My daughter went potty on the potty for the first time when she was eighteen months old. And Internet? I was convinced she was a genius. I was sure we’d be done with diapers by time she was two.
In fact, I went right out and bought all the potty training equipment I thought we could possibly need – potty chairs for both bathrooms, a miniature toilet seat for the “big girl potty,” step stools and pull-ups. You name it, I bought it.
So of course she lost interest two weeks later.
The next time she expressed interest, we were getting ready to go on vacation. An inconvenient time to potty train if there ever was one. But, being the “Supportive” mom I try to be, I dutifully packed her potty chair and suspended her over countless filthy rest stop toilets to help her on her way to potty independence. She may have even peed a time or two.
But when we returned home? She started screaming if I even mentioned the word potty. Apparently, toilets were only to be used in more tropical climes.
Then, just two weeks ago, a miracle happened. She asked to sit on the potty! And then she sat on it long enough to actually pee! Five days in a row!
Internet, it was like the heavens had opened and sent a brigade of singing angels to our bathroom. I. Was. Ecstatic.
And of course I let her know how happy I was. Over and over and over again. Then, to encourage this awesome behavior to continue (hopefully more than once a day), I started rewarding her with a lollipop – a potty pop – when she did her business on the toilet.
Man, was that ever a mistake.
I think she got her reward exactly twice before she figured out a way to game the system. Now? She’ll ask to use the potty. “I pee pee on the potty, mommy,” she’ll say. So we’ll drop whatever we’re doing and rush over to the bathroom. Go through the whole clothes and diaper removal rigamarole.
She’ll defy death to wobble up onto the toilet by herself (no baby potty chair for her), sit down for exactly two seconds, and say, “I done, Mommy!”
“No, you’re not,” I’ll say. “You can’t possibly have pottied yet.”
“Little bit,” she’ll say.
“You pottied a little bit?”
“Yeah,” she’ll answer, looking very serious.
“I don’t know…I didn’t hear it.”
“I did! I did! Potty pop, mommy!”
“You think you deserve a potty pop?”
“Yes. Red one. Please,” she’ll grin.
Sometimes I give in, sometimes I don’t. But always, I curse my “brilliant idea” to hell and back. It seems no good deed goes unpunished.
Tell me, is there a secret to this whole potty training thing? Or will I be sending my daughter to kindergarten in diapers?