Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Potties and Printed Panties

            One of my dreams is slowly coming true. Celia has been potty training herself. We haven’t pressured her at all, only read to her books on the topic and given her access to The Potty Movie. She loves watching The Potty Movie. It has become her new favorite, which I think is an absolutely wonderful turn of events.
            It’s a twenty-minute cartoon featuring a girl who’s growing up in certain areas, including brushing her teeth, putting toys away, and using the potty. Perfect for an almost-two-year-old, and Celia loves it.
            However, it did backfire on us recently. Celia was watching the movie with deep intent, so I left the room and started washing dishes in the kitchen. A few minutes later Celia came walking into the kitchen holding out her finger.
            “What’s that, Sweetie?” I asked her.
            Celia didn’t respond, but walked closer to show me her finger. Something was on it. I looked closely. I couldn’t tell. It was dark and greenish. I looked at Celia in the eyes and said, “What is it Sweetie?”
            “Potty,” Celia said.
            My eyes widened. I smelled the finger.
            Yep. It was poop.
            She’d not only pooped her diaper while watching The Potty Movie, she’d stuck her finger down there. Talk about the opposite effect of what we were hoping for!
            Obviously, it’s hit-or-miss with the toilet training right now, but I’m just thankful that she’s on the right track. When she used her little potty three times one day we got excited and took her to the store to pick out “big girl underwear.” We told her that if she can use the potty every time in one day, she could wear the panties of her choosing.
            Celia got excited. She picked out the underwear with her favorite cartoon character on them – Dora the Explorer, just like the toothbrush I let her pick out last month.
            Michelle tried to convince her to choose another pair. “Look, Celia. This underwear has bunnies on it.” I looked at Michelle knowingly. How many things in our house do we really want with Dora printed on them?
            Celia looked at the bunnies, then held the Dora underwear to her chest. “Mine!” she said. She’s learning about possession these days, and everything is “mine” including all sorts of things that obviously aren’t.
            We bought her the Dora underwear, only to let them sit on top of her dresser for over a week now. In fact, she went from using her potty three times a day to now using it once or sometimes not at all.
            I wonder if the underwear thing backfired. Or perhaps she’s slowed down because she’s been in daycare all last week. I suppose one big change at a time is plenty for a kid.
            Maybe one big change at a time is enough for us adults too. What’s the adult equivalent to learning to use the toilet? Learning a language? Changing jobs? Learning a new person in a relationship?
            I can get pretty overwhelmed with change myself. Look how long it took me to set up an office and get Celia into daycare. And we’re still living in my parents’ house! We haven’t even moved into our final home. I think I’ll give Celia a rest and figure things out at her own pace. Why not? We’ve waited almost two years, what’s another month or two?

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