I really wasn’t in a rush to start potty training. I’ve friends who trained at 18 months and those with toddlers into their third year who are just not ready. (My girls are 2 yrs 3 months). We’d done what the books all said, bought a potty early and put it in the bathroom. The twin advice is to get one each but we didn’t really see the point when at this stage is was just to get them used to the sight of it. I also found a potty book in our local charity shop and popped it in with all their other books. That was it, we just waited to see if they were interested.
After about a month or so, the book had been read about three time, which for my girls is nothing. If they like a book, I’d be able to retell it in my sleep after a couple of days. And the potty? It has started to get in the way at bath time so I’d taken to just chucking it out on the landing to give us a bit more space.
So when Jess appeared clutching the potty with a wee in, I don’t know who was more shocked, her or me? The fact that she’d probably slopped half the contents over her hands and onto our cream carpet was irrelevant. She’d done it. A fluke surely? But every bath time for the next few days, she repeated her triumph.
Maybe it was time, it couldn’t be. I wasn’t actually ready. I hadn’t read enough, planned enough. I didn’t have stickers charts or treats. What about Emily? She hadn’t shown any signs. I guessed we’d just need to go with the flow and see what happened. I decided I’d focus on Jess and if Emily seemed in any way inclined to join the fun then so be it.
Day one went better than expected. The benefit of being a mean mum who doesn’t give her kids squash, chocolate and limits screen time to a bare minimum is that they are then great tools for bribery. A few accidents but that’s to be expected. By day three, I thought she’d got it. She hadn’t – but that’s a story for another post.
What I found tricky was juggling my time between the girls. Jess was loving all the attention and Emily couldn’t understand why I couldn’t pick her up as I was simultaneously trying to empty a potty, redress Jess and supervise hand washing whilst also trying to give lots of praise and add a sticker to the chart.
However Emily quickly cottoned on to the fact that if she also made a fuss of her sister’s successes she too was rewarded with a chocolate chip. So before Jess had barely lifted her bottom from the potty, she’d be enthusiastically calling ‘well done Jess’, chubby little fingers outstretched in the direction of the goodies cupboard. She’s a smart one and her mother’s daughter in regard to her weakness for chocolate.
For now we’ll sit cuddled in our downstairs loo reading, Emily on my lap or sitting on the spare toilet seat on the floor while Jess prolonges the event with request for ‘just one more’ story. It’s crazy to think we’ll be doing this all over again when Emily’s ready although I’m not sure Jess will sit quite so patiently.