At about eighteen months The Nut accidentally peed in the potty. By accidentally I mean that the stars aligned and urine came forth while she happened to be be seated bare-bottomed on the $5 Ikea potty we randomly picked up sometime during her first year.
Over the coming months she used her potties* at home more frequently. If we kept her diaper off, she rarely had an accident and required almost no prompting. We offered treats (chocolate chips) with no regularity and she seemed to just go on the potty because she wanted to do it. Or because she wanted to watch “Olivia.”
Following about six months of being mostly trained at home (during waking hours), I decided I had to brave up and take the potty party outside our front door.
On a few different occasions I took her for a walk or to the park just to see what would happen. Wet pants is what happened. Neither of us were prepared for the work involved with pottying on the move.
Last week I finally decided I just had to go for it. I ran the idea by B who thought it sounded “hard” and was therefore rather uninterested. Since this will be on his radar less than 20 hours a week, that did not hold me back.
I bought two more packs of big girl undies, bringing our total up to 35 pairs**.
The next day I was all in. We went grocery shopping, went to a gym class, went to the park, and had dinner at a friend’s, all in underwear. The Nut wore a diaper only to nap and had zero accidents.
The following day her only accident occurred when she watched me get my flu shot. I guess her bladder responds to danger.
On the third day she pooped on a friend’s toilet. I can’t even do that!
Today we drove an hour and a half each way to go apple picking upstate. We stopped for a potty break once in each direction. Granted we busted out our portable seat right there in the orchards, but she came home in the same pair of undies she put on this morning.
Here are some things I have learned:
This phase of parenting is about the adult WAY more than the kid. You have to be ready to remember, remind, be patient, wipe, lift, pull up, pull down, sanitize, pack, prepare, and clean up a lot of crap. They just need to pee and poop.
Plastic grocery bags are suddenly en vogue again. They line our portable toilet and they tote home soiled outfits. We don’t leave home without at least five.
You will see more public restrooms than you care to imagine.
Thanks to this, your kid will bear her tush on sidewalks, in yards, and in hallways when no restroom is available.
If you thought you hated laundry before, you had no idea.
*Potty training requires a ridiculous amount of gear. We live in a space of less than 1,000 square feet. We have one tiny bathroom. We now have two small potties (one in the bathroom and one in the living room), a travel potty/potty seat, and a seat that fits onto our regular toilet.
**Your kid will require three times the pairs of undies that you do.
Really and truly, I think diapers are a trillion times easier. If The Nut didn’t show a natural aptitude for this skill, I’d probably let her go to kindergarten in her Seventh Generations. The Earth thanks us that this is not the case.
I know our story is far from over, but I am grateful for now that it has been a relatively smooth one.
Some say I’m lucky. I say it’s about time my kid takes a natural act and does it naturally. She didn’t sleep (well) or eat (well), so a Nut who can manage her waste without extraordinary trouble seems well… deserved.
Orchard potty photo credit to the amazing Stefanie.