Monday, July 9, 2012

The Pantie Chronicles: The End is Just the Begining

To wrap up this little series on potty training a honey badger, I thought I would provide some highlights of what I learned. If you need to catch up on the fun, read this little nugget The Pantie Chronicles: Chapter 1 and this other little nugget The Pantie Chronicles: Part Deuce. Then come on back and get learn-ed on how the professionals do the potty training. And by professionals I mean hubs and myself who have made it through on paper towels and prayers. Professionals. Minus the pay and the respect but with all the responsibility and cleanup duty.
The potty essentials.
Books and chap stick.
~ Accidents are ok. Unavoidable. I tell Lady Baby all the time I don't care if she has an accident. However, if my request to try is met with a dismissive hand wave and an "I fine," then I will be mad when she takes a leak on my natural sisal rugs that are a bee-otch to clean. Saying "it's okay Mama, no big deal" does not  comfort me when she should have sat on the potty like I asked 2 seconds before. Take note: toddlers are terrible little liars. Not to be trusted.

~We recently had a zero accident road trip (except for the beginnings of a deuce, but I am not counting that.) I believe it is because for once in my life I was prepared for anything. My in-the-car-bag held 5 pairs of undies. An extra dress. An extra pair of shoes. There was a plastic target back cut open and put in her car seat with a soft lap pad on top. I had her potty in the backseat and a container of Lysol wipes. I had a baggie of regular wipes. I had 3 extra bags pre-cut to go in the seat and an extra lap pad. I had several plastic bags to hold any dirty clothes. I was ready for shadoobie Armageddon. And I didn't need any of it. Not. A. Thing. However. Had I not had these things Lady Baby would have flooded her car seat; had serious cha-chas; had to pee hunkered on the side of I-40 while 18 wheelers whizzed by her naked tush; had to drip dry in a dirty open-to-the-outside bathroom in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere; had to ride nudie because her clothes were ruined; or had to wear panties fashioned out of a paper napkin from Bojangles and some gum. Plan for the worst and things will go perfectly. Plan for nothing and you will have a shite-storm with heavy flooding for sure.

~Don't be afraid to leave the house. From my extensive (1 month) research with potty training 2.5 year olds (really just one) things actually go better outside of the homestead. Her Highness has no issue a'tall with peeing on my furniture. She does not seem to be quite so keen to pee on the floor of the Teeter or on her aunt's couch. At home it is easy to get lazy. Out, both parties must remain ever vigilant to avoid public humiliation. While you may get to screech through the hallowed aisles of Target (read it here), there is that desire to not let others see a potty spectacle. Even in the early, 3-8 pairs of panties a day time, she had much fewer accidents in public and at friend's houses. I also have learned to carry a big Ziploc with an extra dress, panties, and a plastic bag. No reason to tempt fate, my friends.

~There is no shame in bribery. Find the great motivator. In our case, m&m's are the currency of choice. We tried a sticker chart, which resulted in a hysteria when I would only let her have one sticker. Some kids, those that are not prone to passionate rages, love getting a sticker for every successful visit. Maybe your kid would work hard for one big prize, like a doll or truck or an ipad. Whatevs. Reward the heck out of them. Some kids don't need any reward, they are happy to make you happy. Those rare and amazing specimens that only want to please their parents do exist. Just not in my neck of the woods. For the rest of us, find what works. Once she stopped asking for her m&m's every time, I stopped offering. Pretty soon she seemed to think not having wet draws was reward enough. 
My fave glass PB jar (don't be jealous)
filled with bribery.

~Don't feel pressured to do what everyone else was doing. I tried really hard to skip the mini potty and pull ups and go straight to the big potty and panties 24/7. Because that is what a few of my friends were doing. One hour into day 1 and I sprinted to the basement to get the little potty in hopes that it would be more appealing. Indeed it was and she was able to take control of when she needed to go and do it herself. I have not used pull ups and stuck to that because I know my child and she would treat them as another diaper. I felt like, "What's the point?" Do what works for you and make sure both parents are on the same page. 

~Don't make it all a really big deal. Kids are like bears. They sense their prey's stress. If you are freaking over every incident then so will your offspring. On vacation Lady Baby was using a toilet in a sea food restaurant and managed to aim her stream directly between the seat and the toilet. Therefore she filled her panties and shoes with pee. I just pointed out that she should lean forward and took the rest in the stride. I am not sure she realized what even happened. I was just happy she told me she had to go and made it to the potty. I was also happy that I managed to hop backwards when I realized what was happening so I didn't have tinkle feet. One evening on the beach, she told me she needed to peepee. No one was around so I let her drop trow right there. I think she got her signals crossed because she actually took a big dump right in the sand, but I didn't bat an eye. At least she told me that she needed to go. If I would have gotten upset, then she would have been upset. Instead, we cleaned it up and went about our walk, happy and a few pounds lighter. Once I let the stress go (the first three days had me in tears) we were much better in every way.

Two peed upon pairs of Toms drying out.
 Thank goodness for Crocs. Wash, dry, and wear.
Repeat as needed.
So there is my not-really-professional wisdom. Godspeed. May your couch stay dry and your nerves intact. And keep in mind, they will be potty trained at some point. Maybe not the first day or the seventh day. But definitely by the time they walk across the stage at graduation.


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