Sunday, December 20, 2009

Potty Training for DumMommies

Fast Track: Results in 3 - 7 days
Not-so-fast Track: Results in 365 days

I have mastered both tracks, having one twin who trained in a week and another who trained over the course of year.

This Christmas break one year ago is when I attempted the whole potty training gig with the girls for the first time. It was a little early (they were 2yrs 2mos.), but with three kids in diapers, I was highly motivated.

I thought it would be Lobaby who would catch on quickly. The truth was they both did. Our first "outing" in big girl panties was all dressed up to the Christmas Eve service at Northview. I was a nervous wreck.

"Please don't potty on your pretty dresses!"

"Do you need to go potty?!"

"Be sure and tell mommy if you feel the potties coming out!"

I whispered in their little ears. And we were successful! I was a potty training rock star! Or so I thought.

About one month in, Lo started to revert. I was so resistant to it. In denial about it. But, I was finally at my wit's and patience' end, and back to diapers she went.

Over the next few months we tried again. I tried my old methods. I tried new methods. But the truth of the matter was, she could care less about big girl panties.

For the months after that, I was mad about it. "She knows what to do! Why won't she do it??" I thought.

It was a battle. And she was beating me. And I hate to lose.

I finally accepted that it had to be her decision. She was going to have to want to do it. To care that her friends weren't in diapers. To care about being a "big girl."

Meanwhile, Jilligirl trained like a champion. Seriously, almost too good to be true. I told her that this is what big girls do and she bought it. I offered her stickers and marshmallows and she ate it up. At 2yrs and 2 mos, she had less than a handful of accidents and has been in her sweet little pink roos ever since.

So, this is yet another example of how my precious twin girls could not be any more opposite.

Around their 3rd birthday, I thought we'd give it another go. No success. But, I did realize something really important. A positive to all my potty-training failures.

At every attempt, I learned something new about my precious Lo. Every time we would try and fail, I would get insight into her personality.

Jilli is just like me. I get her. She is competitive and easily motivated. She embraces change and jumps into new things without fear.

Lo is very different than me. She isn't competitive. She's hard to motivate. She likes to do her own thing and she doesn't usually care what the other kids are doing. She's so quirky and funny. And it makes me nuts and I love it!

The upside to potty training over 12 months, is that I see her differently now and have a better appreciation for her quirks.

I realize this is just the beginning of my tough lessons in mothering, I just hope that they don't all take 365 days to learn.

2 comments: said...

I really enjoyed reading of your learned perspective. It's a healthy and wise one with regard to Lo. And, as you already know, you'll get there! -Mr. Blonde

Kristin said...

This is great timing for a positive outlook on potty training. I am in the midst of it with OE and yesterday was not good. I got great advice from a friend and am regrouping and starting fresh today. I hope that I can see the positives in OE's personality when it gets hard.