We’ve started potty training. It wasn’t in the plans, it just happened. We have a potty – bought in a thinking out loud moment after a conversation with our lovely childminder a few months ago.
“She might be getting ready,” she told us.
There’d been an incident where the child had whipped off her nappy unbeknownst to us and travelled for two hours in the car without weeing herself once.
And so the potty was bought and then promptly put in the attic when the child screamed whenever we put her little bot near it. She had a face on her like I wear on the rare occasion I have to go abseiling. You know that bit when you lean back and they tell you go for it, but it feels like you’re jumping out of a plane backwards and your face goes ‘agggghhhhhh’. That’s the face she made whenever we tried to push her onto the potty.
Until this week. She learned the word wee wee and she started saying it and pointing at her nappy and when we asked her if she wanted to go on the potty she said yes.
A few attempts later she had abseiled her tiny behind onto Elsa’s face (that’s the theme of the potty, Frozen – sure why not) and a few minutes later, she leapt up, pointed, said wee wee and there it was.
A wee wee.
Well the claps and cheers. I could not believe it. My memories of anyone potty training was the child sitting around on the throne for hours watching TV. This had taken only a minute or two – so it meant she knew what she was doing. Right?
We made a big fuss of emptying the potty and flushing the toilet, of washing her hands and rewarding her with ice-cream. I was so happy I gave her ice-cream. I know. I know you shouldn’t be setting out on the path of ice-cream for wee wees, but I was so damn proud and happy.
The next night we took out the potty again and despite her vocal assertion that she had to do ‘wee wees’, there were no wee wees to be found in the potty. She started wandering round the sitting room half naked, so I said – if you do a wee wee, I’ll give you ice-cream. You’ve never seen a child move so fast, she leapt, like a unicorn might, from a standing position across the room, onto the pot.
There were no wee wees. So I gave her ice-cream anyway. I couldn’t help it. She’s still only two and when Mammy talks about ice-cream and doesn’t produce it – well then, it’s cruel, isn’t it?
Over the next few nights we had more success and wee wees were promptly produced and an extra potty sitting introduced into the mornings. I began to leave the ice-cream part out and still the wees wees came.
Because we weren’t planning on training and I still don’t feel like we properly are – we’re just testing out the wee wee waters and getting used to the fact that our little girl is growing up – we haven’t really been taking it that seriously. With our baby due in just a few weeks, I didn’t want to have to take on all that goes with toilet training and it’s the winter – not ideal to be leaping around half naked anyway.
But I did go out and buy some pull-ups and she was delighted with herself, pointing to the pretty princess or Minnie Mouse now wrapped around her waist. I know there are arguments against pull-ups, that they can delay the process of training, and you’re better off letting the child in knicks and feeling when they get wet etc, but because we’re only testing things, I could not be arsed whipping nappies on and off during the day. I’m getting so big now that getting off the floor is like watching a small elephant after it’s been born. Staggery. And heavy.
And all that was great. Not taking it seriously was working really well for us. I told her over and over again how proud I was of her. She seemed to be getting the hang of things, without us even trying at all.
Until last night. And today.
Last night was bath time and during the time it took me to undress her and run the bath, she weed and did number twos on the floor. It wasn’t too bad – I was pretty calm – but it did make me wonder whether we were ready or not because I’d just asked her if she wanted to use the potty before she did it.
After her bath I brushed out her hair and got her ready for bed and laid her down all smelling fresh and there were lots of cuddles. As I tie up her hair chav style during the week (I’m terrified of her catching nits), it’s lovely to know that she can wear it down on a Sunday when we go visiting family.
This morning she woke as normal and when I went in to pick her up I was greeted by a shit attack. A dirty protest. Poo on the walls.
Oh God, I said as I went to her and tried to work out what to do first. Her nappy was on the floor, half emptied. Its contents had been flung as far as the bedroom door. (Shot putt style). It was all over the sheets, naturally. And her face. And her hair. There were little rocks in her hair.
Lads, this is not what you want to wake up to on a Sunday morning. This is not what I expected when potty training.
WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? I cried. Because two year olds are down with rhetorical questions.
She did not seem to be in the least bothered by the caked faeces on her face and hands.
Not one shit did she give at all.
It took me almost an hour to get her and her room sorted, and I had to rush out to try and buy more bedding as it’s the fourth time her sheets have been in the wash this week due to other coughing and puking incidents that don’t need to be gone into.
“No pull-ups for you today,” I threatened. I nearly added ‘young lady’. And she looked at me through her poo face and in fairness, almost looked contrite. Back to nappies. Forever perhaps.
Tonight, I was doing some housework upstairs, putting laundry away, and bringing some down when I rounded the stairs, skidded on the tiles and fell into the kitchen, smashing a pint glass I was carrying in my hand.
I slipped on her wee. I skiied on her wee. A trail left as her Daddy had gone to empty her potty which she has just filled. (She had followed him, leaking like a snail might).
So as I reflected on a day of poos and pees, as I rubbed my sore knee and took tiny chips of glass out of my hand, I thought of her innocent smiling face and wondered how Bobby Sands it’ll get tomorrow.
Is there a way of chaining a nappy to a child, chastity belt style? Should we leave it for another while or are the nappy removals a sure sign that she really is ready to train?
I don’t know. I’m a first time parent.
And a first time wee skier.
It’ s not something I fancy doing again.
Although abseiling – that looks positively harmless right now.
I’d love to hear how you got on potty training your toddler. You can comment below.
We never used a potty. Instead, we used a potty seat, which goes on the toilet. I liked it because it was less messy and they get used to using the toilet. We also used chocolate to reward them. Good luck with the training.