Notice: this post does contain some potty humor and is not for the faint of heart
Several months ago, for my sister-in-laws birthday we decided to give her and her husband (my brother) a few days of rest and relaxation at a hotel in a neighboring town. With 3 little girls under the age of 3 we thought she had earned a bit of time to herself to re-group and celebrate the time she had put in over the years. As an added bonus we volunteered to potty train her almost 3 years old. With soon to be 3 in diapers (she was pregnant with number 4 at the time) we thought that this would be the gift of all gifts to have her come home and have one less in diapers!
So we all set off on our adventures, they to the hotel for a weekend, and Matthew and I to the confines of our apartment, no more than 10 feet from the bathroom. We had done some study on it, asked a few friends, remembered back to our own experiences and felt we were up to the task. We figured, almost everybody in the world is potty trained, how hard can it be?
First, to Wal-Mart we took our victim, with all the magic of picking out princess panties, choosing several of her favorite juices, and selecting her soon to be treasures for potty treats she had no idea of what awaited her at our apartment. As usual she was filled with glee at the prospect of having a sleep over at “unle machews and auntie eshcas” house for it truly is a magical place filled with twigs and berries to munch on and a treasure chest packed with toys.
Within the hour she was in her new princess “Awowa” panties and chugging on her Sippy cup like there was no tomorrow. Our subtle plan was set in motion. We played dress up and princess, made lunch and had a picnic as we waited for the time to arrive.
And then it came, with all the excitement of toys and games there was an accident. Lesson number # 1 – 5 learned, here they are for future reference:
1. Don’t get the child so riled up that they have an accident out of pure glee
2. Don’t put the child in an outfit that is hard to get off in a hurry
3. Don’t tell them to go to the potty by themselves unless you want the bathroom redecorated with toilet paper
4. Just because it says color safe doesn’t mean you should use bleach on the carpet
5. Just because a child says “ I’m dwii” doesn’t mean they will be 30 seconds from now.
One strike, no big deal, I’ve been meaning to move my rug over there anyway. That bleached spot is hardly noticeable. So, on with the Cinderella pants, another glass of juice and were good as new. Buy this time even I was feeling the strains of being cooped up to long. So we decided to go to the park across the street. Still close enough that we could hurry back just in time…or so I thought.
This time She chose jasmine and we stayed in the apartment the rest of the day. Auntie, still trying to make it fun, thought we would make a treat in the kitchen while we waited. That was great fun till hands were sticky and nothing could be done. Next we thought Bell was our lucky pair, but to no avail….that’s where we learned lessons 6-8 and we were running out of princesses
6. It doesn’t matter how good the treat is, if they don’t get there in time theirs no turning back
7. Don’t let them see you wash the pants out in the toilet!!! A plunger will do you no good
8. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing….if the water is running for more than 1 minute go and see why!!!
Our next resort, with only 2 princesses left, was to nana’s house. Having survived this three times herself (not including herself) I thought she would shed some light on the problem…..but after 3 full Sippy cups we didn’t make it the drive across town, instead we made it to the carwash up the street.
After cleaning up 4 messes (only 4 because the nice man at the car wash also cleaned the car seat making number 5) in the coarse of several hours I decided enough was enough. I took her home, put her on the potty and told her she could get off and have a treat once she had gone on the potty. I put my seat across from hers and we sat there, waiting. Soon she was off in her own little world naming all the thing in the bathroom, what colors they were, and insisting that the step stool was “her step stool” and “her soap” and “her towel” after bringing her back to the point at hand several times she looked at me, with her chin in her hands and her elbows on her knees, made a sort of grunting sound and sighed…” auntie, it’s stuck!”
How could I argue that??? I helped her down, we washed our hands and went back to playing dollies. One the way home from work I had Matthew pick up another pack of #2 princess panties (which I’m sure he wasn’t to happy about) and we kept at it for a few more days till her mother came home. We apologized for our failed efforts but were very proud that she still had 4 clean princesses left in her new pack! We sent her home with the rest of her potty treats and a pat on the head of a job well done. Once she was gone we reflected on our test run as parents which is where we learned lessons 9 and 10 –
9. Sometimes things just get “stuck “ and you just have to move on
10. Princesses don’t make messes or mistakes, they just make memories