At Annie’s 18 month visit, Dr. Looove gave me a pamphlet about potty training. POTTY TRAINING Y’ALL. I had no idea this was something I was supposed to start concerning myself with already. But Dr. Looove is the expert, so I read the pamphlet…and I took some notes. I decided I’d use the weekend to implement some of the pamphlet’s suggestions.
Well, not only am *I* not ready, but THREE MONTHS? It will take THREE MONTHS to potty train Annabel? I can barely make it three months without soiling MYSELF. And now I have to dedicate three months to teaching Annabel not to crap herself? This is problematic.
When I first read this I thought, “So what you’re telling me is I now have to invite Annabel to be with me the two minutes I get to myself every day.” Awesome. After living with the idea a few minutes, however, I told myself that I was a gamer and could do it. So I brought Annabel into the bathroom, and she was psyched. I showed her my…business…in the toilet bowl, and she gave me a confused look as if to say, “And why exactly are you showing me THAT?!” I then taught her how to flush. She did it once, then, for her own amusement, flushed the toilet again. And again. AND AGAIN. All within the span of five seconds. Thanks, pamphlet… our water bill is now going to be astronomical.
OK, we don’t have a potty chair yet, but I figured cutting out the middle man was fine. So back into the bathroom we went, this time with a dirty diaper. Annie was THRILLED to be near the toilet again. I started the big show of dumping her dump into the toilet when she interrupted to say, “Annie do!” Instead of telling her no, I tried to speed up the process of pouring out the contents of her diaper…and missed. Ugh. As I began the (disgusting) task of picking up poop off the floor, Annie maniacally flushed the toilet over and over while chanting “fush fush fush!” I am traumatized.
Um…is wiping not a step? WITHER THE WIPING?! Isn’t this where we are supposed to teach her about front to back? I feel like it is a CRUCIAL step. Also, if the person who wrote this pamphlet doesn’t know about wiping, should we really trust them?
Where do I begin…
- Teach the vocabulary (pee, poop, potty, etc.)
- I am happy to teach this vocabulary, but will someone please tell me what etcetera is in this case? Seriously.
- Clarify that everyone makes pee and poop.
- I have it on good authority Oprah doesn’t make poop.
- Point out when dogs or other animals are going pee or poop.
- I’m pretty sure this will give Rigby a complex, but fine.
- Clarify the body’s signals when you observe them: “Your body wants to make some pee or poop!”
- This actually isn’t hard, as Annie likes to hide behind the couch when she poops. So I said, “Annie! Your body wants to make poop right now!” and she looked back and me and replied, “Elmo.” I feel like maybe there is a communication barrier.
- Praise your child for passing poop in the diaper.
- High fives are now issued whenever someone poops.
- Do not refer to poop as dirty or yucky stuff.
- I am in the market for adjectives for poop that aren‘t “dirty,” “yucky,” or “holy mother this stinks.”
- Make changing diapers pleasant for the child so he will come to you.
- When I change Annie’s diaper, I place her on a table covered with the softest material I’ve ever felt. Her body is cushioned and the wipes I use are room temperature. I do not know HOW I can make this experience more pleasant for her. I can think of a MILLION ways to make the experience more pleasant for ME though.
The last page of the pamphlet says that your child is labeled “resistant” to potty training if the approach described doesn’t work after six months. I think it’s safe to say that if it takes me six months to potty train Annabel, I’ll end up in diapers in the looney bin.
So realistically, when is the rough age that little girls potty train? And if you have a gifted child who potty trained at 18 months, lie to me.