Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Zoe vs. Potty Training, Part the First

I don't know how many parts this will have. I'm just hoping I don't end up writing: "Zoe vs. Potty Training: The Wedding Edition."
I've already detailed how Zoe feels about the diaper change. A reasonable person might conclude she'd want to learn how to use a toilet to avoid that particular indignity, however, she does not see any contradiction in her behavior and refuses to entertain our arguments. 
As with everything else, Zoe's in charge, her father and I mere advisors, looking for avenues of influence. The biggest question we faced was when to start. We were apparently to look for signs she was ready, such as:
1. Asking to be changed (hilarious)
2. Telling us when she needs to go (Zoe only volunteers such info when it's a lie to get attention)
3. Being able to pull up and down her pull-ups (something she can magically accomplish at the day care yet always needs Mommy's help to do at home)
4. And, my favorite, from Baby Center: "when your child is in a generally cooperative stage, not a contrary or negative one." The closest we've come to this is when she says, yes, in response to my saying no, but I think you can see the problem.
Check out the newest looks for fall!
So we started slow. We introduced her to her Elmo potty, which was the signal she was waiting for to turn her back on Elmo forever, only not in the seated position we'd envisioned. We got her picture books to help her connect the dots between the independence she craved and a fresh and sparkling tuchus. We also bought a potty seat, which Zoe has decided is a hat. I firmly believe it will be the new look for fall among trendier toddlers.
At the beginning we'd try once a day, before bath, and if she peed while she was perched on the potty, the Husband and I would throw a parade to congratulate and encourage her. 
The results were hit or miss. Literally. She'd sit there, smiling at us, not peeing, waiting for her parade anyway, until finally I'd give up and say, Time for bath. Here she'd play it one of two ways:
1) Grab both sides of the potty while yelling, "No!" insisting she had to go, but really she just wanted to prolong sitting there leafing through magazines while we stared at her, rapt, as if she were the Dalai Lama passing a kidney stone engraved with a message from Elvis.
2) Get in the bath and immediately pee. 
Sometimes she wouldn't wait till she got in the bath. Sometimes she'd just stand there next to the bathtub as it filled and quietly, with no fanfare, pee on the floor. Then she'd jump up and down in it splashing and laughing while I ran for paper towels. Still, silver lining! We'd have a clean spot on the seldom-mopped bathroom floor. (Note to self: consider spinning child through air while she pees so the rest of the floor gets clean?)
Now as we know, toddlers, like other humans, don't just pee. There's another piece to the potty training puzzle. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting no one's favorite number: two.
From the beginning I was in charge of it. The Husband just can't handle it, runs for the hills, where they presumably don't allow people who aren't potty-trained. It took him several months before he could even change a poopy diaper. Faced with this unholiest of numbers (not 666, as thought), he panics. So it's up to me.
I can handle it though. Me, I mind vomit. Otherwise I'm fine. Pee, poop, blood, mucus, plasma, dark matter, bring it on. There were a few months where I was peed on so many times I felt disoriented if one leg wasn't warm and sticky. Getting pooped on didn't happen as often but each instance was memorable. Early on there was even some projectile poop. Between you and me and the lamppost, which is a pretty accurate description of the trajectory of this poop.
So when she's firing warning shots, causing me to gently inquire if she has to go before I put her in the bathtub, and she says no, and then drops a deuce in the tub, guess who's cleaning that up? To be fair, the Husband has other responsibilities. He's in charge of killing bugs, transferring contacts to new cell phones, and taking out the trash (all meanings).
Of all the orifices I could've had . . .
Meanwhile, at the day care, Zoe's apparently doing quite well with potty training. She uses the potty a few times a day. Perhaps it's the peer pressure, perhaps it's just that Mommy's not there to help/be her slave. I don't know. But the day care said she was definitely ready for us to make a big push, so to speak.
And so we decided it was time to try harder. Last weekend we put her in her new underwear and the plan was to take her to the bathroom every half hour. She peed before the half hour was up. So we figured we'd take her every fifteen minutes. Once again, missed the time frame, did not miss the rug. Ten minutes. Nope. Apparently she pees like she eats, a little here, a little there. 
We went through several pairs of her big girl underwear before I just hauled the potty in front of the TV, undressed her completely, stood her on her changing mat, and told her to sit on the potty whenever she had to go. As soon as I turned around to continue cleaning the rug, I heard the unmistakable sound of a stream of liquid hitting plastic.
Zoe: 11; Universe: 0


  1. Big smiles throughout, lots o' lol's, and still my favorite author (who's Leo Tolstoy?)!

    1. Tolstoy was a hack. Love your thumbnail. Says it all, I think!

  2. Crying with laughter!! This is exactly how potty-training seems to go!!-Ashley