I know it's very uncool, maybe a little TMI, or just embarrassing for the child to read about their potty training days in the future. But potty training is too big of a topic in our life at the moment to skip on the blog, every kid has to do it at some point, and most moms celebrate the end of diapers so maybe some of this is relatable to you, too. And Hey, Cecelia? I'm a mommy blogger and I like to share things about you kiddos online for documentation purposes. I promise not to get too gross with bodily fluid descriptions and I won't share my adorable 'big girl undies on a tiny butt' pictures, or any of CC sitting on the potty. But it's a huge deal, and worthy of a (strangely lengthy) post! If the words 'poop' and 'pee' and 'potty' are too much to bear, feel free to ignore this post. No hard feelings as I'm sure I find this topic way more interesting than I should. Do other moms obsess over potty training, too?
I totally underestimated my daughter and her ability to be potty trained, guys. That's not to say it's a done deal or anything and it will surely be more of an ongoing process than Truman's experience was. I mean, let's get the comparison part out of the way so that my poor second born can get her own post without further mention of her over-acheiving big brother. #middlechildproblems
Truman was a lunatic (in a good way) during potty training. He wasn't even two-and-a-half yet, he went number one AND two in the froggy potty without issue, he never wore a single pull up, and immediately wore underwear 24/7. Even when asleep. I mean, he had been waking up with dry diapers for a few weeks before we realized he could probably potty train. Woah, right? And he had very few accidents from day one. The kid was highly motivated by sticker charts and the reward of a new Thomas train one a chart was full, so our Craigslist lot of 150 trains and tracks for $200 was a godsend. I didn't feel 'ready' to go for it with Truman but he was obviously more ready than I thought. We used the Three Day Method with T and he was a star pupil. Like I said, insane and I worried that he had spoiled us with how simple the whole process was with our boy. Big enough shoes to fill, Cecelia?
But sister definitely shows some similarities to her brother and his potty training skills, but is nowhere near his level of insanity. Cecelia is probably a lot more normal with this process which includes pull ups for sleeping and an initial fear of pooping on the potty. BUT she is still rocking my face off with this whole deal and mama bear is proud of my little girl.
CC had never even peed in the pot (can I call it 'pot' instead of 'potty'? That makes it seem more hardcore and less babyish, like I'm not speaking in toddler talk for a blog post adults will read) until a few weeks ago. In fact, we had our froggy potty (er, froggy POT) out for a few months over the summer when Cecelia showed interest at age two. But then I packed it away in the attic again because it just wasn't time for any of us and seriously, potty training drains me like none other. I wasn't feeling it and I didn't think CC was either, so we put it on hold indefinitely.
But then a couple of weeks ago I brought it out for another go because she seemed genuinely excited about trying the pot (er, not the drug version... this new word just is not working for me, I guess). She finally peed a little bit in the correct location maybe two weeks ago for the first time ever. Then she started asking for big girl underwear WITH PRINCESSES ON THEM. And marshmallows for a pee prize. 'I go pee in potty and get fifteen marshmallows...and candy!!' No clue where she got this idea but I'm sure I've told her she could have eleventy billion marshmallows if she would just stop pooping in her diaper. Changing an adult-like poo dipe from a 2.5 year old is total gag city compared to a sweet little newborn production. And plus, having two in diapers is the opposite of fun anyway, so when CC truly seemed excited about the bribery part of the gig, I started to mentally prepare.
Last week on Monday, I randomly bought a three pack of princess underwear at Target just because Cecelia had been asking for a few days in a row. I wanted to hide them and deal with them later when I felt READY, but of course Truman dug through my bags when I came home and immediately showed Cecelia her big girl panties. I am not kidding when I tell you her response: 'Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! My undies!' said in a high pitched, ultra happy voice. You would have thought she was holding a brand new puppy dog with the way she clutched those undies. I told her that we could just put them away until she was ready to be potty trained and she didn't mess around when she informed me, 'I wear them now.' I explained that she had to keep the princesses dry and big girls go pee in the potty and she was like, 'Duh, mom, I know that already.'
Okay then. I guess we are going for it.
Princess panties went on that tiny, adorable butt at about 4:00pm. My anxiety crept up on me as I imagined all of the drama/messes that would surely happen, and I did the only thing reasonable after that: took my brother and my three children for a walk to Starbucks in the cold as the sun was setting. I had it in my head all day that I needed my SBux and I would be damned if a surprise potty training escapade stopped me. Actually, I did ask CC if she wanted to stay at home or if she wanted to put on a diaper for our trek out of the house but she declined saying she would keep her undies dry.
And that she did. I took her into the Starbucks bathroom three times upon her request, with no results the first two times but her inaugural pee in a real toilet happened on the third. Great place to begin your toiling experience, dear Cecelia! I was seriously so freaking happy about this milestone and the fact that she did keep those undies dry when out of the house. Of course, right before bedtime she had her first accident in the underwear but her devastation showed she really did want to succeed at this. 'I peed on Cinderella!!!' she cried through actual tears. I assured her that it's not a big deal and accidents happen, so we will just make sure to go on the potty next time and that seemed acceptable to her. That first night she slept in a diaper and it was nearly exploding in the morning, as usual.
Day two included two accidents but only when she was super tired or distracted, and again she was really upset about it. Us girls went grocery shopping together and my mom took CC into the bathroom at least three times without success. We started using Jelly Bellys for her reward--since Nate received a huge stash from my parents for Christmas. Thanks, Nate! Cecelia pooped in her diaper after her nap and didn't seem to mind that one bit.
Same story for day number three--one pee accident, dropped a bomb in her nap time diaper, but really seemed to be understanding the concept of feeling when she had to pee. She responded well to the statement 'let me know if you need to potty' and NOT the question 'do you have to potty?' Just like her brother, she wanted the control in this process. Every now and then we will randomly say, 'Hey, CC, are your undies dry? Yes? GOOD JOB!' just to remind her about it. This was New Years Eve and that evening after work, I could tell this was becoming emotionally exhausting for Cecelia to put forth so much effort towards a new task like this. She was super clingy and tired but then again, this was on the tail end of a week with out of state visitors, which always seems to do a number on the kids and their crankiness.
Fourth day of potty training was on New Years Day: not a single accident! We bought more undies and also our first pack of pull ups to start using for sleeping, since CC wants to take on and off her own diaper anyway. I noted that one time when she peed in the potty this day she asked, 'Aren't you so proud of me, mommy?' And I was, and am so proud! We continued to make it a huge hurrah every time she had success on the potty, really being over-the-top excited and animated about her being a BIG GIRL and what a great job she was doing. Sister continued to eat up all of the positive reinforcement and praise. And those Jelly Bellys, too. She somehow talked me into upping the ante by getting not one but two jelly beans for each pee. Whatever works, right?
Fifth day brought another accident-free day, and we started downgrading from diapers to pull ups for sleeping. I watched her on the video monitor after her nap and also after I tucked her in to bed for the night, as she jumped up and peed on the froggy potty all alone. She'd climb back into bed after that like it was no big deal, and like her life didn't even depend on those jelly beans anymore. Again: super proud mom moment.
Saturday was day six (aren't you glad I'm giving you the detailed run down of potty training? Yes?) and sis kept her undies dry all day but was going on her third day without a poop. She had to go but was holding it in and finally we told her she could do her business in a pull up if she had to. That worked. The next day she had a small pee in her undies but was able to catch it before her leggings got wet, which I thought was a good sign. When she poo'd in her pull up after her nap again, she asked me, 'Is that okay, mommy? Truman is going to tease me.' Totally not true since T is not the teasing type but it was cute that she worried about how he'd react to her accident.
Monday, one week after we first put on big girl undies, Cecelia went to Lori's and I held my breath all day, hoping not to get a Facebook message saying that all of our hard work was unraveling somehow. I did not get a message and in fact, when I picked the kids up at the end of my work day, Lori said CC didn't have a single accident there. Whew! Cecelia seemed really amped up and proud of herself for going at Lori's and she even shared the jelly beans I had sent. That evening, she finally went number two in the toilet----no help, no cheerleading from me, big potty with the door closed, like NBD. To say that I almost cried with happiness is only a slight exaggeration. Hallelujah! CC earned that gigantic, chocolate-dipped and sprinkled marshmallow from her Christmas stocking. It completely ruined her dinner but whatever!
Beaming with pride, drooling with anticipation for this bad boy:
And today, had to dig in the very back of my 'treat shelf' for this super old sucker from Colorado, but we needed another special reward for two number twos, successfully placed!
Want to guess who was feeling left out with such big treats happening around here?
Bottom line with our first week of potty training Cecelia is this: I didn't think she was ready and I KNOW I wasn't ready for this. But she loves her big girl undies, loves jelly beans, and really seems to understand the concept of going in the potty. I do not miss diapers at all, even though there will surely be bigger messes and more laundry for awhile---worth it to have her potty trained! We will keep working on going to underwear for sleeping but I'm not in a rush for that part, since her awake times are going so well.
Two kids down, one to go. Oh, what a day that will be when there aren't diapers in this house at all.