Whose idea was it to schedule potty training for the same time frame as NaBloPoMo? Oh, wait, that was me. I finally ran out of reasonable excuses to put off potty training Magdalena. I like to think I would have done it back in May or June sometime but with all the upheaval of moving to Egypt and then back to Ithaca and then driving across the country and then moving (for reals) to the UAE, I thought, I don't know, that there was the possibility she'd regress.
Then we were busy settling in and I didn't want to introduce too much change into her life all at once.
Then my parents were visiting and it still wasn't the right time.
But then: we ran out of diapers. And I didn't want to buy any more. So it was time.
The thing is, I HATE potty training. I've been a mom now for a little over five years. During this time, I've figured out that the mothering tasks I fulfill most miserably are the ones that involve a fundamental disconnect between the reasonings of a rational adult and the willful stubbornness of a small child. Potty training specifically really gets to me. It took a good 10 days with Miriam and the whole time I was so frustrated that I couldn't just reason her through it. We did what all the books say - gave her lots of drinks of water, sat her on the potty as often as she'd let us, and offered rewards for performance. What we ended up with more often than not was this:
That's Miriam near the end of a 40-minute potty session that had yet to produce any results. The bowl of warm water was a last, desperate attempt to produce some dang pee-pee already. If I recall correctly, it didn't work.
Magdalena is an absolute potty training rock star in comparison. Days 1 and 2 were just as horrible as I'd expected but today she did something really quite amazing: she successfully used the potty at Ikea. TWICE. And one of those times was an unchi, if you know what I mean. Her first unchi, in fact. It took Miriam weeks and weeks to be able to go potty in a bathroom away from home. WEEKS.
I would like to publicly attribute Madgalena's potty training prowess to these videos we watched yesterday.
Before I went to Japan I subscribed to that commonly held belief that the Japanese are just weird about bodily functions with their Everyone Poops book and public toilet camouflage sounds. However, after going there and seeing in person the loving attention they pay to that most necessary human act, I think we Americans are the weird ones. That, or I'm just glad that someone finally came up with a potty training video that my 2-year-old could really embrace. To the extent that she grunted, "uuuuuuunCHI!" when she went #2 in the potty for the first time today. You're welcome.