“EWWWW you stink!” The chorus started up one afternoon when all the cousins were playing in the room they were all sharing at the beach last week. One after another they took up the chant until Little L left the room. She didn’t say anything as she came to me, but hurt and confusion were written across her face.
She didn’t stink really, it was more what was in her diaper that stunk. One quick diaper change and she was back in the thick of the fun.
But she didn’t forget the moment and at 3am I was awoken to hysterical cries.
“I need to go potty! I need to go potty right now!”
I calmed her down and got her back to sleep, but a few hours later, after the sun had gotten up, she and her daddy woke me up again, this time with the jubilant announcement that Little L had peed in the potty.
And so started a week of fruitless trips to the bathroom where she’d sit on the potty, sing me a song or ten, and then jump off without having done anything. It was followed by a brief success – one brief success – with my sister on the last day everyone was in town, and then more, well, nothing.
In a moment of weakness I allowed M and one of the daycare assistants to sway me into believing that Little L was ready for really potty training. Really as in no diapers, just undies.
That went as well as you can imagine. 20 minutes after I got her dressed she was standing in a puddle, looking at me with big confused eyes, saying “Mommy, that underwear, it has a hole in it!” But because I don’t learn, I put her in clean clothes… and a clean pair of underwear.
And that’s how I took her to daycare.
The day actually went better than I had hoped. She had a mini accident, but was able to stop it in its tracks and finish in the potty. She asked to be put in a diaper after that though and the daycare director and I decided that we’d wait a couple days until we could spend a leisurely weekend trying again.
Despite that, tonight, before putting her in her pajamas, M asked her if she wanted to go potty. She jumped at the chance, always one for playing around in there. But instead of squirming around and jumping off the toilet after a second, she stayed put. And five minutes later, when M helped her down, she quietly said “I had a poopy.”
And for the first time ever, she wasn’t kidding. The potty training game is really on.
I hesitated, wanting to grab my camera to capture the moment. Then reason set in and I flushed the evidence away. C didn’t share my compunction. She chose to immortalize the moment in art.