Sunday, November 8, 2009

Potty Saga

A couple of weeks ago Maddie gave up her room for Anne. Until Ty can build a bunk bed, Maddie gets a toddler bed in the corner of Alli's room. I was worried that the arrangement would cause my girls distress, but so far they are loving it. Maddie is so excited to be a big "tid" in Alli's room, and Alli hasn't complained once about the intrusion. Hopefully we can rearrange everything soon so it will feel more like a shared room than a sharecropping. One obstacle down, I was consigned to the idea that potty training would have to wait until after the baby. After all, Alli was in diapers long into Maddie's first year of life. Alli was almost four, in fact, when she finally took the plunge.

When Alli was a toddler I was so worried about screwing up. I read everything out there on potty training. There were programs to follow: one day programs or one week plans. Alli had potty parties. She had candy bribes and charts. She eventually had expensive toys leering down at her from atop the refrigerator. In the end, she had some yelling, I'm sorry to say.

The last day I tried to potty train Alli, she wore her underwear all day long and held it until 8:00 at night. You wouldn't think such a big bladder could fit in such a small body, but we all share this trait. Anyway, I was beyond frustrated because she refused to sit on the potty before going to bed, and we both knew she needed to go. She broke me at that point, and I totally gave up.

A month later, she put on those princess panties on her own and hasn't looked back. She's never had an accident, and I've never had to find the bathroom in Target for her (she can hold it indefinitely).

With Maddie, I wasn't about to follow a program. In fact, I finally read a doctor quoted in Parenting who said it takes 6 months to fully potty train. To that man, I would like to say, "Thank you." Finally, some advice that makes sense to me. A few months ago I bought Maddie some undies and showed her the potty chair. She was totally excited about it all, but had no clue how to use them. She never had one success in all those months. One day she would wake up and ask for her underwear, and I didn't stop her. The next she wanted her diaper back, and I was okay with that too. In the meantime, I cleaned up the messes she made and never interfered with her wishes. Maddie sometimes went a month at a time without mentioning the underwear, while the potty chair became her favorite step stool and TV chair. I never even sat her on it. She didn't want to.

Then came success. Maddie asked for her underwear. She sat on the potty and used it, while I thought, so she does know what that thing is for. She continued using it all day long! I was so proud of her I was ready to bust. Seriously, the look on her face was so priceless. It was her own accomplishment, and this time Mom hadn't tried to steal the thunder. Man, I love that little girl.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The girls had a lot of fun trick-or-treating this year. It was the usual bing bong, give me some candy kind of affair, and they came home an hour later with overflowing buckets. I always think it's funny to realize what it must be like for little kids on Halloween. "You mean, they're just
giving away candy for free? Everyone we know is giving it away?" They'll pretty much do anything to participate. Personally, it's not my favorite holiday. I don't like to dress up, and I don't like candy that much. I mean, I like it, but after about twenty pieces of misc fun size candy bars, I want to throw up. Then I go ahead and do it again a couple of hours later. I just can't hold my candy like I used to. I'm about ready to throw the rest away, to be quite honest. Don't tell Ty, or he'll have a fit.