Resist though I may, Ella has decided it is time to potty train.
It started innocently enough. She would take off her diaper when it was dirty, occasionally wanting to sit on the potty. It became frequent enough and she wanted to sit long enough, that I got down the Sponge Bob potty seat. It fits on our regular seat making the hole smaller so they don’t fall in. It progressed to hours a day of her asking to be on the potty, trying to get herself on the potty, and sitting on the potty. I found myself being interrupted far too often. I couldn’t feed Penny, finish making dinner, help Sammy find a doll, or use the potty myself, without her calling for me to help her.
I finally decided, if she’s that interested, she can train herself. Go for it, kiddo. However, I’m still not ready to devote a lot of time to it. She’s still young and, I realize now, I started pushing Sammy too young, hence it took almost a year to train her. But hey, if Ella wants to be self-directed, she can have at it. I just need it to be not so time consuming for me. So, this week I got down the little potty that sits on the bathroom floor and has a container you have to empty. The first day, Ella sat on it for hours. I couldn’t keep her off it. And, she managed to only have one accident all day long. Not too bad.
After the first day, the novelty wore off. She still sits on it, usually right after she’s dirtied her diaper. She does succeed once or twice a day.
When I potty trained Samantha, I tried a variety of reward/encouragement techniques, finally settling on M&M’s, one for pee, two for poo. She just wasn’t motivated by anything else. Ella, on the other hand, is not only self-motivated (I think really she’s just copying her big sister), but she also enjoys the potty dance.
The potty dance (and song) occur after a successful potty in the toilet and, as importantly, after diaper and pants are back on (that stipulation has really saved me a lot of time). Anyone who is home joins in the dance, which can be any kind of dancing. The song, which is sung to a conga beat, goes, “Potty, potty, pot-ty. Potty, potty, pot-ty. Ella went pot-ty. Pee pee in the pot-ty,” ad nauseum, finally ending with a “woo-hoo” and high fives all around. We repeat the whole thing twice. (And yes, those witty lyrics are courtesy of yours truly.) As soon as Ella (ahem) makes a deposit, her eyes light up and she says, “Potty dance?” It’s quite an event in our house.
Hopefully, we’ll be having a lot more potty dancing around here in the next few weeks, but if not, that’s fine. I’m not going to become obsessed with potty training, I have other things to focus on right now. I’m much more go-with-the-flow (bad pun intended) the second time around.