The second week in February we began attempt number one million at potty training Katie. Like before, we cleared the schedule, got out the potties, potty seats, panties, and prizes, and prayed. In the past I had made a big production of it which only produced more performance anxiety in my precious little perfectionist. So this time, we went for laid back.
Me: "Katie, do you want to wear panties and bake cookies with me?"
Katie: "O.k., but I don't want to go peepee on the potty."
Me: "That's cool. But you have to wear panties while we make cookies."
Katie" "Can they be gingerbread cookies?"
Katie: "Yes, I want to bake cookies."
So after trying on several panties, she settled on a princess pair (thank you, Grandma Cavanagh), and we baked. Every so often, Katie would tire of a particular pair of panties and want to change them out for a different style or color. We had to keep them in the kitchen in her Tinkerbell backpack so that we had the selection right there with us. That girl cracks me up.
I think I must win the mother of the year award because, while Katie was very scared to sit on the potty, somehow jelly beans helped to lessen her fear, and with them in hand, she could take on the toilet. But nothing happened. Again, performance anxiety.
My friend Liza believes that the key to potty training a kid is making the child sit on the potty often or long enough so that you "catch them" going and then he/she can make the mental connection. That only works if your kid is not smarter than you. If your kid does not understand that if she doesn't drink anything, she won't have to pee.
Me: "Katie, you haven't been drinking your milk. Aren't you thirsty?"
Katie: "Will that make me go peepee? I don't want anything to drink if it will make me go peepee."
Me: "I got you a special treat, lemonade!"
Katie: "No, thank you, Mommy. I don't want any lemalade. That will make me go peepee."
So I made a quick run to the convenience store outside our subdivision to get some salty snacks. I would not be beat! Katie may be able to turn down lemalade, but chips and pretzels, never! She had to get thirsty sometime.
All that to say, my plot failed, but in a moment of desperation, I decided to put her on her little potty in front of the t.v. so that she could calm down enough to go. So armed with her jelly beans on a potty in the middle of the living room, Katie joined the ranks of potty trained people. I had left the room for a moment to change Nathaniel's diaper when suddenly Katie appeared.
Katie: "Mommy, I want to show you something. But you can't say anything."
(We go back to the living room.)
Katie: "Look in the potty, but don't say anything."
(The potty has been used!)
Me: "Can I give you a hug?"
Me: "Can I give you high five?"
Katie: "Yes. But don't say anything."
And from there it has all been down hill. Having conquered her fear, Katie is now fully potty trained. And even cooler than that, it is helping her to overcome fear in other areas. Katie has been very afraid of going to preschool. Luckily for her, it hasn't been an option because you have to be potty trained to attend. But a week ago, Katie informed me that since she is no longer scared to go on the potty, she is not scared of school either. God's timing is perfect because that weekend, she had a group play assessment as part of her admission process for preschool, and she liked being there.