About 300 or so days ago, a friend passed along an eBook to me with one mom’s guide to three-day potty training. If memory serves, it entailed three days in the house with a half-naked Miss D. and an itty-bitty potty stuck in the middle of the living room.
I thought about this book last night as I was sprinkling cornstarch over a pee puddle on my bedroom carpet. I got the cornstarch trick from that book, but I didn’t get much else. Nearly a year after we began what has felt like a futile pursuit of the potty, Miss D. knows where the cornstarch is and can go get it for me, but she can’t tell me when she has to pee.
My smart girl can identify colors, shapes, and several letters. She can remember the words to countless (annoying) songs and can hear through walls (particularly if anyone is talking about her). She can pedal her tricycle. She can play CandyLand, make up stories, and finger paint like nobody’s business. But nearly a year after we started talking about the potty, she still won’t tell me when she needs to use it.
And so, I am becoming potty trained. On January 1, we instituted a Miss-D.-wears-panties-in-the-house rule. I put her on the potty when she wakes up, before she eats, after she eats, before we leave the house, after we get home, and whenever she gets a funny look on her face. We’re doing pretty well; we’ve had one accident-free day, and several one-accident days. Success, of course, hinges on my remembering my role in this game, and sometimes I miss my cue.
Yesterday, when Miss D. peed on my carpet, she stood up and said, “Mama, get the corn starch!”
“Miss D.,” I said,” you need to tell me before you pee so we can go to the potty.”
She smiled sweetly, then broke into a perfect rendition of “Accidents Happen” from the Elmo’s Potty Time.