Monday, November 30, 2009

The requisite potty-training post

Part I: Where we are now

So that L creature, the almost-middle child, she’s apparently hell-bent on earning a Middle’s reputation even before she’s initiated into that club. To wit: she’s decided she’s potty-training. Let’s review, or as my favorite recently-discontinued show’s narrator always said, The Facts are These:

-she’s not even two yet;
-there’s a baby coming into our lives in two months;
-baby-arriving typically causes potty-training regression;
-why regress? why not just not start at all?
-potty-training in the season of Wearing The Most Clothing is Not Efficient;
-potty-training involves much extra bending and reaching, two skills that I don’t currently claim amongst my strengths;
-can’t we do this later?

Alas, despite my best efforts to believe her interest is Cute But Not Serious, she’s defiantly proving otherwise. She spent all of Friday in a single diaper, start to finish, never befouling its Pampersy white interior. She did nearly that well throughout the weekend. She apparently means (ahem) business.

And this girl: she is Little Miss Independent defined. I go use the potty, she declares, and runs for the bathroom. You may turn the light on for her; you may do nothing else until asked. Stand back. She will lift the lid; she will lift her ducky insert seat from the floor to the toilet seat. She will position the stool. She will pull off her pants and her socks. She will remove or try to remove her shirt but only after she fails in the potential presence of snaps or other Toddler-Affronting Clasps will she ask you for help. (Yes, one must apparently remove one’s shirt for pee-pees.) She will undo the tabs on her diaper and she will hold it to your face for inspection. This diaper OLD, she’ll editorialize, and then I put it in the trash. If the diaper is still clean and useable and you’re feeling the just-right combination of feisty-and-frugal-and-argumentative, act fast. “No, love, it’s old but it’s not dirty. Save it, okay? And you can wear it again.” She may or may not acquiesce. She may look you square in the eye as she opens the cabinet door and dumps it in the trash can.

She will thump her chest and pat her thighs. I’m naykee! she’ll point out happily (as if you couldn't see that she's naked) and then and only then will she climb upon her ducky throne. And then, the moment of triumph.

She’s good with the post-game show, wiping well and washing well and shouting to the world I want my Ms! PINK! because she knows that pee-pees in the potty earn a reward of two M&Ms and since we took her to the M&Ms store in Manhattan at the beginning of the month, she believes that only the pink ones are worthy of crossing her lips.

And all this is lovely despite The Facts are These (see above) but here’s where it gets tricky: you can dispense M&Ms or you can withhold M&Ms or you can pull out any other conceivable parenting trick but the child will not put back on one stitch of her clothing.

She will run circles around the house yelling I’m naykee! I’m naykee! I pee-pee and I’m naykee!

It does a mother proud.


Part II: Inverse proportions

L wakes up earlier than her sister. She is often fully dressed by the time E stumbles from her room. I was downstairs with L this morning when E made her first appearance so I gathered L up with me to return upstairs to E’s room, so we could get her dressed for the day. As is custom, L selected E’s unders, and then she sat down beside us. E de-pajamaed and began to get dressed as L wandered off. E got dressed incrementally, a little bit of just-woke-up coaxing necessary for each step. “Let’s get your pants on…okay, let’s get your socks on…good job…do you need help with the buttons on your shirt? Really, you need a sweater, too? Okay…the hood is stuck – let me pull it out for you…awesome. You look great! Let’s go! L, where are you? E’s dressed. It’s time to go back downstairs!” I was ready to get this day on the road - to daycare and to work and to Onward and Upward. To Monday, ahoy.

I turned around and saw L in the doorway of the bathroom. For every item of clothing E had put on, L had taken one off. I go pee-pee, Mommy! she announced as she climbed on her ducky insert seat. And she added unnecessarily, I NAYKEE!!!!

Good morning, Monday. Here’s to starting the week off right, and right on time.
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Lisa said...

AHH the new baby and potty training...memories...K was 2 1/2 when O was born. We had stopped training figuring the regression wasn't worth it, but she had a mind of her own.

In our case a new baby with diapers meant she didn't need hers anymore. She had herself potty trained before Olivia was 1 month old.

Something to be said for being trapped at home with the little ones 24/7 in the middle of winter.

a li'l bit squishy said...

I am in the midst of potty training myself. Alas, Ruby has 6 months on L. And I am just plain and all out ready to be done with diapers.
So as awkward as it may be for you at the moment. GO L GO!!!!

cndymkr / jean said...

I remember potty training and it wasn't a good time. My mother insisted that boys were just more difficult. At some points I just wanted to give up and decided he'd be going to college in diapers. I'm happy to report that he did eventually learn.

Laura said...

Potty training is so tuff! It sounds like she's doing great even if it's earlier than planned. I love that she has to be nakey to potty and that she get's all frisky. That cold air wakes you up. She's like my man and he's 23 years older lol.

This Heavenly Life said...

Hehe :) This was *such* a fun read! I think it's an excellent representation of the truth in your blog title...