Potty!

Shew! What a week it has been! As if life wasn’t crazy enough – let’s add some old fashioned sickness to the mix. The last time we (Leah and I) were sick like this she was five months old. There was no walking, there was no needing real food and snacks, there was no 2300sq ft house, and there certainly was no dog.

And I thought it was hard then.

It’s hard enough when Leah is sick, poor baby, she just needs a lot of extra love. Which is fine, except when I’m sick with her and it hurts to move. But we have powered through, and her 103+ temps are down to manageable 100 temps, and we may just be pulling out of this. Don’t ask me what she had – I have no idea. The doctor thought maybe an ear infection (her first ever), but he said he couldn’t really get a good look thanks to wax. I’m kind of thinking those darn two year molars and a nasty, nasty cold. As for me – I have all my molars – so I’m assuming I just got the cold. Duncan felt no pity for us though, and was his crazy, insane self the entire time. He got ignored a lot, and thrown outside in the beautiful weather (which he hated) a lot, and his walks got shortened a lot. But he is surviving as well. He also got a lot of bones… don’t feel too sorry for him.

Let’s not focus on the miserable stuff though – let’s focus on something more exciting… using the potty!!

You read that right. My 14 month old is trying to potty train herself. Note, I did not say I am trying to potty train her.

Here’s what has lead us to this most glorious day. For the past couple of weeks Leah has really been trying to get wet diapers off of herself. Pulling her pants down in public was not out of the ordinary. She has also started bringing me dry diapers when she wants to be changed, and if I ask if she is wet (and she is) she will emphatically nod her head. Now, she is only 14 months old, so I most certainly didn’t want to push anything. However, I most certainly didn’t want to discourage anything. So yesterday I couldn’t ignore my urge to buy a potty any longer. (I’ve told you about my urges, they’re almost always on cue with Leah). I made sure to get one that flushes (as she is crazy about flushing the real toilets). I really just wanted to get something fun, that she would enjoy.

I should break here to tell you that while I was a nanny I was forced to take a potty training class… are you kidding me?! But I guess it wasn’t so bad; now I actually feel like I know what I’m doing.

Back to my genius.

I had no desire to start “training.” I wanted to buy a fun toy that Leah would first of all enjoy, and second of all begin to recognize the purpose. She watches me every single time I go (so uncomfortable) – so I figured maybe we could start sharing in the activity. I didn’t buy pull-ups, or heaven forbid underwear – I just figured I’d sit her on it when she needed her diaper changed anyways. Stress free, casual, nothing forced activity.

I completely underestimated 1) how excited she would be 2) how quickly she catches on and 3) just plain how freaking smart she is. Why do I keep underestimating her?? Yesterday she had the time of her life just sitting on it, clothes on and all. She loved the flushing, and the real toilet paper, and all of the singing it does. She looked so big I wanted to cry. I wasn’t even sure when I’d start letting her actually try; I figured I’d let it be just a seat for a while. So we just continued sitting on it (as she pleased) all night. This morning though, I figured, why the heck not? She needed her morning diaper changed, so I plopped her on it. She got up and walked around for a while (I figured I already clean up after Duncan, what’s one more), but then came back to it. She’d get up and down often, I didn’t care. As she was standing by it she started to go so I quickly sat her down and she continued! And it sang thanks to the sensors it has – and she grinned. Boy did she grin! I cheered like a maniac, and let her use toilet paper and flush. She just looked so very proud, a little confused, and so very big. We went in a few more times throughout the morning when she wanted a new diaper, nothing happened. No big deal. She still got to use toilet paper and flush. But then right before her nap I said, “do you wanna go potty?” She learned that phrase within 10 minutes of us owning the stupid thing, and happily ran into our bathroom where it is. She immediately sat down and went! And she didn’t just pee if you know what I mean! I was absolutely astonished – and cheered again like a freaking maniac. Took pictures, as only a mom would do, hugged and kissed her and off to bed we went.

And here I sit – still in shock – and writing ever so proudly about my baby girls potty habits. I still won’t say that we are potty training, she is only 14, almost 15 months old. I still won’t buy pull ups yet. I still won’t force her or even take her often. I will let her lead, and I will reward whatever decision she makes on that little singing potty. If there’s one thing I learned from that darn class is that you can’t choose for your kid when they start to potty train or when they choose to go. They have to be in charge. But what I do know is that Leah seems more ready than I do at this point, and she may in fact be using the potty on a regular basis in a week. And really, I should not be surprised.

And Duncan? Well, he ate the baby monitor yesterday and is still on very thin ice. But he has learned to “drop it” and I am also very proud of him.

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