February 26, 2011

Potty-Training Without Even Trying, Part 2

My non-potty training approach worked: Cricket started using the potty three days after her third birthday. No training pants, tears, tantrums, balloons or bribery. I just waited for her to be ready. Here are some reflections on Cricket's potty-learning stage:
  1. Once Upon a Potty is all it Takes.
  2. My girl is stubborn and I think we're in trouble.
  3. Ora na azu nwa: It takes a village.
  4. There's nothing like the look on a toddler's face the first time she pees on the potty.
    I postponed this post – in case it was just a fluke – but she’s consistently using the potty without having to be reminded.  She’s even been to school, out in the car all day, and at her 3-year check up without a diaper. (She does have a little foreign-toilet syndrome, so I might start bringing our potty ring out with us.) She kept telling everyone that she would use the potty when she was three, and she’s pretty much kept to her agenda. She decided that it was time to do it. That was it. I’m astounded at this little girl’s tenacity.

    1. Once Upon A Potty is all it takes.  We love Alona Frankel’s book Once Upon A Potty, especially a certain 10-year-old copy. Cricket used the book that my niece read when she was being potty trained a decade ago. There’s a note in the book in my sister’s handwriting, marking the date my niece first used the potty, along with the friend’s name that bought her the book. I love hand-me-downs for their ability to connect me to the past in a wonderful flash.

    2.  My girl is stubborn, and I think we’re in trouble.  I’m not going to go as far as to say she’s willful, but the day before she was an expert potty-user, Cricket sat on the potty for a solid hour and wouldn’t pee.  It was a little odd because she initiated the potty sit-in, not me. She sat as I read Once Upon a Potty to her five times.  She was content to keep sitting, so I propped up our laptop on her step stool, thinking it would distract her into letting it all flow.  She watched a 12-minute Barney episode 4 times and still nothing.  One solid hour.  What’s up with that? Later on that day, she stayed dry for five hours until she asked for a diaper. What are we in for?

    3. Ora na azu nwa: It takes a village.  I love my Villagers. If it weren’t for them, Cricket wouldn’t have gotten over her fear of the potty so quickly. A few play dates ago, she watched as her two friends used the potty and of course she wanted to try. At a play date at our house last week, a Villager Mom nonchalantly took Cricket’s hand and said, “Let’s go sit on the potty.” And Cricket went with her!  She wouldn’t have done that for me at home – ever! Three days later, using the potty like nobody’s business - except her own!

    4. There’s nothing like the look on a toddler’s face the first time she pees on the potty.  In Once Upon A Potty, Alona Frankel writes, “she sat on the potty as a little child and got up feeling ten feet tall.” This is so accurate a statement that you just have to experience it for yourself to see how true it is.

    Do you have any warm-fuzzies surrounding your child’s potty-learning adventures?


    Vicky said...

    My son was ready for toilet training, I think before we were. We tried to go back to diapers for leaving the house and at bedtime but he would have none of it. He stubbornly refused diapers and he NEVER had an accident.

    In search of green said...

    Congratulations to both of you! What a milestone. My daughter's day didn't come until 4 months after her third birthday. I was guilt of resorting to the candy reward system in hopes of encouraging the process along a bit faster. I had to keep telling myself that I really never had seen a first grader in diapers - which was getting to be the thing I was fearing most. I had some mini snickers left over from Easter in a tupperware cup stored high up on a bathroom shelf. My daughter knew if she produced - she'd get a mini candy bar. When she couldn't produce any tangible results - her very clever little mind came up with the idea of making a certain "producing" grunt sound and then she'd say "Now give me a candy bar" thinking I'd be fooled. We still laugh about this today.

    Anonymous said...

    Great blog! I am going to come back and read everything I've missed :) By the way, we're on 3 years, 4 months and only partly potty trained, wearing pullups all day, diapers at night, and stressed out mommy! Bren