Between high school and my sophomore year in college, I was a nanny for two different families who both went through potty training. Based on my observations from that era, I decided that I would let my child decide when they are ready to use the bathroom. No marathon juice weekends, little toilets, or setting the timer every 15 minutes.
Emily’s been sitting on the potty for months, but it hasn’t had any other role than a chair. About a month ago, she asked to wear her underwear. I went along with it and we had three accidents in one afternoon. At bedtime I insisted we return to wearing a diaper. A few more days passed and we had another underwear wearing day. More accidents. One night she wanted to sit on the potty before bed, a classic delay tactic she’s been using for a long time. Andrew slowly assembled the potty seat on the toilet and got her stool and lo and behold, she actually used the toilet for something other than a seat.
It didn’t take us long to realize that it was a one time thing; accidents galore. She was adamant one night to wear underwear when we were going out to a friend’s home for an outdoor party. I grabbed a new shirt, shoes, pants, socks, garbage bag, and a changing pad to put in her carseat if need be. It wasn’t a huge deal – I knew there was a 99% chance she would have an accident and we came prepared.
Sure enough, about an hour in when we were eating dinner, we needed to change her clothes. I got the complete ensemble out of the car, we found a spot in the house and got her all cleaned up. I felt zero emotion one way or the about the situation. Then it hit me – God sent us here knowing there was a 100% chance of us messing up. He was prepared, and sent his son to atone for our sins and help carry us through trials and tribulation, so when I make a mistake it isn’t a huge deal.
Yes I have to stop and change. Yes it is inconvenient to make things right again. No it isn’t necessarily a fun process. But I don’t think God is insanely angry with me when I make a mistake. In fact, he probably loves me and is right there trying to help me fix it, just like I am right there with Emily (actually a million times better – perfectly) as she works on figuring out this whole potty training thing.
This whole potty training thing has been a catalyst for cloth diapers. As long as I’m doing a ton of extra laundry anyway, might as well wash the diapers too. Turns out it is awesome! I love not having the stress looming over me about whether or not we are running out of diapers. I love saving money. It is a bonus to have nothing but fleece on our baby’s bottom. We got an entire set up from Sunbaby for $156 and have been really pleased with them.
Emily is back in diapers. She isn’t asking and I’m not suggesting the underwear, at least until we are back from vacations. But even if she asked I’ve decided she has to earn them via using the potty. Probably a sticker chart will be made next time she asks about it.