Friday, September 14, 2012

potty training is for the birds

i was talking to my friend this morning about the woes of potty training. she said something that really struck a cord with me. she said, "everybody always talks about how fast their kid gets potty trained, but no one really talks about the ones that take a long time."

it's true. i guess no one really wants to talk about anything their kid does that isn't "early" or "advanced", or even sheds them in a not so great light.

we i am here to do just that.

bella is not potty trained. not in the slightest. (go ahead and shake your head and cluck your tongue. i do it on a daily basis)

i mean, she knows about the potty. she uses the potty, occasionally. but she is by no means anywhere near potty trained. as a matter of fact, the child would probably go the entire day and not even let me change her diaper if i didn't wrestle her to the ground and threaten to beat her not let her play anymore.

when we arrived in germany, the pediatrician said, "what's up with the diaper?" innocently enough, but it just reminded me of the problem i may have created for myself. let me give you my excuses story.

i know too many people who like to share that their little angel was potty trained by 18 months, sleeping in undies at 2! mostly mothers of girls.

"oh, you'll have no problem. girls are so easy to potty train!"

so at 18 months, i bought her a potty. and not just any potty. the fisher price one that looked like a real potty (except with eyes and a mouth and that sang songs when you used it. why do kids get all the cool things, by the way?) and we began our journey. i would let her run around at home with no dipe and it was great-she never had an accident and she would get SO excited every time she used it. and boy did she use it. like every 20 minutes. it was actually kind of annoying after a while. every time she wanted a party.

"ok," i thought. "i need to encourage her! let's get stickers!! and prizes!!" you know. do it up right.

which meant that we had a week long chart, full of stickers after a day.

from everything i understood about potty training (absolutely nothing), if they use it that much, they aren't really ready. so we put it on hold. she wouldn't tell me if she had undies or a diaper on, so i assumed she didn't really know until she was just about to go.

we waited.

she turned 2 and i thought, hey, maybe we should try again. same story as before-she would go so often and only if she was absolutely nakey. and only at home. we had a few breakthroughs over the next couple of months where she would ask to go while she had a diaper on, and i would ask her over and over, and she would always say no, then come to me with a wet diaper. we talked about it, read books about it, watched her friends go. but she never really seemed to feel like it was something she needed to do (my fault, i know).

honestly, it was easier to just let her be in diapers. we travel a lot, which means if we really went at it, we could potentially have to stop and find a potty every 30 minutes or so. i took her potty with us places, but she never wanted to use it unless it was in the "potty room".

then we found out i was pregnant. and we got orders. and i was done.

the thought of me, on a 10 hour plane ride, with a big fat belly and swollen ankles, dragging her to the potty every 30 minutes, or her peeing in her pants on the plane, or even dealing with lugging a potty/potty seat all over while we  were already displaced, made me anxious. so i made an executive decision. unless she asked for it, there would be no more pushing with the potty.

so here we are, bella will be 3 in 3 months and we are no closer than when we started. ever since we unpacked her potty yesterday, she has been naked, and we are about 50/50. she didn't even have this many accidents when she was 18 months.

my biggest fear is that i have ruined her. that maybe i missed the "ready" signs because i was being kind of selfish, and now she just doesn't want anything to do with it. my next biggest fear is that the light will flip right before november, and then when the baby comes, she will have a fit and regress.

so, currently, she is eating a snack, watching little einsteins and sitting on her potty. because i really have no idea what else to do.

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