I woke up last Sunday morning realizing that THIS IS THE ONLY WEEK I HAVE AVAILABLE for potty training unless I wanted to potty train in a hotel. Yeah… no. So we ate breakfast, and then Zane and I jumped in the car and went on a “special date” to Target to buy Mini Marshmallows, M&M’s and “big girl panties”. I let Zane choose which set of underpants she wanted to get, and if this can serve as indication to you as to how much confidence I had going into potty training, as I placed the chosen princess panties in the cart she screamed at the top of her lungs “NO PANTIES – I WANT DIAPERS”. She proceeded to say that all the way to the check out, and all the way home.
I knew I had my work cut out for me.
Turns out potty training has been the hardest things that I have done as a parent thus far. I am not even kidding. NOTHING has mad me want to throw in the towel and quit as a mom like potty training did. At least the first 5 days.
We attempted the 3-day Pottywise bootcamp and my expectation was to be done in 3 days. Potty trained. I did sleep training with the “Babywise” way, and had huge success with that (my newborn slept at 5 weeks and has always gone right to sleep in her own crib) so I figured that potty training would follow suit. But that is the thing with kids,
sometimes most times it doesn’t go as planned. After the first few days, we were supposed to have this potty training thing down. She was crying for a break, and so was I.
I was so frustrated because she was old enough (3 years old) and she SHOULD physically be able to learn this process. I honestly didn’t believe it was a physical thing, but a mental/will thing. Zane is SO strong willed, and she just really didn’t want to. Which makes for very interesting times. And LOTS of pee to clean up.
Friday night after Zane went to bed, I fell into my bed alone and burst into tears. I was so tired & frustrated with the whole process. Why wasn’t she “getting it”. All of her friends were potty trained, and it didn’t seem like any of them had had real trouble, and yet Zane had peed ALL OVER the restaurant at dinner. What was I missing?
Then it hit me. I was absolutely part of the problem.
Zane and I are like mirror images of each other, both in looks and in a lot of behaviors. We are both fairly stubborn and very independent. So imagine two people who like to be independent and in their own space learning things on their own time shoved into a little bathroom staring at each other and trying to force learned behavior. All it lead to was frustration. So I decided that night to back off. She “knew” what she had to do. We had had minimal success and she knew what it felt like to actually go potty IN the potty. So now it just needed to be her choice to actually do it. That night, before I went to sleep, I prayed that I would have renewed strength the next day to just LOVE on my daughter. I would stop comparing what the books say should work or what all the other kids her age were doing and just know that in the right time, she will get it. Oh, and we are SO using pull-ups out in public. I am not going to deal with the anxiety of having to potentially clean up pee everywhere we go.
So Saturday morning we woke up, and I put Zane on the potty just like every other morning.
Nope, she didn’t pee. Normally this would have sent me into a panic because we were planning to be out all day and I DONT WANT TO WASH YOUR CAR SEAT AGAIN. Instead I just pulled up her “big girl travel panties” (read:pull-ups) and we left for Seattle for a fun day of celebrating. I decided to relax and just have a great day out, and not be concerned about the potty training. It would happen when it did. And you want to know what? She stayed dry ALL DAY and even went potty when we stopped to use the potty.
A successful day out! Finally!!! We did it!
Since that day we don’t have a perfect track record, but I am ok with it. Once I just let it go and relaxed and realized that I have a pretty amazing kid who goes with the flow of our life most of the time and she just needed me to relax a little bit and let her learn, I was much happier and she was as well!
What I have learned is that every child TRULY is different, and you can use all the books you want to each your kids how to do things, but you have to take into account your child’s personality and tailor things to them to have success in WHATEVER you are doing. It is the hardest and most rewarding part of parenting: figuring out our children and how they work.
So, how did potty training go in your house? Did the 3-day bootcamp work for your child, or did you have moments of pulling out your hair like me?