I should start this post with several disclaimers. First, I feel more than a little defensive and overwhelmed about potty-training. Oh, and also dramatic. Second, don't read this if you haven't potty trained a child yet, because you will never, ever want to try. Third, who knew that God was trying to get to us through every single little thing in our lives and will resort to using our children? It seems he is really trying to teach me something, and I am too dense to figure out what it is, which means that I am having to try to rely on him more, which I'm sure is what he wants after all. That said, I will now start really writing this blog post about our week, which I described to my community group friends today as "hell."
My dear mother came back with us from Siloam Springs and was here through this morning. We figured this would be an excellent time to tackle potty training Lily, who turned 3 in January and has been not super excited about the idea. What I know about Lily is that she often needs to be pushed off proverbial cliffs of change, because she is often not super willing to adapt on her own. She has every sign of readiness imaginable for potty training, except that she doesn't seem really motivated to try.
After hearing lots of friends talk about this phase, after reading some Pinterest posts (of course discarding the ones that start with stuff like, "use cloth diapers" and "start early") and talking to John and my mom, we had a plan. Load Lily up on snacks and drinks, which she was very willing to share with Bella.
Have a lot of one on one time with her and do things that are fun to her. Turns out, she could do glue and glitter all the live long day, if we let her.
Read books and/or watch movies while sitting on the potty to make it more fun.
Not make a big deal about accidents, but get them cleaned up quickly. Here she is watching her things go round and round.
I thought that surely, after three days of this type of treatment, we would have arrived some place different. Turns out, Lily likes to buck the norms, and I am having to learn to be patient and change strategies as we go. Both things that I am not great at. We are fighting a bladder of steel - she can go very long periods of time (like 6 hours) without using the bathroom at all. She does want to learn and wear panties like a big girl, but there are some other control issues at play that have made this week feel a bit like psychological warfare.
So, here we are on Thursday, and all I can say is that we are going to continue going forward, though we may relax our pace a bit. I want to give her time to adjust, since she clearly needs that. I realized that I was reluctant to write anything about this, because I didn't want to present something so "in process." It is way more fun to be able to say, "I did these things for the last three days, and boom, my child is potty trained!" But, that is not what it is going to be like here. I envy those parents, and I am learning a lot of humility and a lot of letting go, because I cannot control when and how Lily learns to do this. Clearly.
Having my mom here was a life-saver. It is so wonderful to be able to look over at someone else in the good, the bad and the funny moments that have made up this week. She graciously watched the girls while we were at Community Group, which involved all kinds of heroics on her part. What a wonderful gift this time has been, even though it didn't bring the results we had hoped for in the end.
So that is my "in process" potty training post. I hope it is an encouragement to someone. For me, I am realizing all over again, that so many things in life do not have short cuts. There is no way around, behind, over or under, there is only through. Thankfully, I serve a God who promises to walk through things with me, and though there are things much worse in life, this is my current trial, and I am grateful to not be in it alone.