I hate potty training. In fact, since Olivia's birth I have been dreading the impending toddler potty training days. Needless to say, I was in no hurry to get her using the potty. In fact, in my laziness, I rationalized that changing her diapers was far easier on all of us, especially with all the time we spend away from the house...either in the car taking kids to school and preschool or while attending Bible Study, ECFE classes, church and AWANA.
Yep, I thought, it would be much better just to put off the whole potty training business until after the holidays...after our traveling was over and things calmed down. After doctor's appointments were completed and holiday events were over...surely that would be a better and less busy time.
For weeks, more like months, Olivia has been telling almost anyone and everyone when she needs to pee. She would hide to do her business and then immediately request a diaper change when she was done. She knew exactly what the potty was and what it was for. She talked about wearing underwear some day and being a big girl. Basically, she was ready. I knew she was ready. Everyone else knew she was ready. But, I HATE POTTY TRAINING!
Finally, in a last ditch effort to try to provide myself with some evidence that she wasn't ready (so that I would feel less guilty not taking the time to potty train her), I asked her after lunch one Monday if she'd like to try to pee on the potty. She enthusiastically proclaimed "YES!" and proceeded to sit on the potty and tinkle...pretty much like a pro.
Dangit. It was in that moment that I realized I couldn't put off the inevitable anymore and that afternoon we made a trip to Target to stock up on Minnie Mouse underwear, jelly beans, and Hershey Kisses. At Target, she guzzled a huge Icee and when we returned home, I gave her as many juice boxes as she desired. She was officially tanked and ready to go.
The first afternoon was actually kind of rough. But, by the end of the evening, we had far more successes than failures. She was eager to use the potty (mostly for the jelly bean she received for each tinkle) and was thrilled about her underwear, even helping me pack away her diapers.
I was still in positive spirits as we started day number 2: Tuesday. That was until we had our first poop...NOT ON THE POTTY! This was what I had been dreading. As I cleaned poop off of what seemed like the entire lower half of her body, I just kept reminding myself that my potty training days will be officially over as soon as Olivia could get the hang of this. It was the only thing that kept me going through day 2...which honestly had far more failures than successes.
Day 3: Wednesday. I cancelled Bible Study. We were staying home. We were going to get the hang of this potty training business once and for all. By the afternoon, she seemed to officially understand getting pee in the potty. However, she did not poop....at all...the entire day. Even after I resorted to allowing her to use my phone and laptop to watch Minnie Mouse in the bathroom.
By Thursday I was growing weary. I obviously lack any sort of patience whatsoever when it comes to potty training. It is one of those things that while going through it, there seems to be no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel. I was dreading the impending poop...I mean, you can only hold it in for so long.
We spent most of our day at home again. Basically, for the first week, Olivia ran around the house completely pants-less. Thankfully, I had picked up some encapsulated expanding sponge dinosaurs at the grocery store that kept the kids occupied for over an hour.
By Thursday evening I was especially looking forward to worship team practice at church. I was more than ready for a little break from the trenches, however I was bummed that I would most likely miss Olivia's first poo on the potty. All that work....I definitely wanted to be there to celebrate her first #2 success.
At that point, I think God really knew I needed some encouragement because mere minutes before I left for worship team rehearsal, I helped Olivia get up from her little potty to discover she had actually pooped! Hallelujah! She seemed pretty surprised to see what was in the potty and slammed the lid shut as quickly as possible. We made sure to congratulate her and shower her with Hershey Kisses. I was elated because I could finally see that light! We were almost there!
The next few days saw their fair share of accidents, but we were definitely making strides. In fact, I noticed she did far better when we were away from home. Most of her accidents seemed to happen at home when she was busy playing or didn't want to miss out on any action with Allie and Zach.
The next week went extremely well. She even told the teachers at Sunday School and Bible Study when she needed to use the bathroom. We had a few accidents, but nothing too major.
The biggest challenge so far was our trip to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. While she did amazing during the car trip, we struggled with that #2. Unfortunately, I think she also picked up a stomach bug from Zach that resulted in the Big D for most of our trip. What she thought to be an innocent toot, ended up being quite the opposite...on many occasions. Both Ben and I were growing increasingly weary of cleaning up so many messes....and even Allie was beyond grossed out when she woke up one morning in the bed that her and Olivia were sharing to discover that Olivia had quite the explosive Pull-Up.
Thankfully, since we've been home Olivia has recovered and seems to be back on track. I would say she is officially potty trained at this point, but I'm still aware that there will be those occasional accidents. We haven't tackled the night training yet, but I'm positive that will come in time. While I still hate potty training with a passion, I'm glad I put aside my dread and simply followed Olivia's cues.
And to think...definitely by this summer...it will be the first time in over 7 years that I won't need a diaper bag!! I look forward to the day!