Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Oh, the sweet life of being diaper-free! No more stink; everything gets flushed straight down the potty. Oh, the goodness of God in letting me live during the era of modern plumbing and sanitation! Kevin and I have actually stayed up way past our bedtime on numerous occasions talking about the history of chamber pots. How GRATEFUL we are for modern toilets and sewage! How grateful for hot running water, for showers and drainage. If you stop to think about it, every time we take a shower, it is a luxury that pre-modern mankind has never known before!

Anyway, Noelle has been doing GREAT with potty training. We started "introducing" her to her little potty at around 18 months, putting her on it right before her bath. After about a month of doing this, she began to make "deposits" randomly into it, for which we gave her stickers. But she was still in diapers all day and night and was definitely not trained to use the potty for every single void.

When she hit two years old, I got a little nervous and decided to get serious about potty training before the birth of our next baby. I didn't want to change two kids' diapers, certainly not a toddler's diapers. My opinion is that if the majority of the world potty trains their kids by the time they are one, or at latest, two-years-old, then why can't I? (Do a search and you'll find it's true! Only because of disposable diapers and our modern busy lives have we as a society started to potty train our kids later and later, at three or even four-years-old) (Another interesting fact: my brother was diaper-free by one year old! Yes! And can you believe this was the norm in China and Taiwan just a few decades ago? He was potty trained by my grandmother, who also had bound feet, another relic of ancient culture, but that is besides the point...)

So, in a nutshell, when she turned two years old, we cracked down on potty training by taking away her diapers. No more poo poo and pee pee in the diaper. Now it will go in the potty.

[Cue circus music.]

Screen shows toddler frantically walking about pooping and peeing all over the carpet, underwear, and VERY occasionally, the potty.

Camera does a close-up of mother's contorted face, the anguish and frustration pouring out onto her face in the form of sweat beads.

The above scenario went on for about two weeks, during which time I became a depressed and sour-faced wife. Kevin would come home from work and I just couldn't do much but stare at my food during dinner, mope about my life, and continue to make Noelle sit on the potty like the tyrannical potty training Nazi I had become. (Seriously, putting a child on the potty every 30 minutes of her waking life is truly a form of torture for the mother, not to mention the child).

But, then came small successes. Gummy bears were gobbled up in increasing measure as she experienced the reward of voiding in the potty instead of in her underwear. And there was also the joy of becoming independent, of becoming responsible for her own bodily fluids. Now she screams, "I did it!" every time she goes. I can't imagine depriving her of that pride for another year, had I decided to wait until she was three-years-old.

With a few days more practice, and having to help me clean up her own accidents, she really "got it." We're in the third week of potty training and now she tells me when she needs to go. I can take her out in public and she will use the public restrooms. She sometimes wakes up dry after sleeping. It feels like a miracle and I look at her a whole new way. No longer a baby, I guess. But a small, little adult on her way to independence. It may not be the most delicate of topics for conversation, but I am truly proud of my little girl for learning how to be responsible for her own pees and poops!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Potty Training and Other Fun Adventures

Nobody ever told me that potty training a two-year-old meant that I would have pee spots all over my carpet! Sometimes I can't tell if it's water that spilled or if she ran around and dribbled everywhere. Now I hope you don't avoid coming over because of what I just shared!

Motherhood has been full of surprises. I really had no idea how much a baby can nurse when they first come into the world. Like...up to 18 times a day?

I had no idea that my toddler has the capacity to pee a full load every 15 to 30 minutes at times. Who knew since there was a diaper there to keep everyone blissfully ignorant? I was not warned that I would have to strap the toddler to the potty the entire day in order to prevent wet spots all over my carpet. And did anyone else know that people keep portable potties in their cars to give their kids a place to pee? I certainly didn't.

Also, the child just turned two but is fast approaching the day when she will no longer need a nap at all anymore. I just didn't know that I would still need a nap even after she outgrew hers. Now I find myself saying, "It's mommy's nap time. You keep quiet and try not to wake me up." My how the tables have turned!

I have a feeling that this is just the beginning. When I look at parents who have teenagers to care for, I can only scratch my head...