We’ve been potty training in the Richmond household. What a joy… I bought the Gina “How to potty train in a week” book, speed-read it and then promptly threw it into a drawer, laughing slightly hysterically, before placing another order for pull-ups.
But…. I do feel we may have turned a corner.
In the hope I don’t jinx things, I’m going to state here that more often than not, we get through the day without any little accidents. Of course there are still some, from time-to-time, but they are now very few and far between. Thankfully.
I’m not going to lie. It has not been a phase I’ve enjoyed. I think the combination of a potty-training toddler and a baby under 6-months old has been, shall we say… testing. Yes, testing. That would diplomatically sum it up.
Ahh the memories. How I will look back and laugh reflecting on how she poo-d into my hand. Not. Thankfully I was protected by the sliver of a wafer-thin Pampers Sensitive baby-wipe, as she stood with her shorts and knickers around her ankles, modesty barely protected by the open car door as we’d parked up in a German petrol station, en route to the Eurostar. A petrol station whose WC sign belied the truth that there was in fact no toilet facilities available to customers. There I was wiping her butt clean (she’d needed a pull-up change) and then suddenly “oh the poo’s coming out mummy” and there it was… in my hand. It was special.
Pre-school has repeatedly told me “we have had no accidents today mummy… (yes, they call me “mummy”) “we go to the toilet by ourselves mummy and we have no accidents now.” And it seems this is true. But at home, it hasn’t always been the case.
Maybe we need to get one of those little toilets installed in our house? – it might help avoid the “ah, ah, mummy, poooooooo” cries that can be frustrating to hear when voiced standing within a few feet of the carefully placed potty, which she could just walk over to, pull down her pants, and sit on in the time it’s taken her to say “ah, ah, mummy, poooooo” – but (I say this with fingers crossed) I think these days are almost a thing of the past now.
The moment I felt we’d really turned a corner: I’d left Allegra in the sitting room reading her books – the potty was in the corner – as I tidied up the lunch things in the kitchen. When I walked back into the room, there she was, sitting on the potty, which she had placed on top of the sofa (err?!?!) and climbed atop, and as she saw me she declared: “I’m doing a poo mummy”. And indeed she was.
Yaaaaaaaay! Wahoo!! A poo in the potty, all by yourself, without calling me first or just doing it in your pants and then telling me “poo mummy, I did it in my pants”. A-MAZE-ING! I stopped short of doing a Mexican-wave and a lap of honour around the living room. After all, it’s not much of a wave if there’s just one of you (more of a salute…) and it was not my lap to take. I did reward with a sweetie though. Actually a biscuit, truth be told. It’s a biscuit for a poo in this house, a sweetie for a wee (yes, we resorted to bribery, so sue us!).
“Perhaps don’t put the potty on top of the sofa next time though lovely,” I said, while also trying to keep my positive-ra-ra-upbeat voice in check (Gina advises the positive praising upbeat voice must be in check throughout the potty training phase… this is virtually impossible to maintain throughout in my experience… especially when someone poos into your hand… that challenges your ability to maintain a chirpy upbeat voice).
But you know what, we’re pretty much there with the big pants no nappies thing now. Nappies are still on at nighttime for the moment, but daytime, it’s nappies off and pull-ups away, and knickers all the way: note, the knickers must be princess ones ideally (although we’re in need of replenishing those as a number have been thrown in the bin over the potty training phase, I decided life is too short to scrape poo off a pair of child’s pants), although Peppa ones have recently been deemed acceptable too.
So, no, we didn’t succeed in the Gina “potty train in one week” approach (but actually if you read that book, it’s the second stage bit that is the one week bit, the first stage can go on quite a while so I would argue that the title of that book is somewhat misleading!) but we have succeeded in making the transition out of nappies into big-girl princess pants and we’ve done it at our own pace. So there, Gina!
Oh and another thing Ms Ford… your tip about holding soiled pants in the toilet and flushing them to wash the poo off them: (a) that doesn’t really work and (b) if, like me, you’re not holding onto them very tightly, it can result in the pants being flushed down the loo… this may or may not* have happened to me…
*totally did happen, am still watching and waiting with anxiety to see if the loo gets blocked up by Snow White and overflows…