Potty Training And Parents
And so we have hit the potty training stage.
We didn't have a clear idea of when we were going to tackle this. We know babies who were trained at fourteen months (I was trained at fourteen months) and we know kids who were four years old - whatever your personal take, there's an expert who agrees with you, and I'm not here to argue with them.
Our own vague plan was to look for the signs that our daughter was ready and then... just... sort of... go for it?
The only trouble was: she might have been ready around about her second birthday, but Steve and I were not.
We (and I'm going to switch to "I" here because I don't want to put too many words in Steve's mouth. And also because I'm the one who's at home with her on weekdays and therefore dealing with the bulk of the potty talk) were keen for her to potty train because: it seems healthier than wearing a nappy; it's cheaper; and I felt a little guilty every time I chucked a bag of disposable nappies in the bin.
I kept putting it off.
I kept finding reasons why this week was inconvenient and that week was impossible and, oh, surely there was some potty training manual I was supposed to read first, wasn't there? And I had to slog to the end of that godawful book group choice before I had time for that.
But, really, I didn't want the hassle.
Could I really be bothered to clean up accidents? I spend enough time dealing with cat puke and hairballs as it is.
Would we have to stop all forty minute bus journeys immediately and forevermore? I mean, seriously: at what point can kids hold it in for that long?! After a few days? A week? Several months? Aged twelve? There are days when I find it a bit of a push. Could we never visit certain friends again?!
Those incredibly small and lightweight foldaway Potettes looked so BIG and HEAVY when I tried to imagine carrying one around in my bag. I'm already laden down with Organix bars and Upsy Daisies of assorted sizes; I don't need any more luggage.
And, oh hell of all hells, I'd have to take her into public toilets with those blasted blasting hand dryers that every single child in the known universe under the age of five finds utterly terrifying. Or could I just let her pee in a corner of Boots? Maybe on the potty aisle? Try before you buy?
I knew that my daughter was going to take to the potty fairly easily but it seemed like an awfully big adjustment for me.
In the end, she didn't give me much choice, though. One Sunday she announced that she would be ditching the nappies the following morning. And so the decision was made.
So I reminded myself that I've been through big parenting adjustments before. Remember when she was a newborn and I was terrified of leaving the house because WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU HAVE TO CHANGE A NAPPY IN A PUBLIC PLACE?! OR YOU DIDN'T BRING ENOUGH AND SHOPS HAVE CEASED TO EXIST?!
Yeah, I got over that panic pretty quickly.
This would be the same.
And, you know what?
A Potette helped. A wet bag helped. Staying close to home for the first week helped. Not making any plans which involved punctuality the following week helped.
But really I just had to do it.
My kid was ready; I had to get myself ready, too.
So we're one month in now.
On Saturday, I finished the godawful book group choice and the potty training manual I thought I should read arrived. I haven't even cracked the spine.
We're through it.
I'm £9 per month better off and unencumbered by disposable nappy guilt; she's proud of her newfound skills; and there's something quite pleasing about a small child whooping "Well done, Mummy! You did it!" at me every time I exit the bathroom.