The first time I tried to potty train Ella was a few months ago, right before her 2nd birthday. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “Look kiddo, you are a grown ass woman. This diaper business ends today” And that was that. Well, not exactly, but that was the gist of the talk.
Then I went at it guns blazing, commando-style; I left her sans diaper for an entire day.
It. Was. A. Disaster. She peed everywhere, NONSTOP. Seriously, how much pee can the bladder of a 2-year-old hold? I’ll tell you, A LOT. I spent that whole day mopping up little puddles of pee around the house. I offered her reminders, begged her, bribed her and even threatened her, to no avail. She just peed at will, without an ounce of remorse. She wasn’t even trying.
After a few days spent cleaning up pee puddles around the house, I accepted that she just wasn’t ready and decided to try again in a few months.
Fast forward to the beginning of this year. I made a few cautious attempts at getting her to use the potty and lo and behold! She took to it. And I’m thrilled…sort of.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m uber excited that we’ve reached this milestone. And super proud of my little girl for getting here. But OMG, is potty training a lot of work or what? Fact: Toddlers pee A LOT. I feel like I’m always taking her to the potty. And when I do, it’s never, EVER a calm affair. It usually goes something like this:
Me (noticing her shifting around awkwardly): Ella, do you need to go potty?
And then, 5 minutes later…
Ella: MOMMYYYY!!! NEED TO GO POTTY NOOOOW!!
Followed by a mad dash to the potty. Most of the time we make it but sometimes we don’t. When we don’t make it in time and she pees on herself, she cries HYSTERICALLY. I try to tell her that it’s ok but more often than not, she’s inconsolable. She is especially distraught if she happened to be wearing a “princess dress” (To Ella, any dress or skirt is a “princess dress”). She will NOT calm down until she is all cleaned up and wearing another “princess dress”. EXHAUSTING.
There is also the issue of peeing at inopportune moments. The pee monster could strike at ANYTIME. In a traffic jam, in the dead of the night, in the middle of a juicy Downton Abbey episode… ANY. TIME.
Here’s a question: Have you ever taken a toddler with you into a public restroom? IT. SUCKS. Here’s thing, toddlers are insane little curious things. They want to touch everything.
In a public restroom, a toddler’s brain is all like: “Oh, look! A roll of toilet paper! Does it float? Let me throw it in this here toilet and find out!” Or “Wow! What’s this brown interesting looking puddle on the restroom floor? Does it taste good? Hmm, let’s see!”
Meanwhile, mommy’s brain is going: “I. WILL. DIE. IF. SHE. TOUCHES. ANYTHING. This place is positively crawling with germs. Why didn’t I carry gloves?! I should buy her some gloves. Do they make little plastic gloves for kids? Like the ones on C.S.I? Well they should, because – NOOOO, HONEY DON’T TOUCH THAAAAT!!”
Aaaah, the joys of potty training.
Anyway, let me not complain. This is par for the course. Like Ella, I’m going to put on my big girl panties and soldier on.