Warning, this is a blatantly mommy-blogging post about potty training. My apologies in advance.
At the beginning of the summer, I made a few half-hearted attempts at getting Elizabeth to use the potty. She didn’t seem ready, so I didn’t push. I learned with Ella that turning the process into a power struggle just makes it take longer.
Then we went to my parents’ house, and I wasn’t willing to let Elizabeth run around naked and pee on the Oriental rugs (You’re welcome, knittergran). After three weeks there, we came home to absolute chaos, what with the moving from house to house for a month, and I decided not to add to mess by trying to potty train Elizabeth then.
We’ve been in our cute little rental house since the end of August, and we’ve all settled into some semblance of routine and order. That, coupled with the fact that Elizabeth turned three last week, made realize it’s time to get her out of diapers. Her preschool teacher, who is an angel, was completely on board. Elizabeth is the only one in the class who still wears diapers.
So, on her third birthday, we took away the diapers. And it did not go well. She wore panties all morning at school, and held her pee the whole time. She must have a bladder made of steel. Despite my sitting her on the potty every fifteen minutes and offering lots of bribes, she didn’t do anything. But she did pee on the floor three times. Our floors are really clean now, thanks to all the bleach wipes I’ve been using.
It’s been a week, and things haven’t gotten much better. When she’s not at school, Elizabeth runs around bare-butt naked, refusing to put on underpants. Yesterday she was outside playing with Ella and her friends, naked as a jaybird.
She’ll sit on the potty without a problem. We have it in the middle of the living room like a throne. We let her watch TV or play on our iPhones while she sits on it. And the rare times she does actually do something in the potty, she gets happy dances and cheers and M&Ms.
Most of the time, though, she’ll sit on the potty for 20 pointless minutes, get up, walk across the room and pee on the floor. Each time she has the nerve to look surprised – “Mama, I peed?!”
I am running out of ideas. Bribes of M&Ms don’t work. Sticker rewards don’t work. Doing happy pee in the potty dances with her doesn’t work either.
People have suggested we take a break and go back to diapers, but I hate to go that route now that we’ve already started. I don’t want to use pull-ups because Elizabeth thinks they are just fancy diapers.
So I continue to let her run around naked and to mop up the puddles she leaves behind. You’d think that on the fourth kid, I have this whole potty training thing down cold.