Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dispatches from the Potty Train to Underpantsville

So, Eleri has been out of diapers during the day since Saturday morning. Not bad! We wanted to take advantage of the Presidents' Day holiday weekend to give the whole "three day potty training boot camp" thing a try. I know, people do claim it works. Lots of people (supposedly) successfully potty train their kids - that's day and night training - in 72 hours or whatever, but I've got my doubts. Still, we have made impressive progress in the past five days. Accidents still do happen, but they are hardly a frequent occurrence. Granted, most of that comes from frequent reminders and cajoling; still, at least some of that is her figuring this whole thing out.

Yesterday, this would have been a very different blog post. We took our first diaper-free trip out of the house (for Eleri...Soren and I have been going without diapers for quite some time now). It was, perhaps, the most stressful, anxiety-inducing outing to the library and grocery store in recent memory.

We left the house at 2:00. I had packed something like 6 pairs of underpants, 3 pairs of pants, 2 absorbent pads, 1 bag for wet items, plus the froggy potty (as a backup). I set a "potty alarm" on my iPod, and we made it all the way through our time at the library before it beeped. I took the kids into the bathroom, where despite the fact that Soren peed first to show Eleri it was all good, she refused. Started getting upset over having to sit on the toilet, very adamantly insisted she did not have to go, etc. So, I spent a few more minutes trying to convince her before giving in and packing us all off for destination number two. (Not a euphemism.)

By this point it was nearly 3:00. She'd gone an hour between potty trips in the past, but not much more than that. We ducked into Buy Buy Baby (which is basically exactly what you'd get if you crossed Babies R Us with Bed, Bath & Beyond, right next to the grocery store, to try again. They had one of the little short toilets, which I thought maybe would be more comfortable for El. Nothing doing. Out of desperation, I lugged us all back out to the car, fetched the froggy potty, returned to Buy Buy Baby and plunked the potty and Eleri down in the big bathroom stall. STILL no luck. So far we'd wasted probably a good half hour in total trying to get her to pee; I'd likely have been better off just racing through our errands and hoping she would last til we got home. I was stressed and envisioning a catastrophic accident all over the shopping cart right in the middle of Trader Joe's.

BUT. Miracle of miracles. We made it. We got through the store (probably in record time) and got home, right at 4:00, accident-free. Whew. It was a bit of a gut-wrenching 2-hour excursion, but ultimately successful.

And today? Today was so much better I hardly have the words to express it.

I was a little smarter today. I packed the potty seat (the little insert one that goes on a regular toilet seat), and a bag of M&Ms (her reward for successful potty-related endeavors). She peed at the rec center, after we dropped Soren off for school. She peed twice at the mall, where we made it all the way through our weekly walk. The second time, we were down at the play area already, and she actually went and climbed into the stroller, asked for her shoes, and answered in the affirmative when I asked if she needed to go potty. Then she peed again at the rec center just before we picked up Soren. And again at the nature center, where we went to play with A after school. We were at the nature center for quite a while, and eventually she did have an accident. But here's the crazy part. It was a very tiny accident. She was able to stop herself, make it to the bathroom, and finish there. I'm unspeakably impressed by this. We headed back home; she took an accident-free nap in the car on the way, and then did a great job for the rest of the evening.

(Future Eleri, I'm really sorry about the whole play-by-play record of your urination habits. I'm just really, really proud of 2 year-old you right now.)

I'm happy to say that I can now envision a time, in the not so distant future, when we will experience life without diapers. And that? That is going to be awesome.

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