Sunday, April 06, 2008

Just What You wanted -- a Story About Poop

I mentioned briefly in my last post that M has decided she wants to wear big-girl panties. It turns out, she was really serious about it, and all of a sudden we're potty training.

I was not at all ready for this. I always figured 2.5 was the earliest that we'd start edging M out of diapers. I know some kids train earlier, but I can't really understand why, because here's a secret -- diapers, while gross, are EASY! You want to run errands or take your kid to the park for a multiple-hour trip? Ok, just load up the diaper bag with some diapers, wipes and plastic bags and you're good to go. No thought, no worry.

If your kid uses the potty, however, errands and trips are suddenly about as simple as a military strike. You've gotta nag the kid into using the potty seconds before she gets in the car, then hope that the length of the car trip doesn't exceed the kid's still-minuscule bladder capacity. Once at your destination, you must immediately offer a potty break, or at the very least scope out all possible bathroom opportunities. And, you have to carry at least one or two changes of clothes, paper towels, etc, to deal with the inevitable accidents.

(true story -- Shortly after I started my first job as nanny to a recently-trained child, I was fool enough to take him to the local Audubon bird sanctuary for a nature/bird ogling walk. No, I didn't have a change of clothes. Or wipes. Or any access to a toilet. Or even the most basic understanding that when a kid says "I have to go," what he/she really means is "I'm going already, hope you brought a haz-mat suit!")

Anyway, back to my point. I was totally unprepared suddenly to be potty-training. As with most parenting firsts, I had planned to have a strategic approach prepared. I was going to read books and buy all of the appropriate gear (all plans start with reading books and a trip to Target, doncha know?). I was going to have a potty doll and potty books and a solution for every contingency.

Instead, M woke up Friday and decided panties were really where it's at. Since she seemed enthusiastic and since we were about to run out of diapers, anyway, I decided to seize the moment. And for the most part, she's done pretty well. She has performed all of the major potty-related bodily functions on the potty at least one time (though there are some issues, which I will kindly spare you). She's had some accidents, but has by and large gotten the hang of telling me that she needs to go. Of course, we haven't actually left the house (except for an emergency run to Target to buy an appalling array of licensed-character undies) since Friday. And she hasn't worn pants, either. In fact, she's spent the majority of the weekend in the buff. But still, we're new at this. I figure we should be good to face the public again by summer (pleeeeez let us be ready to leave the house by summer!).

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