With my first kid, I was convinced the worst part of parenthood was potty training. I blame reading too many parenting books and listening to too many know-it-alls for the amount of stress I felt potty training Addie. It also didn’t help that I lived around a dozen other young moms who turned potty training into a maternal blood sport. “Charles just potty trained himself today! Three days before his first birthday! Isn’t that great?!” One of the worst parenting moments I ever had happened over a tiny plastic toilet at the bottom of the stairs back in 2007. I swore that if I ever had another kid, I wasn’t going to sweat potty training the way I did with my first.
Here I am, second time around and it has been stressful exactly never. Here’s the thing, Vivi is completely normal when it comes to toddler development and all that other stuff that little kids are supposed to be doing around 3, including picking her nose, laughing when she farts, and poking my nipples while out in public. I know there are some people out there who hear of a 3-year-old who isn’t potty trained and recoil at the horror, but dudes, lighten up.
Maybe your toddlers were different, but tell my toddler what to do and she’s going to do the exact opposite of what you say until she’s dead. Also, have you ever tried to force yourself or anyone else to poop on command? NOT SO EASY IS IT? Aside from her going to her hiding place to poop, I don’t know when she has to go. I mean, there’s kind of a pattern, but not really?
A few weeks ago daycare asked that we start bringing her in panties, which was surprising. Apparently homegirl is all about the potty at daycare. Number one, number two! ALL THE NUMBERS! But at home she’s still awfully dicey about number two. After talking to my friend who taught a roomful of 3-year-old children for years, she said what we’re going through isn’t all that uncommon. It’s a control thing, and if you’ve met Vivi, control may be her other middle name. I could do what I did with Addie and force her to sit on the pot until she finally pooped, but I’m not really in the mood to do that; it was boring and not at all effective. For the last few days, Vivi’s been holding it. She did have one accident (which after stomachflupocalypse of 2014, poopy panties are NOTHING), but if all else fails she gets it out at daycare.
See how worried I am? Nope, because I’m not. The proverbial potty stars will align someday, and as long as that day is by the first day of kindergarten? I’m cool.
As cute as Vivi is in her Rainbow Dash underpants, you won’t be seeing them unless you happen to stop by when Vivi is wearing only her Rainbow Dash underpants (which these days is all the time). I subscribe to a pretty strict “no naked kids on the Internet” rule and after seeing what happened to Courtney Adamo, I’m glad I do. I remember real live cotton underpants being one of the biggest steps from baby to big kid, and now I’m realizing I need to put a whole new set of rules in place in regards to my bigger big kid.
I also thought I’d never be okay with hand me down underpants, but it turns out I am. Vivi is jazzed to have underpants that once belonged to Addie, and Addie thinks it’s adorable to see Vivi in something that was once hers. Why I even kept those tiny little pairs of unders is beyond me, but it’s saved me a bunch of money now that Vivi has made the switch. Her pants fit different now, and the corner of her room that was dedicated to cloth diapers is now empty. I also forgot that some toddlers (mine) feel that they have to get completely naked in order to use the toilet. I don’t get it.
For the next little while, errands will have to be planned with regular potty breaks in mind, but thankfully I never lost that maternal sixth sense to locate the nearest restroom upon entering unfamiliar territory. Another bonus with the second kid is my first is old enough to help the little one, and she actually enjoys doing it, meaning less time crammed in tiny public bathroom stalls with a toddler for me!
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.