A few weeks ago I decided that I was having a bad week. I was just having really long days and I was exhausted. Could I really make it any worse? So, I thought it was just the perfect time to start potty training Ladybug! I mean, why not? I was already having a challenging week – the kids were cranky; I was cranky; my husband was out of town. Yes, perfect timing right there!
So, I pulled out all of Bee’s old panties, grabbed several rolls of paper towels, a few bath towels, and 7 cups of juice and water. I was ready!
I set my timer and took Ladybug potty every 15 minutes all day long. She had two enormous accidents (thanks to those 7 cups of juice) and then we were having some amazing success. After 3 days of potty training she had only had 3 accidents total. I’ve got this thing!
My numbers sound great! However, what isn’t represented in that success is an accurate picture of how my days played out. I ran to the potty hundreds and hundreds of times. I stopped what I was doing and often literally dropped what I was holding and I ran whenever I heard the battle cry of, “Pee pee come out!!!” Hmm, how many of those were false alarms?
Then there were the times when I had taken her potty when the timer went off and she didn’t need to go. Yet, she suddenly needed to go potty 2 minutes later. This time it was for real.
Can we also discuss how hard it is to potty train a toddler when you have an infant – especially a nursing one. Poor Punkin often got placed on the floor while I chased after Ladybug. I even got quite good at running to the bathroom while still nursing Punkin! That should be an Olympic sport, I tell ya!
On day 1 of our experience, it took me an hour and a half to complete breakfast from the time I started preparing it until the time we actually finished eating it. My poor children were starving to death as I frantically tried to prepare our food while charging to the potty after Ladybug and trying to nurse a crying Punkin. Dinner was even more disastrous. It took me 2 hours to make the simple beef and rice dish I was preparing. I had to turn off the meat more than once while I sat in the bathroom with Ladybug. It’s a miracle I didn’t burn our dinner!
By the following evening when my husband returned from his business trip, he was greeted by a completely nude Ladybug who was streaking through the house on her way to the potty. She was followed by her entourage with Tiger holding a toy to bribe her, Bee carrying her old pairs of panties to donate to our cause, and Curly bringing a book to read to Ladybug while she sat on the potty. I followed up the crowd with a crying Punkin in my arms. I hadn’t showered in 2 days and we had eaten lots of cereal and oatmeal. I was so relieved to see him that I cried along with Punkin.
I have learned several things through our many potty training experiences (and I just can’t wait to see what Punkin teaches me). Here are a few things that I’ve discovered:
1 – There is never a good time to potty train but there can be bad times to get started – hubby being out of town just might be a bad time to try the experiment.
2 – Underwear is optional as it just slows you down. Pants are absolutely impossible to remove in the hurry of an emergency so they are never to be worn. And shirts, skirts, and dresses just get in the way. Clothing is optional and some might say it’s detrimental to your success.
3 – It is important to fill your child so full of fluid that they float away. And at that point they will need to run to the potty every 15 minutes but they just might get the hang of the potty thing.
4 – Bribery is nothing to be ashamed of in the act of potty training. Hold your head up high and find lots of fun toys to use for bribery!
5 – Sticker charts can be so helpful!
6 – Plan to get absolutely nothing else done during your potty training days.
7 – Have some meals in your freezer for quick cooking. Unless of course, you enjoy undercooked or burnt meals or you in fact enjoy eating cereal for every meal.
8 – Do not leave your house for at least 4-5 days while you let the concepts sink in. Taking a hoard of small children out in public and then trying to find a gross public restroom is suicide.
9 – You can nurse while running to the potty when it is necessary. Your back will pay for it the next day, however.
10 – Potty training does not get easier no matter how many times you have done it.
We have survived our potty training boot camp. What a week!