Monday, February 22, 2010
For the past, oh, eleven months or so, we have been slowly, gently introducing the idea of the potty to H. At first she was excited. Something new to sit on that also makes a great hat! By about eighteen months, I thought we were on the homestretch to being diaper-free as she was eliminating in the toilet several times a day and would voluntarily go in, remove her pants and diaper, sit down and go, wipe and then tell me that she was done.
However, just as quickly as she became enthralled with the potty she decided that she was unimpressed. Though she never had a bad experience or anything to give her an aversion to it, one day she just woke up and decided that wearing diapers and sitting in a mess was just fine with her. We didn't want to make it into a battle and possibly make her even more resistant so, on the advice of our pediatrician, we just continued to very gently encourage the potty in a no-pressure sort of way and waited. And waited. And waited.
To be perfectly honest, I was getting slightly irritated with the whole situation. After all, she seems to be reasonably intelligent. She can count in English and Spanish, she knows all of the letters in the alphabet in upper case and most in lower case and she talks about evaporation being the reason why she's cold when she gets out of the bath. She can point out her femur and her patella and she has memorized the words to several of her books. Even our cat, who I certainly wouldn't consider to be a highly intelligent creature, figured out how to properly eliminate in his litter box within a few DAYS. I was starting to wonder if H would be "that" kid who went to kindergarten in diapers or if I'd be wiping her bum for her when she went off to college.
I know that peer pressure isn't always a good thing but one of H's little boy friends (a friend who happens to be male...don't think there is any romantic interest, though he is an awfully cute kid) appears to have saved the day. When we were over at her little buddy's house for dinner last weekend, her newly potty-trained friend went to the toilet by himself about three times. Since little kids usually follow each other everywhere, H followed him into the bathroom and watched very intently. She seemed especially intrigued by the big celebration that occurred at the end of the "production".
Her little friend and his bathroom adventures were all H could talk about for the next several days. Soon she was trying to go to the "big boy potty" just like him. If she was a boy child, she would have had it down pat. Unfortunately, the anatomical differences called for a few modifications since, while she had the standing and shaking part down, that doesn't exactly work for a little girl. However, she is now very focused on the potty and seems to have realized that it may be a better place to eliminate than in her own pants. Who would have thought that I would have been so happy to have a boy drop his pants in front of my daughter?!?
Now that I have observed her bathroom habits a bit more closely, it makes total sense why it has taken this long to get her toilet trained. Yes, she is almost 27 months and some kids are out of diapers much sooner. However, being the strong-willed and independent little soul that she is, she not only wants to sit on the potty and go, she wants to take off her own pants and underwear, climb onto the full-size adult potty by herself without help, go, wipe herself, climb down, flush, put her underwear and pants back on and wash her hands (with soap) all without assistance. Nothing like going from the bunny slope straight for the black diamond!
My dad used to ask my why I always did things the hard way and why I never wanted to accept help. Well, I still don't know the answer to those questions but, from the looks of it, there may be a genetic component. Though sometimes Miss H's stubbornness and independence makes me want to pull my hair out, when she can take herself to the bathroom and emerge fully re-dressed with an empty bladder (or colon) and washed hands, it may all be worth it. And worth the 27ish months it took to get to this point.