About two weeks ago I took on the task of potty training Coco. I did this for several reasons:
I was really sick of changing her diapers. After changing newborn diapers again, I realized how grotesque a size 4 diaper truly is.
I was also sick of spending money on her diapers. That one’s a no-brainer.
I enjoy self-inflicted misery challenges.
I wanted to do it before she was 2…I don’t really have a reason for that, I just wanted it to be done.
After one brief fling of “attempting” it over the summer (and failing), I decided to hit this sucker full force. I learned a few things in the course of a week, and if you’re thinking about potty training this might help you. If you’re not interested in potty training, this will be one of those blogs you read and think, “Yes, her life is fascinating. But I’m so glad I am not her.” ????
1.) First of all—prepare like its Y2K. Stock up your house with food, water, and sandbags. Just kidding, you don’t need sandbags, and I don’t know why anyone needs them but I’m pretty sure my Dad and Joe would know. They’re really good at preparing for everything. Well, you don’t need sandbags for potty training, but you DO need…
A hundred pairs of underwear. Seriously. Just buy like 20 packs of ’em. Otherwise you might have to send your husband out first thing in the morning to buy more. Because you had to handwash the 25 pairs your kid went through in one day and the next morning they’re still not dry. Oh boy.
2.) Have dinner planned for a few days in a row. I was amazing and made dinners ahead of time and froze them in my cool Gladware freezer-to-oven kits. And trust me, when you spend a day wading in the trenches of your child’s urine, you really just want a shot of demerol home-cooked meal at the end of the day.
3.) Clear out your rugs and make a wide pathway to the toilet. For the first time ever, I was THANKFUL for my linoleum floors! All you people with beautiful carpet–you have my snickering sympathy. Poor things. After my experience with Coco I would recommend laying down tarps or plastic drop cloths all over your house.
4.) Have a bunch of paper towels on hand and Lysol with bleach. I love Lysol and I love bleach. They are the king and queen of the cleaning world. And Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser is their Merlin. I just love those guys. Gosh. Did I really just make Camelot out of my cleaning supplies?
5.) M’n’Ms were what I used, but I’m thinking it would have been better to use something like Fruit Loops. Coco likes to slowly gnaw away at her M’n’M, which makes for a disgusting mess. And they have more sugar which makes for a crazier child. Maybe you could get your kid psyched about oyster crackers? I wouldn’t be able to pull that one over Coco. She’s a sly little stinker–already knows her chocolate like a pro.
6.) Plan fun things to keep them inside all day long. We colored, read books, and watched a bunch of Christmas Youtube movies. Strangely enough, new bedtime songs emerged. Now, every time we put Coco to bed she wants us to sing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and “Santa Baby.” Yes, that’s right. “Santa Baby.” What have I done? Ugh.
7.) Have someone come help you. Or do the first three days when your husband is home, or something. I did this by myself. Matt was super busy and gone for the first three days of our potty training week. I really wish I had had someone in the house to help me. First of all, because its messy and kind of difficult to do anything BUT watch your child’s every move. I would be nursing Chaucer while following Coco around the apartment just to make sure she didn’t sneak away and poop. I know, I am talented. The second, and maybe surprising reason is–you need someone else to keep it up when you just want to scream. You have to be so positive during the process and it gets really really really really really really really really REALLLLLLLY old. I think having a tag-team duo would be nice so that when you need to go in your room and scream into a pillow, your partner can be like Flo, the obnoxious, but ever positive Progressive Auto Insurance lady and cheer your little urine bomb on.
|Great job peeing, sweetie! Next time let’s do it in the toilet instead of all over Mommy’s book, ok??? Yay!
8.) Umm. Poop is warm. You should just know that.
9.) Choose to laugh instead of crying. I didn’t do so well at this at the end of every day. I’m not kidding, potty training can be an intense exercise for both you and your kid. It was emotionally taxing for Cosette and me. She didn’t like the change, and it came out in her behavior. Consequently, it affected my behavior. Vicious cycle.
10.) Plan to have your sleep interrupted. Because we went cold turkey, Coco would sleep in panties. We put down bed liners (that’s another thing to add to your list if you want to cut down the laundry situation), but she would wake up in the night or early in the morning either wet or needing to pee. I think this was a good thing, but during the week it was really exhausting. Now we have her sleep in Pull Ups, just to make our lives easier. But it was good for her to have the whole wet thing reinforced.
11.) Finally, don’t let anyone convince you that you can get it done in X amount of time. I was under the firm conviction that Coco WOULD be potty trained in 3 days. Because of some book or something. And Coco is not a dumb kid. She’s sharp as a tack, but for whatever reason, it took about 5 days for her to get the hang of it. And we’re still working on it. She mostly pees in the toilet, but I dread her daily poops. Blech. We typically hear her announce her deed when its too late. We rush to the toilet, drop the sucker in, and remind her for the one zillianth time that she needs to tell us before it happens, but great job and bye bye poo poo blah blah blah. You see how that could be emotionally draining?
Anyways, I don’t consider myself an expert on potty training. At all. But I do wish someone would have warned me about how truly exhausting it is–both physically and emotionally. I guess just plan for the absolute worst and then maybe if your kid is amazingly quick at it you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’ve heard of those chillens that just go once on the toilet and have it down forever. Lucky parents. Oh well. We got through it.
|The Panty Line