Monday, April 30, 2012

on the other side of our first potty training weekend

Dear Em,
We did it! Well, you did it. You made it through your first two & a half days of potty training! You did great. You did better than great. Have I told you how amazing I think you are?

We started on Friday night at 5:30, right after dinner. You wanted to start before then. Dinner was ready & on the table, & your daddy & I were calling you to come eat. You had gone upstairs moments before. When we called for you, you shouted "not yet!" Daddy went upstairs to see what you were up to, & I heard him exclaim, "Em, what are you doing?!" Apparently, you had found your big-girl undies. You were naked from the waist down with your undies strew across the floor, trying to slide a pair up your legs. You diaper was laying on the floor next to your undies.

After dinner we rolled up the rug in the living room, moved your toys from the family room (which has wall to wall carpets), & barricaded the carpeted areas. Cleaning our wood floors is no biggie, but we weren't up for scrubbing rugs. We put your Sesame Street potty seat on top of our toilet & had you try to go potty. You smiled & told us you tried, but it was clear you didn't understand. We put your "special, big-girl undies" on (they are Minnie Mouse ones), let you go pant-less, told you that "pee-pee & poo-poo go in the potty, & set a timer for thirty minutes.
When the timer started to beep, we went to the bathroom to try again. You laughed & said, "there's pee-pee in my undies." Sure enough, Daddy found a puddle on the living room floor. I felt a little defeated. I knew you weren't going to pick it up just like that, but from what everyone had told me, the sensation of pee going down your legs was supposed to be uncomfortable for you. You seemed to think it was fun. Daddy & I looked at each other, each of us silently wondering if maybe you weren't ready yet, but we were determined to at least give it the weekend. We reminded you that "pee-pee & poo-poo" goes in the potty, cleaned you up, changed your undies, & set the timer for 30 minutes.

Thirty minutes later, we tried the potty again. This time, I heard the sounds of tinkling. You looked at me with a face full of shame & worry. You poor little thing, you didn't even realize you had done exactly what you were supposed to do. You seemed to think you had done something wrong. A huge smile spread across my face & tears filled my eyes. Did my baby girl just go potty like a big girl?! I gave you a huge kiss, & called your Daddy to the bathroom. We both clapped & cheered & jumped up & down. You finally realized what an incredible thing you had just done & started clapping & squealing too.

We rewarded you with a jelly bean (I know some people think rewarding children with food/sweets is wrong & teaching them to associate food/sweets with happiness. I stick my tongue out at those people. You do what you think is best & what works for you & we'll do what we think is best & what works for us). After that fun, you asked to go potty approximately every 35 seconds. Daddy & I took turns bringing you, & we spent a lot of time in the bathroom. Seriously, A LOT. But the rest of the night was accident free & Daddy & I were happy you were so excited about using the potty.

On Saturday, we started to settle into a routine. You tried to go potty when the buzzer went off every thirty minutes. When the buzzer went off, we clapped our hands as we walked to the bathroom & sang "it's potty time, it's potty time." Sometimes you asked to go sooner. Unlike the night before, you mostly only requested to go when you had to go (or right after you got a jelly bean to see if you could squeeze anymore out for another jelly bean). You only had two half accidents the whole day. I say half, because you told us you were pooping, we rushed you to the potty, & you finished on the potty. You also had a larger cheering squad. Your glow worms Pink & Blue (like I said, you're incredible creative when it comes to naming things) had to be with us at all times. Pink sat in your red potty (which hasn't been used, you prefer the seat on top of the toilet) & "tried to go potty too." Blue sat on your hippo stool.

Since we were staying home all weekend, we did a lot of indoor activities. We played with play dough. We played with magna tiles. We colored with coloring books, easels, & chalk. We went shopping in your kitchen set. By your nap time, it looked like a tornado had gone through our typically toys free living room, & it's name was Emma.

By Sunday, your cheerleading section had grown even larger & so did your successes. 

It was another great day. We kept the timer going every 30 minutes, but we spent most of our day outside playing on the swing set & trampoline. You were great about waiting to go until you were on the potty even when you were distracted with fun activities. You had a couple accidents, but you learned to tell us when you had to go poop & did them all in the potty (I was so relieved after my nightmares of poop everywhere). 

To celebrate an amazing first couple of days of potty training, I picked up a bunch of nail polishes in various colors. I let you pick the color & we had a potty spa treatment. You were thrilled. We painted your nails blue & we even put yellow flowers on your thumbs. It was a fun way to pamper you after your accomplishments, & you couldn't wait to show off your pretty nails.

This morning I sent you out the door for the very first time in big-girl undies (we're really hoping you don't have an accident in the car). I'm crossing my fingers & saying a prayer that God will help you go on the potty today at school.

I can't believe we're on the other side of our first potty training weekend. It's a weekend your daddy & I have been both dreading & looking forward to for a long time. The weekend was so much more amazing than either of us could have hoped (Daddy said he keeps underestimating you). We're so proud of you, little one. I can't tell you that enough. You just seem to get so much bigger each & every day, & you're growing into such a beautiful & amazing young lady.

We're heading into a big unknown: life outside of our house with a potty trained child. I'm sure you'll show Daddy & I the way.

I love you so,

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