Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How To: Potty Training

In February we received the news ... Dylan had used the toilet! Regina and I high-fived, went home and threw away all our diapers. Easy-breezy! Piece of cake! All those whiney parents who complain that potty-training is hard and takes a lot of work and persistence obviously didn't have our natural parenting talents. All it takes, we reminded ourselves as we toasted our celebratory Crystal champagne, is positive thinking (as in, "Hey, Dylan, don't you think it'd be cool if you started using the big girl potty?") and Eileen, Dylan's daycare provider.

It's June, if you haven't checked your calendar or noticed all the farmers cutting hay, and Dylan is in, what I would call, the potty-training minor league system. Our dreams that Dylan would love using the toilet so much that she'd never soil another diaper have vanished. She'd be up the the big leagues now, but we aren't as disciplined as Eileen. At daycare, Dylan uses the toilet every 1/2 hour. At home, every other hour we ask, "You want to use the potty?" "No." "Okay."

To be fair, it's not entirely our fault that progress has been slow. Dylan likes a potty-party when she uses the toilet. The daycare kids have a parade every time one of the "trainees" needs to go. Here at home, Dylan's lucky to get Mom and Dad to watch. The first time Dylan used the potty here was when her grandparents came to visit and we crammed all five of us into the bathroom. Dylan loved it and went pee -- no problem.

There are signs of progress, though. Dylan frequently pees on the lawn (and sometimes poops), and -- if she's at Eileen's -- often uses the same pull-up all day long. Of course, Dylan's packing seven pounds of urine in it and it's disintegrating around her thighs, but, still, it's the OP (Original Pull-up). Okay, that's not true ... unless I'm watching her. When Dad's in charge, pull-up changes are like trains in Italy -- they come at infrequent intervals.

Dylan's also very curious about other people using the toilet. I assure you, it's uncomfortable to have your daughter stand in front of you and and hand over tiny pieces of toilet paper like a little, aggressive bathroom attendant. I just want a few minutes alone in the bathroom without someone checking in to make sure everything is working properly.

Our goal of having one out of diapers before the next one is in them probably won't happen (unless Dylan makes some big strides in four weeks. Yeah, four weeks. Wow!), but it'll be close. Dylan's progressing nicely. And, as long as I re-stock the pull-up supply, don't eat all her potty treats, and remember to have a potty parade every 1/2 hour, she should be diaper-free in no time. You won't believe how well fertilized our lawn will be.