I had, rather unenthusiastically, given potty-training a try last summer. It can barely be called a ‘try’. More like an unwilling effort to try and ditch Cesca’s nappy by leaving her for a couple of minutes a day without a nappy and expecting her to switch to panties and toilets in a matter of hours.
Of course it did not work. And I wasn’t really bothered because in all honesty there is nothing more convenient than putting on a nappy onto a toddler and not having to worry about toilet availability, toilet cleanliness and God forbid forgetting to ask the toddler whether s/he needs to use the bathroom and a dog-like puddle of pee resulting in a public place. So I was okay with it and moved on.
However Cesca starts school in a couple of months. And nappy-wearing toddlers are not allowed. At the same time, if there is one thing I learnt, it’s that no one can force Cesca to do something unless she wants to do it herself, even though she understands what is expected of her and knows what is right and what is not. Her stubbornness is legendary amongst us now.
She continued to scream at potties and slam toilet seats down. She gathered a small collection of varied panties but would want to wear the hearts one when I showed her the Minnie ones, or the blue ones when I gave her the princess ones. Her nappy remained on and her parents’ anxiety level slightly rose. But again, we could do nothing until she was ready.
And then one fine day she found her potty, brought it to us and asked to use it. She sat down, did her business, refused to put on a nappy from then onwards and has been using the toilet and the potty regularly ever since! She had two accidents on the first day, but it’s been a week now that she’s a toilet-converter. There were an awkward couple of days when she refused to wear panties (dresses and skirts were duly banned), but after taking her underpants-shopping and spending fifteen minutes choosing between four packs, she finally picked the ones she liked and is now actually wearing them.
We have a small celebratory ritual after each toilet visit – we high-five, we shout ‘hurray’ and she uses up a whole roll of toilet paper each time, but she’s off nappies.
Her next step is learning to poop in the toilet and getting rid of the night nappy. The latter will probably occur very soon because she is all but ready, but it’s more a case of me not wanting to get up in the middle of the night to take her to the bathroom every couple of hours. As for the number two matter, she still has not used the toilet for that one but I’m sure she’s on the right road.
This milestone was the most difficult one yet for me as a parent. Everyone tells you the same thing – that toddlers will only start using the potty or the toilet when they are ready, but still I wanted it to happen sooner rather than later. The book I had bought to help me with potty training was good help, but only in an ideal world because no one child is like another. Now thankfully it seems to be finally happening. Her clothes fit better without the extra baggage of a nappy and she is so very proud of herself. And we are over the moon with her as well 🙂