Round about the end of last year, when Papillon was not even 18 months old, I began to find myself fielding the "when will you potty train?" question. It seemed early for people to be asking, but I think it was partly inspired by the fact that I was expecting and the general consensus that it is ideal to only do one in diapers at a time, if at all possible.
However, since they are less then 20 months apart, I decided potty training before Hibou's arrival would have been a bit ambitious. And potty training immediately afterwards would have been insane. Those two fairly reasonable decisions were followed by a series of excuses with varying validity. "We'll start after our cross country vacation" "We'll start after Mon Amour returns from his next trip" We'll start next time Mon Amour leaves for a trip" "We'll start on a day that I am feeling less lazy" etc etc
Finally, we picked a date. It was time to just go for it.
July 17th was the date.
And it was a disaster.
We opted to have Papillon just abandon diapers, pants, etc that day and see what happened. Assuming that she would have a few accidents after which we would run to the potty and try and talk about "next time". And after a few accidents, I was hoping for at least 1 or 2 successes.
Nope. 100% accidents, 1 roll of paper towels, and a ton of lysol later it was bed time, and we were definitely going for the diaper overnight.
As providence would have it, that night was also terrible in the sleep department. Between Hibou and Papillon, I was up every hour. Not a lot of sleep happened that night. So in the morning I decided I would be quite foolish to take another stab at potty training.
But when I got Papillon out of bed that morning, the first thing she said was "Wear underwear please?"
How could I refuse. So, with bleary eyes, and a healthy dose of pessimism, we started day 2 of potty training. Luckily a friend sent us this blog post. Which was sort of the philosophy we had been aiming for on day one, but with some subtle, key differences. Armed with this new information, we got out the kitchen timer, set it for 20 minutes, and started drinking and drinking and drinking.
At 20 minutes, we grabbed some books to read and headed to the bathroom. We proceeded to hang out in the bathroom, reading, singing songs, drinking more juice, until we had a potty-success. It often took up to 30 minutes, but we weren't going to leave the bathroom until something happened!
When it did, it was a huge part! M&Ms, high-fiving, and then we would call someone fun on the phone to tell them the good news. (I thought this suggestion was silly and unnecessary, but Papillon actually loved it! Many thanks to all the family members who fielded "I peed on the potty!!!" phone calls from us that day)
And so the day progressed. 20 minutes out. 30 minutes in. (Give or take) Hibou joined us when she was awake, but luckily took some good naps that day.
By the end of the day we had had 1 accident, and 13 successes!
The following week was amazing - excluding that first disastrous day - we had 2 accidents in 7 days.
I call that a potty training success.
Since then we have had a few more accidents, but she's only 2 years old, and accidents happen. I would definitely call her 100% potty trained. She takes naps in her underwear (we've only had 2 naptime accidents) and we only wear a diaper at night (though a good 75% of the time her diaper is completely dry in the morning)
Papillon is the proud owner of 33 pairs of underwear:
Excessive perhaps, but I figured I should be prepared for lots of accidents, and occasionally, allow myself the luxury of just pitching the dirty underwear if it was that bad (it hasn't been that bad yet). And when it's only like $6 for 11 pairs at Target...why not buy 3 packs!
Even though some accidents have been unpleasant, and even though running Papillon to the restroom every time she asks (which is often!) seems like a lot of work, I am so glad we finally took the plunge! It was such a satisfying feeling to potty train her. She was so proud of herself, and I found myself surprisingly proud of myself as well!
Also, 20 cloth diapers for 2 children doesn't go very far (think, diaper-laundry every day without fail)...but 20 diapers for just Hibou is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Nice work, Papillon! I am so proud of you!