When Aitch was about 18 months old, I was sure she’d be potty trained by the time she turned two. When she soiled her diaper, she’d run and get a new one and demand to be changed. I thought this would keep her motivated, and we made sure to enthusiastically praise her for taking the initiative. Eventually she stopped getting a diaper. She stopped telling us she had pooped. She downright refused to even sit on the potty chair. Even her unholy love of anything Hello Kitty in the form of stickers could not convince her to just try! I thought I was onto something a couple weeks ago when she had a full-on meltdown while in a department store when I unwittingly parked the stroller next to the little girl’s brief display and right at eye level was a package of Minnie Mouse undies that she begged for while I refused, explaining that she had to use the potty first.
I did eventually get a package, which I washed and placed in her drawer, within easy access and a visible reminder. But she still refuses to use the potty. She has tried a couple times at daycare (they use tootsie rolls as incentives), but she’s even been able to resist candy just to avoid trying. The thing is, she knows EXACTLY what she’s supposed to do.
Just a few days ago I was rocking with her and looking through her word book, a picture book with dozens of photos of daily items, including clothing. On the clothing page, there was a picture of a pair of tiny underwear, which she was able to easily identify but I thought I would take it a bit further.
“Aitch, what do you do with underwear?”
“I get to wear underwear when I sit on the potty. But I don’t use the potty so I can’t wear Mickey Mouse.”
“Do you want to wear Mickey Mouse?”
“No. I don’t want to use the potty.”
Oh, she gets it alright. I just know she does!
Everyone has a goal to potty-train their kids, the sooner the better in most cases. So they think. However, I’ve walked that stinky, dirty road and I like that her bodily functions do not inhibit my errand running. I don’t worry about getting half-way to town, a four mile drive, and hearing, “I have to go potty! Now!” I don’t have to worry about teaching her to “hover” when we stop at a gas station with a unisex toilet. I don’t have to try to wipe her butt with dry, useless toilet paper, or godforbid! Clean up the mess made by her attempting to do it herself! I change her diaper based on my schedule, not hers. I’m selfish. I don’t have to wash my hands AND hers. I don’t have to worry yet about stashing an extra pair of tiny underwear in my purse for the inevitable accident. I don’t have to worry about when there is an accident and she has to go commando because there’s no way in hell I’m going to stuff a shitty pair of underwear in my bag! Not potty training is way more convenient. And more sanitary.
Potty training? I’m content waiting it out. Sure, it’d be cheaper but my sanity and the keeping of it is worth every quarter she poops or pees on.