Thursday, January 26, 2006

Potty Town! Excellent!

Hello all, and greetings from Potty Town, where the population is large and we are thinking of moving.

On one of my recent library trips, I decided to check out a book about potty training. I really knew nothing about it. Who in the heck is born knowing what to do in these instances?! Up until that point we had bought a potty, practiced going on it, even bought some special underwear. That was it.

Naively assuming she would just one day decide to go regularly on her own, I had convinced myself that my role was only that of encourager, and that no way was I going to be doing anything to put pressure on the precious one. After reading, "Mommy I Have To Go Potty," I realized that being laissez-faire about the whole process was just as bad as putting a ton of pressure on her. The book taught me that I should make the most of her obvious readiness. It gave me permission to give her a nudge.

So. My nudge went a little something like this. Each morning I would remind her that we were going to go listen to a book on the potty. Sometimes she didn't go, but when she did, I would whoop it up and tell her how proud I was of her. I also ended our day the same way. She seemed to feel proud of every time she went and because there were so many opportunities to go, there were many opportunities for success.

This went on for a few days and then came the day when we put on a special pair of Elmo underwear and I explained how Elmo didn't want to get wet. We continued with the frequent mom-imposed visits to the potty where sometimes she went but sometimes she didn't. There was one point in the day when she said, "Elmo got wet," and we matter-of-factly changed her and started again. It was the only accident that day. The second time we did underwear she wore it all day long and had no accidents. Also, at that point, she was recognizing when she had to go and going all by herself. There was a point when she disappeared and I realized she was in the bathroom on her potty. I felt the same way then that I do when I catch her trying a food that she did not previously eat.

Since then, she has had a brief vacation from the town of Potty, as she was visiting the land of the Sick and Feverish. Boy, was THAT a thrill. She's been sick with about EVERYTHING since the summer but this latest illness was the worst. It definitely sent us backward a few steps. Who can think about going potty in the potty when all you wanna do is breathe normally? And as for the motherly nudge, it got lost in a sea of sleepless nights, wherein every hour my cherub would wake up and moan for her momomy.

All in all, what move is that simple? You don't just decide to live somewhere, and occupy the new house in a day. Doesn't even happen in a month sometimes. So it is with the pottytraining experience. However, now that I know how to nudge, and she is feeling better, we will just keep at it. And in the meantime we will be packing up the moving van with pull ups, in preperation for our move to Potty Town.

I think we're going to really like it there.

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