Potty Mouth

Monday, September 26, 2011

Well, we knew the time would come, I just didn't expect it to be so soon. Potty training. (gulp) I don't know why I'm surprised. It's not like my kid is any different than any other kid (right?) but I keep catching myself saying things like "we were going to wait until such-n-such but then she such-n-such..." and here we are. Matilda walked at just over 10 months, climbed out of her crib at 20, and has recently shown serious interest in the potty now at almost 23 months. These are all within "average" milestones - but it just feels soon to me to be standing in the aisle at Target trying to decide between Tangled or My Little Pony panties for my darling girl. **weird**

So, today was the day: day one (dramatic music here). She found the potty that we bought for her last night and we let her investigate it thoroughly. In fact, we got a little head start on today having her sit on it and go a little and read a couple of the potty books I got her.

Speaking of which - let's just take a moment here. Okay, so I go to Barnes & Noble the other day to see what they have in the category of potty training helpfulness. Turns out someone (quite a few people, actually) is making a killing coming up with ways to write and illustrate when and where poop happens. This is disturbing. Really, you won't believe what is out there. Sure, we all get a good chuckle at the "Everyone Poops" book. It is informative and humorous and helps break the ice on an otherwise awkward subject. And let's just be honest - poop is funny. Junior high humor aside, the word alone conjures up a good smirk on even the most formal of faces.

But let's draw the line at funny and informative and call it a day, folks! We need not get superfluous with the poop talk! There was even one book out there all about "Where's the poop" and you literally lift flaps in the book (interactive!) searching for different animals' poop in the woods. How is this helping my child learn to run to the potty in a moment of urgency? How is this helping her remember to take her undies off before she sits on the potty? And why do I care that Mr. Bear finally found his poop under an evergreen hedge? C'mon people.

Luckily, I was able to find a couple stories that fit the need. Cute, direct, to-the-point, and entertaining. I'm also thinking that the writers of the superfluous-poop books didn't take into account that parents would be reading these again and again and again and again, nearly every time you have to sit your toddler on the pot. And let's face it - one can only read "Princess of the Potty" so many times before you just want to throw it into the toilet...along with your sanity.

That being said: Day one is coming to a close. We've gone through about five successes, three major failures, and a bazillion Clorox wipes. I've decided to bribe her via sticker chart for now. I didn't do anything fancy. I figure 1) she's never seen a chart before so she won't know how lame this one is and 2) I may need to up the ante on these rewards soon, so I'd better start small. So, we just have a big poster board titled "Matilda's Potty Poster" (original, I know) and she gets to put a sticker on it wherever she wants each time she has a success (little success = little sticker, big success = big sticker) and with each "big" accident, she has to take down a sticker (boo!) So far, so good. She's into it.

My expectations have been low, so I'm pretty pleased with how we're starting out. Who knows how long the stickers will last? Who knows how many stickers will get up on the poster tomorrow? I know this is going to be a pretty long process with her, but I'm so glad to be able to be here for this milestone. I was just telling Josh last night how, even though I know this is going to be a major challenge, I'm so thankful I don't have to worry about daycare or work or leaving her with someone else to have to manage this messy time. Whew!
Thank you, Lord, that I get to be the one...home...cleaning up the poop.

Gee, I never thought I'd say that sentence!

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