Come on Barbie let’s go potty

Dear Daughter,

And just like that, I think our diaper days are arriving to the end. I think we are basically done with them. During the Toussaint vacation, we worked on taking you out of the house in undies. You have already not worn diapers at home in more than a month, but we still had to work on getting you out of the house in undies. Not to mention figuring out how to get you to use the Potette potty when we are out and about.

We worked on it through the holidays, it was the focus of the two week school holidays.  You even went to your first movie last week (Poupi, at the Cinema des Cineastes down the street from us, I love how art house movie theatres in Paris have special screenings for small children, especially screenings of a 1960 children’s cartoon from the former Czechoslovakia) and you didn’t have an accident. You just held it. Yesterday you went to the garderie in just undies, which is almost the last step. But really, there’s no turning back now. At just two weeks over your second birthday, you are potty trained.

Even though I’m very happy about it, it still makes me feel a bit emotional. Diapers have been such a huge part of our daily lives for the past four years. Ever since I went to the hospital for a routine check on a hot Friday afternoon in June of 2009, and then walked out a mother. It’s so odd to think we are done. (With the exception of night time, but that will come with time. The big part is done).

And I wasn’t even thinking about tackling potty training with you for another six months or so. At least till the spring. I figured it is easier to train in spring when the weather is warmer, you can sit around the house in just underwear, and you can drop your pants and go in the travel potty outside without freezing your patootie off. It wasn’t my choice for you to train right as we are facing the start of winter.

But what happened was so unexpected. On the first day back at the garderie at the beginning of September, I picked you up to have the lady say you had asked to, and done, a poo in the potty. Just like that. Over the next few days, you would pull the potty out at home and go in it without any prompting from us. You really wanted to use the potty. It was like you were saying, hey, if you guys aren’t going to train me, I’ll just have to do it myself.

You had so much initiative, it was amazing. I had never heard of an under-two year old using the potty of their own accord so regularly. It was especially in contrast of our potty training experience with your brother, which ironically was just a bit over a year ago.

Now, I can’t say that we had a horrible time with potty training your brother, it wasn’t that bad, but it did require a bit more effort. He turned three in the month of June, and all through the spring we would ask him if he wanted to use the potty, and he said no. The garderie helped a lot ; seeing the other kids use the potty motivated him quite a bit, but it was only about a couple of weeks before his third birthday that we took the plunge and took his diapers off. And by then, he was ready, and he got it right away. A friend had told me about The Three Day Potty Training method, which I purchased as an e-book and which basically was our guide. But basically, he was totally ready, helped a lot by the garderie where he was already going on the toilet a lot.

I did find that even so, potty training is not a when-you’re-done-you’re-done kind of situation. We had two steps forward, one step back, two more forward, one back throughout that summer. But he was ready for preschool in September, and it didn’t leave me with a bad memory of potty training.

And here you are, all done. A whole year before you are due to start preschool. A part of me was a bit worried about how we are going to deal with the winter, having to start carrying around a change of clothes and a travel potty everywhere. It’s true that there is a latent period of a few months after potty training, where you feel like it was easier when they were just in diapers, because going out is a bit stressful, you never know when they are ALL OF A SUDDEN going to have to urgently go, then they refuse to use public toilets (not that there are a whole lot of them to use in Paris anyway). But no, daughter, this is good. Who knows, you might have a period of regression, but if you do, at least we have a year before maternelle starts to deal with it.

You are just growing up so fast !

Here are some products we found useful for potty training :

Potette Plus travel potty : Can go over a seat or the legs fold down to make a little potty chair. I refuse to pay twenty euros for the bags though, I just use regular garbage bags and put a paper towel in them to absorb. Works fine

The Three Day Potty Training method : I haven’t had to use this yet, but the lady who wrote the book will answer any questions or address any difficulties you have while using her method

Potty Time iPad app : We have been using the sticker chart on this iPad app quite a bit with you Daughter, and it’s a great incentive.

Potty by Leslie Patricelli : Both you and your brother love this cute book and you both get excited when the baby goes « Tinkle tinkle TOOT »

We also have a few pairs of handmade cloth training pants made by a Message member, which are so cute I am a bit sad to retire them. But then moving on to Thomas the Train undies for your brother and Hello Kitty undies for you is moving into a new direction.


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