As an early Christmas present, Sweet Pea has started potty training herself. That’s right. My not-yet-two-year-old is potty training herself. If I had anything at all to do with it, I’d try to take the credit. But Sweet Pea is doing it (very slowly) all by herself.
It all started about two months ago when out of the blue, Sweet Pea told us she wanted to sit on the potty. Parents who have potty trained a kid know that Sweet Pea’s request was a make-or-break moment: potty training kids go through phases where they love the potty or hate the potty and won’t go on it for anything. We knew that it was important to make Sweet Pea love the potty. So we put her on. We gave her a book to read (to those of you who may visit my home, it is a dedicated bathroom book. Please do not freak out when you see the second, non-bathroom copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar floating around my house). We gave her pape-pape (Sweet Pea’s word for t.p.) to play with. At first, Sweet Pea wasn’t sure. But soon enough, we were down to only one or two diapers a day. Amazing for a twenty month old.
But each and every week we experience a set back: daycare. Daycare isn’t truly equipped for handling a potty training toddler. Sure, the room has an attached, little person bathroom, but it is used primarily for storage. Since most kids move out of the toddler classroom on or about their second birthday, there apparently isn’t much demand for the toddler throne. So the teachers just leave Sweet Pea in diapers.
This situation frustrates me. First, because Sweet Pea is telling us that she has to go – indicating that she has already mastered one of the more difficult parts of potty training. I want to reward her for understanding what her body is telling her. And I want to reward her by letting her use the super-cool, only-big-kids use it potty. She needs the positive reinforcement, because if she doesn’t get it now, it’s going to be super hard to get it back say three months from now when she’s moved to the other classroom that does focus on potty training. And I’m frustrated because it means every Friday we start from scratch with Sweet Pea. If we could just build on the progress instead of having to start over, I’d stand a chance of getting both kids out of diapers in the calendar year 2010. A Christmas-letter worthy accomplishment indeed.
As it stands right now, however, Pampers will continue receiving a large portion of my disposable income for the foreseeable future. With no transition date set in stone and a backlog of kids, Sweet Pea isn’t moving into twos any faster. And, given her impish size, she is more likely to stay in toddlers longer than she otherwise might. So the full-out potty training process will be delayed. But in the meantime, I’m going to make the home potty the fun-est, best, big-girl place you could ever want to be. Daycare might not be excited about the prospect of no diapers, but my wallet is!