Monday, April 28, 2008

Cost-benefit analysis: diapers vs. generously-apportioned toilet paper

In an official sense, we're not actually potty training right now. We've never come to the decision that It's Time To Push This. (Ick--I just read that. But it's appropriate, no?) E already has all the equipment:

1) the Elmo "It's Potty Time" DVD,
2) the portable potty that sits in the family room,
3) ducky potty seats that insert into the regular toilet seats, and stools to climb up, and
4) underpants.

So I guess even though we're not really doing this, we sort of are. So here's a recap of our progress thus far:

Regarding #1: E loves the Elmo DVD so that she can take off her pants and mimic the Dirty Diaper Dance scene. (I like it for the Toilet Paper Factory Tour rap.)
Regarding #2: The portable potty has only been used for its factory-intended purpose once. That's not to imply that it hasn't been utilized daily. Sometimes it's a stool and E stands on it. Sometimes she stands in it. Very often, it's a treasure chest, safekeeping her dreidel collection, or more frequently, her beaded necklaces from the dress-up box. Also, it's a good DJ for dance parties. If you flush its handle, it sings for you, to the tune of Frere Jacques:
Toilet paper, toilet paper
On a roll, next to me!
I could use a few squares, maybe one or two squares
How about three? Hooray for me!

Pure poetry, I know.
Regarding #3: The dots around the duckies glow in the dark. E did not like that at first, but has overcome that complaint. They are made out of the same plasticky feeling as backseats in c. 1980s cars, though, and she sometimes yells when sitting, "I'm STUCK!"
Regarding #4: First priority are any of the purple unders. Then come the pink unders with red monkeys. The rest are just drawer fillers, placeholders, there for saying "I don't like these unders, Mama. Where are all my purple unders?" Unders, incidentally, were not originally purchased for anything related to potty training. They were to distract her from her love affair with my unders. So far, so good. Unless my purple ones are visible in the laundry. She'll still snatch those and pull them up right over all her clothes, and walk around the house that way. That's especially great when the doorbell rings.

She's probably ready to learn quickly if we focus on it. I didn't want to start while the house was still reeling from New Baby Syndrome, and then I didn't want to start right before I went back to work, and then I didn't want to start right after I went back to work. So I'm thinking it's about time. Otherwise we'll continue to have reasons to delay.

The actual potty usage track record isn't bad considering we haven't been actively encouraging anything. First pee in the potty: New Year's Day. First poop: February 18th. This past Saturday: standing naked, wrapped in a towel just after her shower (because she still won't take baths), about six inches or one toddler-arm-length from a stool and already-ducky-seat-crowned-toilet -– "Mama, I just put my pee pees on the floor!" And yesterday, she requested that her diaper be taken off because she wanted to pee in the potty. Six storybooks and a snack of strawberries and one cup of milk later, no pee, but she pooped. Unexpected by all parties, I think, but a good thing to do, certainly. After wiping, she merrily stood up on her stool, waving her naked little tushie all around. She reached for the lever to flush and waved exuberantly into the bowl. "Goodbye, my poops! See you later!" Pin It