some potty training, but just at a really relaxed pace.  First thing is I really need to find and teach her a sign for potty so that she can tell me if she wants to go.  I think I'll also start letting her sit naked on the potty every time I go to the bathroom.  I'm in there frequently, what with the pregnancy, and she's always in there with me anyway, might as well make something constructive of that time.  But I'm certainly not ready to do anything drastic yet, like put her in training pants.  One success is not a pattern.  Maybe I'll reconsider training pants when she's having multiple successes a day for several days in a row.  But that may be a while.  I'm honestly really surprised that she peed in the potty even once, given her age, so I'm still not expecting any huge changes any time soon.  


Donna said...

Oh, yeah. Right attitude. It may be an isolated event. Or she might decide to do it. Wait and see. Could go either way - this is not super-early and she seems to have the bladder capacity and control.

Anjea said...

Go Mira!

I agree with Donna...

"Part of me loves how she thinks I'm omnipotent, but man are those big shoes to fill."

I LOL'd at that. :D

Marcy said...

Exciting! That's a great sign that she recognizes the feeling of being wet (I think that's a key factor we're missing over here...).

I'm thinking the laid-back approach is the best one for us to take, and seems that's the right thing for you guys, too. She may go on from here to consistently use the potty and seem to "hold it" to go on the potty instead of her diaper. Or, this may have been a simple matter of "right place, right time." Who knows. Either way, good luck!

Oh, and this:
"Part of me loves how she thinks I'm omnipotent, but man are those big shoes to fill."

God, yes. This makes me feel both so proud, and so humble at the same time. I dread the day he figures out Mommy's not so smart/powerful/wonderful as he seems to think I am right now...