I have to admit there was a brief moment in time when I thought Minime might be wearing pampers well into college. I started doing that mom thing where I began imagining that there was some deep rooted issue as to why she couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me when she had a dirty diaper.
I remembered back to when she was a little over 1 and started to show interest. That didn’t last long. In the two years since she would randomly show interest but most times would just respond with “Mommy, I’m not ready. I’m a baby.”
I tried to listen to her. I tried to remember that every child develops at their own pace. Some days it worked and other days I would work myself into a tizzy as yet another friend shared that their little had mastered the fine art of peeing in the toilet.
When Minime turned 3 in January I was beside myself with the potty training dilemma. One day after she repeated her famous “I’m not ready” line I used coercion. I’m not proud of myself but it worked so I can’t say that I regretted it. I told her that while she will always be my baby she was becoming a big girl. I told her that as a big girl she had to make a big choice. She had to choose between wearing diapers or having baba (breastfeeding). I felt like I was playing a round of Russian Roulette. What if she called my bluff?
I was blessed. My amazing child said okay and chose baba. A few minutes later she told me that she needed to use the bathroom. She still refused to use her potty but has been using the toilet with a seat attachment since.
I remembered my cousin doing a sticker chart with her daughter so I took one of Minime’s many notebooks and turned it into a “potty journal.” I listed the day and dates and every time she used the bathroom she would receive a happy face and sticker. At first I would tell her that she would get a sad face if she had an accident but this became too traumatic for her. I mean full out meltdown if she got a sad face so I changed it to just not getting anything.
We’ve been at it about three weeks and she has been pretty good. I still put diapers/pullups on her when we are going out but at home I leave her with just pants or panties. We have had very few accidents.
Here’s the funny part. About a week into this process I get an email from her casting agent to head to the Huggies Pull-Up site. In December, Minime had been selected for a campaign and she is currently the lead photo on their website for potty training incentives!!!
I write this not as a mom brag but as a confession that I let potty training make me worry when in reality it doesn’t matter if Minime used the potty at 1 or 10. Sooner or later in her time she was going to get it. I write this to remind myself that next time she might seem a bit behind someone else’s developmental process that she is right on time with her own.
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