Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Potty of Gold

This past holiday weekend, I decided that Kensie and I were gonna hunker down and get this potty-training thing licked. I had an extra day off of work, and as advanced as she seems in so many other areas of her preschooler-dom, I was sure three days was plenty of time for Kensie to be up and running (or, should I say, down and peeing). Who needs outdoor barbecues with friends and football or fabulous days frolicking at the beach when you’ve got a naked toddler running through the house with a potty full of urine shouting, “Mommy, I tinkled! MOMMY, LOOK AT MY TINKLE!”

Kensie had shown interest in potty-training last December when visiting my brother’s family in Denver (my niece enjoyed showing K her “old” potty and how she now used the “big” potty as a grown-up three-year-old). So about six months or so ago, when the interest resurfaced, I bought two potties—one for upstairs, and one for downstairs (secretly thinking my kid was a genius not yet being two and already wanting to use the big-girl potty). And for the past three or four months, K’s been using them when it’s convenient and fun for her. When I introduced pull-ups a couple of months ago in preparation for potty training, she was at first excited but soon enough just treated them as diapers with a little bit of pink splashed on them for good measure. Pull-ups proved no help in our house.

So this past Friday, I prepared myself for a tough weekend of gentle coaxing, massive amounts of juice and popsicles, puddles of pee on the carpet and hardwoods, frustration, excitement, and finally, the brass ring—my sweet girl wearing cute little panties, running to the potty at her convenience, and, most importantly, NO MORE DIAPERS! All the money I would be saving; all the guilt about contributing to the degradation of our environment of which I would be letting go. Diaper rashes, poopy bottoms, dried-out wipes all over the house, saggy britches—all GONE! It sure sounded great at the time.

Friday evening went well enough. We hadn’t gotten the big-girl panties yet (the trip to Target was planned for early Saturday morning), so I just let Kensie run around naked for a few hours. She loved it! She went and used the potty when she needed to (and when I urged her to if it had been awhile), and not one accident. Saturday morning, I got Kensie all pumped up about the panties, she got to pick them out herself, she got a bunch of new PJs, to boot—she was a happy camper with a lot of new stuff (and you know how kids love new stuff). When we got home, K pulled all the panties out of their wrappers and paraded around with them (she preferred to show them off instead of actually putting them on, which might have been a sign) as if they were $100 bills she’d found lying in the street (and she actually knew how much they were worth). I finally got her to pick a pair, we put them on her, and not an hour later, I heard Kensie in the other room burst into tears. She came running into the kitchen, urine running down her legs, screaming, “Mommy, I tinkled on the flo-ah! MOMMY, I TINKLED ON THE FLO-AH!!” After much discussion: “Baby, accidents happen.” “But I peed on the flo-ah, Mommy!” “Honey, it happens to all little kids during potty training. See how Mommy cleaned it up? It’s OK if you have an accident.” “BUT MOMMY, I PEED ON THE FLO-AH!!!” Needless to say, I decided that pushing Kensie at this point was not the best idea.

One thing I’ve learned from both my niece (who’s extremely intelligent and quite tall, but who always seems at least two years older than she is) and Kensie (who is also quite advanced and tall for her age) is that I have to remember how old they really are, not how old they seem to be. Kensie just turned two in July. TWO!! Why in the world would I put that kind of pressure on a baby (yes, she is still a baby)? After much consideration (and a framed “words of wisdom” my mother pulled out of some random box in her office waxing poetic about not pressuring people into doing things that are uncomfortable for them), I decided now just wasn’t the right time to potty-train. Though my girl is pretty advanced in many areas of life (all two of her years), she is just not ready to get rid of the diaper. So I’ll keep changing, and wiping, and putting on diaper cream, and tossing dirty diapers, and waiting until the day my baby lets me know when the time is right for her. And when that day comes, I’ll mourn the loss of my adorable baby . . . then I’ll head out and buy that new Jeep I’ve been wanting or maybe even pay off my student loans with all the extra cash I’ll suddenly have at my disposal!