I think potty training is a little like childbirth. No one really tells you about all the rough moments, tears (lots of tears) and the scores of wet and (gulp) poopy underwear. As a mother, you conveniently forget these things until you are reminded when you march headlong into getting your second child out of diapers.
First, I have to say, that I don't really do potty training. I like to subscribe to the child-led learning school of thought. The potty training "boot camp" works for many parents, but is really not my style. Besides... I don't know how I would ever find the time to stay at home for three days and be by my daughter's side the entire time. My style led my first born to his third birthday still in diapers. sigh. However, he potty trained like he learned to walk, in a day or two and has had very few accidents ever since. Seriously, by playing the wait-until-he-is-ready game, I never dealt with the dreaded poopy underwear.
Fast forward to my two-year-old daughter. She is ready and eagerly hops on the toilet to go "pee pee." I knew that I needed to take advantage of the window. She is different than her brother and needs a different style of potty training, right? Hmmm.... now that we have started, I really want to go back to diapers full time. This is for the birds. Now that we have started, however, she won't let me go back. "No, Momma!! I want panties!! NOT diapers!" My strong-willed, independent toddler is ready to be a big girl. So WHY won't she poop in the toilet????
This week, we tried and tried to get her to poop on the potty. I have a few big rewards set up for her when she does. In fact, she cried when she saw the princess dolls that she couldn't have until she pooped in the potty. :-( When I knew that she needed to go, I had her sit on the toilet every ten minutes (she is WAY too impatient to sit there a long time). I let my guard down for one minute (literally) and she suddenly says, "Momma, I have poopy in my underwear!" ARRRRRGGGHHH.
Last night, however, we may have made a breakthrough. I realized that, unlike her brother who will sit on a toilet for an hour until he does his business, Little Miss is all about instant gratification. So... I handed her the coveted princess doll, so she could look at the package and all the things inside (slippers, necklace, blue bird). That kept her distracted long enough. I left her on the toilet and checked on dinner. I hear some very magic words, "Momma.... I went poo poo!!!" You should have heard the celebration in this house. We even called her Mimi, who witnessed all the accidents over the last week on vacation.
I hope that it wasn't a fluke. She is in bed right now with her special poo poo prize... Cinderella. If she goes again today, she gets Ariel.
Cross your fingers....