Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Life of the Potty

We introduced the potty right around the time Muffin turned two. Having her actually go on the toilet seemed about as likely as monkeys flying out of her butt, but we figured we had to start some time. She seemed to enjoy the novelty, so every night at bath time we dutifully sat her down for a little quality time on the throne. We might read a book or just shoot the, um, shit about pooping and peeing, and who all does it – a topic that held endless fascination. I’m sorry, but if I know you in real life, we've probably discussed the fact that you too poop. She's suitably impressed, I promise you.

After a few weeks, Muffin peed – a thrilling development. After a few weeks, lo and behold, she made a larger deposit at the bank. We hugged her and high-fived her as if she’d pooped gold. We taped up a potty chart – flower stickers for #1 and gold stars for #2 – and she filled it up in just one weekend.

And yet, six months later, she’s still in diapers – ok, technically, she’s in the pull-ups, the ones with the Little Mermaid, Princess Jasmine and Cinderella on the front (Cars pull-ups are an acceptable substitute but if try Dora, God help you). She is perfectly capable of recognizing the need to go and holding it, but totally inconsistent in her desire to actually make it to the bathroom. I call it the Lesser of Two Evils litmus test; if she is stalling on bedtime, feeling rushed out the door for school or some other onerous activity, she’ll shout the state of her bladder from the rooftops and make a beeline for the pot. But if she’s playing or dancing or, say, eating my Chapstick, she can’t be bothered. Unless we can catch her beforehand and convince her otherwise, her preferred poop scenario is in her room, in the corner, bracing herself against the table. I’ve put the totally adorable big kid underwear on her a few times, thinking that might make my little fashionista a convert, but despite me asking her every 15 minutes if she had to go, she just casually wet herself and kept on playing.

There have been a few setbacks along the way – falling into the bowl when she forgot to put the special seat on, accidentally using her hand as a wipe (and to her credit, being suitably horrified). But I don’t think they’ve been enough to put her on the path to adult diapers. I’m not sure what the glitch is. Perhaps one day she’ll wake up and tell us she’s off the dipes for good, and we’ll know that this is it, she's finally really ready. But of course there are no traffic lights in parenting, and we'll probably have to muddle through like always. Her teachers have encouraged us to take a long weekend and just do it. They think she’s almost there, just needs a little push.

Maybe it’s that we’re not ready. I’ve walked the streets of Manhattan, weakened postpartum bladder bursting, unable to find a bathroom -- Central Park in particular is a restroom no man’s land. We do like our adventures, and really committing to full potty training means sticking close to home for a while.

But I think I’ll also miss the day when using the potty is no longer an event but just a bodily function not worth fussing over. Seeing the smile spread across her face when she hears the tinkling of pee, and watching her little butt jiggle as she runs off to tell Daddy -- well, I can take a lot of shit for that.


Blogger Badass said...

Holy (um) shit! You're blogging again!! I got so excited when I checked your site that I almost peed my pants!

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! You are alive, oops, I just had an accident...


11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sash, C looks like you!!!!

*not looking forward to potty trainign Milla*


4:25 PM  

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