Potty Training Part I: Preparation

I’m preparing to potty train soon.

Kinsey, that is.

I say “preparing” because I bought pull-ups, and M&M’s and am working on clearing my schedule so we can be at home and have long intelligent conversations about pee and poop. I’ve also talked about how I am going to do it soon, as a way to somehow pep talk myself into actually doing it.

I had planned to do it this week, but then scheduled a couple play-dates, and coffee dates, so it’ll have to wait. Next week, probably.

Most likely.

We have a potty seat. It’s Minnie Mouse. I decided against a separate training toilet because honestly, I don’t want to clean that.

So, here’s my plan.

We’ll spend a few days at home, practicing going potty all the day long. I have stickers and M&M’s, and she’ll get those just for sitting on the toilet, and maybe by day 3 she will understand what we are doing a little bit more, and she’ll get some rewards for actually going.

I’m winging it, basically. And, I’m only giving this a go because the kid asks to sit on the potty all the time. It is a really fun activity for her, and she’s actually gone a handful of times. I figure that I better take advantage of her excitement, rather than wait until she is less interested and fights me on it.

Give me some tips. Do you have any? Stuff that has worked for you?

I’m a sponge, so to speak, and will try all of the things to maximize success. Ok, maybe just the things that sound nice, because someone told me that they spent all day in a bathroom with their toddler and I’m pretty sure that is borderline child abuse. I still don’t know how meals were administered in the bathroom.

I’ll report back when there is something to report.

P.S. This mothering thing really didn’t come with a manual FYI.

 

I Saw HER and Cried Real Tears

Three little kids, running around in circles caught her attention. I stood back as she walked timidly forward. I could see her hesitation, and for a few moments I wondered if she would just watch from a distance. I commented to a group a friends that we were standing with, and one of them said “They are the plastics of the toddlers.” I laughed, but also felt the weight of the moment. The weight of what would happen if Kinsey didn’t feel welcome. I thought of my oldest memory I had of being a kid, standing on the perimeter, watching something just like this, hoping that someone would ask me to join in. My daughter was experiencing the toddler version of my kindergarten moment. My sweet girl inched forward slowly, and with every small step, she looked back at me for reassurance. Suddenly, just as I thought about telling her to go play with them, she threw herself into the moment, forgetting her fear and she ran with them. She ran in circles, and when they fell, she fell. She looked to them for cues on when to laugh, and when to chase each other again. Tears welled up in my eyes. I was never as fearless as her. I remember standing on the pavement, just outside of where the playground gravel started, with the full intention of being alone. A little girl ran up to me after awhile and asked me if I wanted to play. She said “do you want to play?” I said “that’s ok.” She ran back over to her friends at the jungle gym, and the moment she ran away I regretted it. Maybe I wanted her to beg me? Maybe I wanted to feel wanted? I think I expected her to say “Come on! Just do it!” But, she didn’t. I stood there feeling the blood rush into my face, wondering how I would get out of this situation. I wanted to go play, but was too embarrassed now that I had said no. After a lot of self-talk, I just ran over and jumped in and pretended like nothing had happened. I can only hope that my daughter holds onto her confidence. That she will always throw herself into these kind of moments, and leave her fear at the sidelines.

I will experience a thousand more moments like this one. I’ll watch my little girl break free from her dependence and make friends. Along the way there will undoubtably be heartache, and tears. And, I’ll probably often see my childhood relived through hers. It is going to take an intentional effort on my part to stop myself from seeing me, and see her. She is like me in ways, but her own person. She has her own spirit and her way of doing things, and I get to learn to accept those and see the very heart by which she lives.

I will let her make her own mistakes. I will let her be the master of her own destiny. I will counsel and love her in the way that a parent is supposed to, but she will make her own way.

I will be a witness to all of it, and just like several other moments that I’ve experienced as a mother, I watched this one happen and couldn’t help but think about how lucky I am.