Monday, May 27, 2013

A Woman in her Thirties Learns on the Potty

Anna is potty trained.*

*Mostly.  Not at night or naps, and not when she's really excited when playing with her friends and forgets she has to go.  Let it be here documented that I am not bragging that my child is perfectly potty trained at two and a half.  Got it, karma? Good.  

It's been about a week now, and potty training has been as... I thought it would be, which is to say it has been a great learning experience for a woman in her thirties.  Here are a few pearls of wisdom that I've picked up along the way, which I think apply to life in general:

1.  If she ain't ready, don't bother.

I didn't buy a single potty training book, in stark contrast to my collection on sleep, discipline, and emotional health for children.  A good friend told me awhile back, 'You will know when she's ready.  Don't push it-- let her lead.'  That is what I did.  And do you know what it did for me?  It made me into less of a psycho crazy person.  I'm going to start doing this whole let-other-people-lead thing a lot more often.

2.  Poop happens.

Yup, it does.  Keep the wipes handy.  A package in the car, a package in the kitchen, and a package on your person at all times.  This also applies to whatever proverbial wipes you might carry with you, for your proverbial poop.

3.  It's not a contest.

It is so easy to fall into comparisons with other parents over children's accomplishments.  I am just as guilty as anyone else.  But I think it's important to remember, before you get caught up in comparisons, that it's poop we're talking about when it comes to potty training.  Poop.  And when we get right down to it, isn't it all just poop?  I mean, really?

4.  Sometimes it is inconvenient to wear your big girl panties.

Sometimes you just want to put on your diaper and not have one more thing to think about.  But you know what happens when you do that?  You swish when you walk.  You feel bad about yourself for not giving yourself a chance to succeed.  Buck up and put on your big girl panties.

5.  You have plenty of time.

One of the reasons potty training was even on my radar was because Anna's preschool requires her to be potty trained by the Fall.  I talked to a few people and realized the rules are extreeeeemly bendable, but I still had it in my mind that we had a deadline, and Fall is just around the corner.

And I could feel the psycho crazy person coming, because the deadline was looming, and other kids Anna's age were doing it, and time is tick-tick-ticking away, and I haven't thought for a second about Aaron's first birthday party, and remember last year at this time, and what if self-publishing is a horrible mistake......

And then I breathed.  And let her take the lead.  And stopped comparing.  And I put on my big girl panties and made it happen.


  1. Yayyyy Anna!!! And yayyyy Mommy!!!

  2. Way to go for both of you! I love that you can turn poop into a very important life lesson!

  3. That's awesome! Even more awesome, the "let them lead" advice. We (I) have such a tendency to want to control everything. There are two things toddlers can control, eating and going to the bathroom, we may as well let them. :)

  4. Thank you for this post! I'm keeping the pull ups in the drawer and putting Emmy in her big girl panties today. Argh....poop DOES happen!

  5. As a kidless person, this post suddenly made me wonder: how does it work when your child is swimming? Does poop happen then, too, or is there some magical poop-prevention quality of water?

    1. This is an excellent question. There IS magical poop-prevention in the pool, but it isn't guaranteed. For that, there are swim diapers. (Thank God.)