The one about the Potty …..

I am often amazed how life with kids arounds teaches you little lessons.  Constantly.

Small incidents that remind you of exactly where you are in the large fuzz that is the navel of life, and well things just happen.

This morning I got up bright and early.

I took 3 x Myprodol and a cup of tea and headed out to see the lovely Vera.  Vera likes to pour hot wax on me and then rip my hair from it’s roots with a smile and a wink.

I find the Myprodol makes our relationship better – I think you may want to apply that principle to several people, they do not all have to pour wax on you.  I actually know several people who will be made “better” if I took 3 x Myprodol, but any way, that is not the core of today’s story.

Vera does a mean pedicure.  I thought seeing as she was going to be seeing my butt crack, her seeing my Frodo feet probably would not affect her too negatively.  So I had a wax and a pedicure.  I had a lovely chat with Vera about life and the universe – Vera is very cool to chat to, and even when you are lying there naked barring a few strips of yellow cotton which is attached to your skin briefly before she rips them off, you still somehow chat to her – though you might be bleeding from your eyeballs.

I walked out  feeling that maybe today will be the day I sort some of my shit out.  Vera is a very wise owl and gave me some wisdom, and it is always nice to just unload to someome.

I treated myself to a healthy fat-melt-off-your-hips McMuffin and I slowly wove my way home.    I was all Dr Phil and Karma rolled up in to The Secret meets Oprah kind of moment.

I got home, made some more tea, prepared myself to sit down to work.  I was feeling positive, and almost happy.  I do not really hum or whistle, but if there was ever a time I was going to do it, this might have been that time.

I saw Isabelle had wee’d in her potty.

I again congratulated myself on what a clever two year old I had, and how she was potty trained and I was moving her to a big bed and how well she had adjusted to her school, and really what an absolute joy she was.

I thought how brilliant it was that I had a Vera who could wax me, pedicure me, and chat to me, and make me feel so much better.

I was thrilled that my job allowed me flexibility to work from home some days, and I was really feeling happy and just groovy.

I smiled at how I had it all so taped.

Then I poured the contents of the potty into the toilet, missed the toilet totally, and ending up with pee all over the mirror and the floor.

And so the day began.

Who knew I could get this excited about urine and

Not me.

Isabelle is 2 1/2 and I have realised I fall onto the side of lax parenting. Baby one and baby two I was all in the “baby guides” and if my child did not hit the mark and do what they were meant to do at the required age, I would get myself pretty vexed and into a froth.

That is the ONLY  reason I can explain that I ever went to Mommy and Baby Groups.

When Isabelle arrived I had bought the baby books, joined “how big is your baby when comparing it to a fruit” emails, I had hired an electronic doppler, I had read what ever there was to read – I was SIKED.

I googled everything.  Even though I sort of knew what was going to happen, andgoogle just made me more nervous and more paranoid, I still googled it all.  I checked and rechecked everything.

When Isabelle was born, I realised I did not have the time to be as “anxious” about Isabelle’s development and worry about every little thing.  I had too much going on, and once Isabelle stopped screaming <around month three or four> I could see straight and attempt to do other things.

I was hoping she would be eating McDonalds, swigging Oros, talking gangsta and taking a dump in the toilet by now – but I had set my hopes a bit high.

Isabelle will be 24 + 6 months in December. I only got her exclusively on solids.  About two months ago I was still puree’ing her food – Kennith made me stop.

Isabelle says about 20 words. The clearest being “dawg” and “no” – the least clear being “mommy” which I think she is holding out for and drop in when I deposit her in Grade R.  I have stopped sitting infront of her repeating “mommy, say mommy, say mommy, please say mommy, mo-mmy, it’s really easy …. say mommy … mommy will buy you a pony if you say mommy … mommy … say mommy …. crap, just say mommy …. mo…mmy … say it …….”

I got tired of trying to bribe her whilst she looked at me suspiciously. She knew I was not going to get her a pony. And I knew she was not going to do what I asked her to.

Isabelle does not eat meat, unless it is a fish finger coated in crumbs.  She lives a mainly vegetarian existence <we aren’t vegetarians by the way> I just did not get around to introducing meat into her diet.

I bought a book on potty training.  Isabelle is not in the “potty training in a week” mould, and she took a real and aggresive aversion to the potty.

She has wowwed me and in the last month she is pretty much out of nappies.  She uses her white cheap-arse potty when ever she can.  All of this happened while I was “away at the little clinic” and then other people stepped in and took control of my house, as I appeared to be drooling at slobbering on my chin and otherwise engaged.

I am thrilled Isabelle uses her potty.

She has not made one accident, if you exclude the time she missed the potty all together, and the other time when she sat down in her nightie and it was under her arse and then she went “potty” – but if you exclude those two, she is pretty much potty trained.

I am so proud of her I actually gloat!

On the other hand Darron <super sport reference if you can do the Naas accent> is that each potty trip saves us just under R3.00 in nappies. Right now her “doggie” is still wearing nappies, so technically we are purchasing nappies for a stuffed dog …..

We went to a fishing spot on Saturday late afternoon/early evening – I took the potty along. Nothing quite like taking a dump out in the great outdoors.

Potty training minus the potty …..

Potty training is not going as well as anticipated.

Partly because it is not going at all.

I did buy the book, and handed it over to Pepe with firm instructions to read and highlight the important bits, so I could just go over it later and just get the executive summary.

<Pepe by the way had Friday off so she went and got her learner’s licence.  She passed first time.  Now she wants to learn to drive.  I sense things are going to be changing dramatically in our household quite soon.>

Pepe was a tad skeptical about potty training, but excited that Isabelle was going to be in “big girl territory.”

But that being said, there does appear to be a rather crucial problem with our plan.

Isabelle hates the potty.

I don’t mean Isabelle hates to use the potty, I mean she hates the potty.

The mere sight of the thing makes her point and start screaming like a demented Justin Bieber fan.

It is mildly disconcerting, and if there is any doubt that it is the potty causing the problem.  I have tried to move it towards her to desensitize her to it – but her screaming hits “screech” pitch and she backs into the corner, pointing rather furiously.

So I have no idea what the potty has done to her.  But it has made me wonder what goes on at home while I am at work.

With a rather depleted looking credit card in hand, I went to purchase a new potty on Saturday.  I was using the theory of “throw money at the problem” and it will go away.

I stood at Baby City and evaluated the various kinds of potties.

Some are really complicated, and some play tunes, and convert into desks and some into indoor  braais.

All the while I kept thinking that though I quite like the Nimbus 2000 of potties that I was holding at a mere R450 and change, I just had this nagging feeling that if I arrived home and unpacked this little beauty and Isabelle started screaming again – then I would have two high end potties without an arse willing to sit on them.

I uh’med and ah’ed and eventually I bought the R39 cheap-yet-cheerful white potty – no features, no air bags, just looks like a large coffee mug made from plastic, and I took that one home. 

As I had just saved R410 I stopped and bought Isabelle a “play phone” as an incentive to bribe her to use the potty, so my purchase still sort of came out to the same at the end.

I have not read the potty book, so I am not sure of the baby whisperer’s method yet.  My methods (for most things) tends to rely on dramatic hand movements, pleading, begging, threats and finally bribery.

I arrived home in a flourish with the new (and cheap) potty (and the other ton of shopping). 

I placed the potty down on the dining room floor in the hope that Isabelle would toddle over and take a look.  I made a bit of a ceremony of it, like it was super exciting.  Connor even got into the spirit of the new potty – bless that child!

What Isabelle did was release a blood curding scream.

Then threw herself against the child-gate and the top of the stairs, and screamed until I took her down to the lounge where she could sit with Kennith, suck her thumb and be far away from the potty.

Disturbing?  Yes.

Difficult to potty train a child who is scared of the potty! 

My last resort is to give her stickers and let her stick them on the potty to make it appear less scary (and less hygienic).

If that fails, I have resigned myself to leaving potty training until she is three and she goes to a school, someone with more experience can pick it up from there.

I choose to leave the crap to someone else …

Isabelle is 21 months and I really need to give some thought to potty training.

I think is aware when she takes a crap in her pants, because she sort of does a cowboy walk and indicates in the region of her bum “uck, uck.”  So she does not say mommy, but she has “yuck” “shoes” and “yum yum” covered. 

And you wonder why I blog to deal with my pain of rejection!

R2.20 – R3.00 odd a nappy (depending on the quality we can afford at the time of the month) it might be time to think about this potty training thing a bit more seriously.

Here is the rub – I have never taught my children potty training.  I hear you ‘gasp’ but it is true – and no they are not all crapping in their pants, I have just outsourced it in the past – not consciously, but it was sort of how it happened.

I waited until the school went: “Oooohhhh Connor/Georgia (leave the correct name in) is ready to potty training!”

And then I go: “Really?” with a certain measure of doubt in my voice.

Listen I do not like cleaning crap off skin, but it is preferred to cleaning it off skin, then off walls, then off the side of the toilet seat, then flicking it off the inside of underwear, and digging it off the seams of jeans ….. I like the one place option.

And they go – sort of with unabandoned glee – gawd pre-school staff need to get out more: “Yes, and we are going to get started, so please send extra underwear in case he/she messes. Okay?”

Me – sort of with a bit of a lip curl and lacking enthusiasm: “Okay …..”

And then I do send more underwear, and that is pretty much where my contribution starts and ends. 

Monday to Friday, Connor/Georgia are faithfully potty trained until they come home.  Then I put a nappy on and it remains there until Monday morning, and the training can pick up again.  At school.  Where I am not.

I figure my lackluster interest would set their training back by a maximum of three weeks, but in the bigger picture what is three weeks?

Not much I tell you – but three weekends spent wiping crap off furniture it can seem like an eternity! 

At some point even the child knows that they are potty trained and then they take off the nappy and use the potty at home, and then let me put the nappy on when what ever has found it’s way into the potty.

I usually keep this up until something happens.   I might forget to put the nappy on and then Connor/Georgia go to the toilet without pee’ing or poo’ing on the walls/floors or duvets, and I get called to come wipe and find a perfect floaty in the plastic potty.

At some point I will notice that an entire day has gone by and either the nappy is unused or I have forgotten to put it on.  Then I will congratulate myself on a successfully potty trained child, and do high-fives all around!

The result is that I have used this method twice and it has worked pretty well for me.  I seriously do not feel I have been robbed of any experience, really it is fine.  The need to teach my child to use the crapper is pretty low on my list of things I feel I need to do to make me a complete and competent mother.  Really, however if it rocks your world, great.

Unfortunately the flaw in my present system is that Isabelle does not go to school.  Huge flaw.

“Oh where, oh where to look to find someone to potty train my child?”

RM cups hand above eyes so she can see into the distance without squinting.  “Oh look who I see there, it is … it is Pepe. Yay for Pepe!”


Yes, you can tut-tut until you nick your tongue for all I care. 

It is better than me sending my daughter to school when she is three and still not potty training.  I mean really, how would that look?

This morning I saw a book titled Potty Training In One Week by Gina Ford

Hello, what a clever little find.  Listen even if they are lying and it takes two weeks, still sounds like a good deal to me and costs about the same as one pack of nappies.

Excellent guess what book I have just bought for Pepe?

Will update you on how Pepe is doing as soon as the book arrives.