This is my very honest and very real experience with potty training. I know a lot about early childhood development and I have my fair share of tools and techniques when it comes to practising mindfulness with your little ones, however, one area that has always intimidated me as a parent is potty training. Every child develops at their own pace and every child comes with their own personality. Shifting from diapers to toilet is the first time a child takes their own self-care as their own responsibility. It is a big step. I used logic from what I know and intuition from my soul to tackle this new experience for us. This is my story:
Day 2- Rinse, repeat and hide for cover!
Today was easier. Only at times. It felt lighter, with a lot less meltdowns. With that being said, there were meltdowns.
We were doing great. Dancing for all the wins. Empathetic and compassionate in moments of weakness and lots of snuggling and fun in between.
We weren't having her sit as often, but still asking all the time. We developed a catch phrase with an action. Both hands up and "Stop & check your body, do you need to potty?!" Zinnia got a hold of the move and was able to stop playing and answer each time we said the phrase by checking in to her body.
We drew a thank you picture for daddy for going to the store for us, and we read a lot of books. She made an ice cream store and served a lot of the people we know and love with strawberry or vanilla ice cream (only Zinnia got chocolate). Classic Zin haha.
Then she was tired. Dun, dun dunnnn!
Time stopped. I looked at my phone: 10:39 am!!
This was my mental thought process: 😳 It's too early! We'll never make it to bedtime. Stretch it out, sit in the rocking chair and books, let's see what we can do here.
Reading stories in the chair. She's getting sleepy, it's fading fast, andddd we're crying. Perfect!
"Ok Zinnia, let's go up to bed. You go sit on the potty and mommy will go get a soo-soo" said calmy.
"No potty!!" she yells and begins to scream cry.
"Baby, it's ok, mama's gunna go get soo-soo while you sit and pee on the potty before nap!"
Just scream crying now.
"Can I give you a hug baby? I am so sorry you are feeling so sad! I would love to make you better and fill up your bucket with a big hug and smoocher"
"No mommy!" she says firmly.
"Ok, that's ok. I am right here if you change your mind"
She flings herself on our chair, pauses, crying and then comes in to my arms.
"I love you baby, calm down, we can do this together." Holding her while rubbing her back.
I take a HUGE deep and dramatic breath in and a loud dramatic sigh breath out while shaking my head.
"I love you baby. Try it with me. Let's feel better."
She slows down and doesn't do it with me. However she's calm. She felt it. I can feel that she felt it.
"While you sit here, I am going to go get soo-see (we have two names)." I specifically don't mention the potty by name in a hope to not trigger another melt-down.
I fetch soo-see and everything seems to fade.
I decide it's not the time to talk about what just happened, and I snuggle her while she sits there.
She pees, she's excited, we dance, clean things up, and hit the sheets. It's nap time and we both need to unwind.
The second half of the day was much the same. Happiness coupled with high emotions. It was a rollercoaster ride to say the least, but we got through it. This is a tough time for both of us, and with that being said, cannot be held accountable for our flow of irrational emotions.
I asked Shane several times for words of encouragement and I used my mantra's often and regularly. What I know about potty training so far is that hopelessness creeps up often and feels very real. Good bye day 2.
Day 3: Progress.
One accident today! Lots of guidance and reminders still, but one accident, that's great right?
Today was my turn to sleep in, so the morning report read easy peasy. We were still staying close to home and not taking any risks by taking car drives or long walks. Tag. I'm in.
We had an awesome time in our backyard. And so far had no problems that I couldn't fix. She knows when she's peeing, but outside, she's having too much fun to stop and pee. I can't even get her to sit on the potty and try. Roadblock. Okay, think.
The irrational notion of wanting to still play, 10 minutes in to our disagreement, baffles me. I know she doesn't realize she could already be playing again, had she just sat on the potty, but it just seems so clear. Haha
So this is it, my new hurdle. I got this. I'll figure it out. This is my new hurdle, and I will think of something. How to help her realize a quick sit on the potty takes no time at all and will have her playing again soon. Aha. It's so quick!
"Zinner, if you just quickly (said as dramatically as I intended) sit on the potty you'll be quick back with your toys! I realize the end of that doesnt make sense, but I would rather use quick as a term for fast & repeat the main take home Id like her to have from this interaction. Extremely thought out but effective.
We are no longer having her sit, just saying our phrase and having her check-in to her body often. She is doing great and I am surprised at how different day 3 is going compared to day 1.
I got this. No, WE got this. Let's keep it going baby girl. You're doing great!