A couple of months ago, I bought Kai a little potty. She was about 20 months at the time, and she sometimes "talked" about going to the potty (and by "talk" I mean she would slap her diaper and point at the changing table to indicate that she needed to be changed). Beyond a general awareness of having a wet diaper, Kai has a general disdain for diapers. Seriously, I think she has hated diapers since day one. She has never been easy to change, squirming as much as possible to avoid having a diaper on. And, as soon as she figured out that the diaper is easily removed, she started taking off her diaper and running free through the house. Given all these factors, it seemed like purchasing a potty and introducing the concept of not peeing on the floor was prudent.
But, beyond buying the potty, neither Eric or I were actually very keen on doing any actual potty training. We figured we'd let her sit on it a few times a day and otherwise continue our futile attempts to keep her diaper on her to spare our floors and furniture.
Well, that was our "plan". The problem with the plan, is it didn't really account for the subject. The thing about Kailey is - once she knows how something is supposed to happen... well, she is going to make sure it happens. In other words, we are now, unwittingly, in the full swing of potty training.
The first day or so that we had the potty, Kai didn't really get it. She sat on it, nothing happened. She left the bathroom and peed on the floor, and by the time we would run her back into the bathroom, nothing else would happen.
But, on the second or third day, we got lucky.... she peed in the potty!! And, seriously, that is all it took. A light bulb went off. You could almost see it. Since that point on, Kai has been able to pee in the potty pretty much on command. For awhile there, she'd go four or five times in a row because each time earned her a sticker. We reigned the sticker distribution in a bit, in an attempt to get her to focus more on when she needed to go rather than her bizarre ability to will herself to go.
Why, you might ask, were we not more interested in potty training once we realized that Kai understood the concept and demonstrated the ability to not only use the potty, but to use it any time we asked her to? Well, just because a person understands what a potty is for and can use it appropriately does not mean that they also understand that the rug, couch, and bed are not also appropriate places in which to relieve oneself. In other words, the fact that Kai was peeing in the potty 10 times a night did not mean that she was avoiding accidents throughout the house. What we quickly realized is the vigilance required to allow Kailey to run around in underwear was quite exhausting. So, instead of bucking up like the dedicated parents we are supposed to be, we decided to be entirely half-assed about it. We would let her go diaperless one night, reminding her every 5 minutes to tell us if she needed to go to the potty. And then we'd take a break for a few nights, opting instead to put her in a sleeper that is not easily removed to ensure that the diaper remained on. I know, we are lazzzyyyy parents.
Unfortunately, our efforts to limit potty training to a couple nights a week are no longer working. Now Kailey yells "PEEE PEEE" as she clutches her diaper.** Eric is much more accommodating, letting her attempt to go potty whenever she shouts at us a few times in a row. And, almost without fail, whenever she tries to go - she succeeds. So, she has been wearing us down, demanding to go longer stretches of time in her underwear and without a diaper. On the plus side, she has also been having fewer accidents and going longer stretches of time in between using the potty (even though the "phase" only lasted about a week and a half, I was sick of following her into the bathroom every five minutes.... 15 - 20 minutes without a bathroom break is much more acceptable).
It's funny, I always imagined we'd be the ones potty training Kailey... but, somehow, I feel like we're the ones going through the training.
** As I was writing this, Eric was attempting to put Kailey to bed. Which means she was in bed, in her diaper and her sleeper, enjoying her milk... when she started hollering "PEE PEE". A few moments later, they both emerged from her room so that Kai could go potty, which resulted in Eric saying, "OK... good job, you did have to go. Now will you go to sleep?" And Kailey responding, "YEAH".