When I was 10 months old, my parents were pleasantly surprised to learn that they would soon be welcoming a second child, unexpectedly conceiving my brother about seven months after I was born. Of course, they were overjoyed, but on a fixed income they needed to make some crafty decisions to stretch their budget to accommodate two children. My father, always the innovator, decided it’d be a good idea to start potty training me to get me out of diapers before my brother arrived. I started walking at 12 months, and talking soon after that, so the groundwork was laid for a successful journey from Pampers to potty.
About a month ago, my dad imparted his advice on starting this process with Kennedy, and we decided to give it a try. Fabian bought her a pink plastic throne, and we started getting the two acquainted.
At first, she wasn’t having any of it. We’d sit her on it (with pants on) and she’d go running and screaming into the night as if we’d made her hug The Boogeyman. That lasted for about a week.
Then, she started sitting on it while watching either of us in the bathroom (because she feels like we always need an audience to do our business). We’d tell her things like “Potty time!” or “Pee pee!” as she’d perch herself across from the toilet on her awesome new chair that moved all over the house. She wasn’t making the connection for what it was for, but at this point, she knew potties were for sitting on.
Next, we started sitting her on it after dinner, pants off, for about a 30-minute duration. No expectations, just sit there. If you do something, that’s an added bonus and we will throw you a parade.
We threw about four parades during this phase.
It was a tornado of tears and screams when we started the seating process sans pants. She’d look at us like, “What’s WITH you sickos?! My vagina’s cold!” When she finally would calm down, she’d put her hands all over herself. I can’t blame her on that one. For once she was able to touch herself in places that were normally shrouded under a diaper. Curiosity abounds.
Now, at five weeks in, Kennedy sits on the potty regularly after dinner and does her business. I think she’s making the connection that after she does something in the pot she gets praise and can get up. She’s still not talking yet, though, at least not enough to communicate when and if she needs to go. I’ve always connected that action with successful potty training. My dad, on the other hand, says that as long as a child understands what the potty is for, the rest can come later.
I’m already making plans for the money we will save when we don’t have to buy cases of diapers anymore.