After reading endless suggestions and idea of how to introduce children to the potty and toilet training I decided to embark on the potty journey while suppressing shudders of dread at attacking this new, vital hurdle.
I started this with no knowledge of potty training. Seriously, who does have experience with these things? It turns out my mother felt boondoggled by the idea of potty training and passed that task off to my grandmother, Mimi. I have heard vague stories of how she enticed us not to pee in our pants by giving us fancy underwear to wear. But my grandmother passed away, taking her magical secrets of potty training to her grave.
There are many ways to approach potty training. I understand that Clara is only 15 months and has quite some time to go before actually being able to reliably control her bowels. But I did read about how children sometimes get afraid of the potty if it is introduced abruptly and that can delay toilet training for months. This made sense. How is Clara to know what this new, child-sized chair/bowl thing that magically appeared in the bathroom one day is?
First you have to understand that since since Clara has been able to crawl I have had to throw bathroom privacy out the window, which means that Clara is always looking on with interest as I drop my pants to use the toilet. As embarrassing as this is, you get used to it.
The introduction of the new potty has added a wrinkle to the "Mom and Clara go to the bathroom together with the door open" episodes. When I sit down, I ask Clara if she would like to sit down and go pee-pee and then I sit her on the potty. The first few times she sat down she immediately stood up and took the potty apart and threw it in the bathtub.
A week into this process, she will sit and try standing and sitting back down herself.
Today, after getting home from a long walk in the park and feeding her lunch I decided I was too frazzled to sit Clara down and do the whole song and dance. Lo and behold...Clara walked over to me and squatted like she wanted to sit on the potty, all with no prompting! I moved her to the potty and she happily sat there while I finished up my business.
Of course...there are the situations that make me think she really isn't getting it. Like this one - last night. She had pulled all of the dollar bills out of my pocket and I found her in the bathroom doing this.
As my friend Sindy said when she saw this picture: "Well, there's money down the toilet."