Friday, September 11, 2009

My big girl

This morning marks one week since we started potty training Mallory.

By potty training, I mean going cold turkey on the diapers, with the exception of naptime and night.

Doing this was sparked less by any signs from her that she was ready - there have been a few times she has requested to sit on the toilet, though nothing has come of them - and more by the fact that we had a relatively long stretch of time at home and it seemed like if we didn't get her started then, it might be Christmas by the time we got around to it. And who wants to potty train anyone on Christmas? Not me.

Of course, we didn't count on Bruce getting sick on Friday night when we started her on Friday morning. And by Saturday morning, when we hadn't slept all night because Bruce was in surgery, and Mallory was peeing all over the floor, and then Liam woke up, came into our room and proceeded to vomit all over my bed - well, right about then I thought I was going to lose my mind.

For the first couple of days - no, make that several days, it was enough that I was going crazy over her lack of catching on - Mallory just let loose whenever and wherever she felt like it. I hovered over her and made sure she didn't sit on the good sofa or play on the carpet. I cleaned up more messes than I cared to count. We had to make an emergency run to the store for more paper towels, and I washed several consecutive loads that consisted only of towels and underpants. We had bought her a 7-pack of Disney princess underpants and to be honest - I think she quite enjoyed making her way through all the princesses. "I'm wearing Cinderella now! Now I have on Snow White!" Not really understanding that the gratification was supposed to be deferred and played out over the course of a whole week.

I delivered her back to Cindy on Tuesday morning with a notebook full of anecdotes about our potty training woes and four clean pairs of underpants and four clean changes of clothes. Never has the diaper bag been so full, even though there wasn't a diaper in it.

And you know what? She had one accident at Cindy's on Tuesday morning, and since then she has been accident-free, both at Cindy's and at home. It's amazing. It's like a switch just flipped. She will now come around the corner bellowing, "I have to go peeeeeeeeeee!" She is not shy about it. Liam never gave us notice like that!

I need to temper my glee with the fact that she has not pooped on the toilet for us yet. She did it once at Cindy's house, to my surprise, and she did it once at home while wearing a diaper at bedtime. Was she intentionally waiting for the diaper to do it? I don't know.

We're giving her a couple of M&Ms each time she uses the toilet, and let me tell you - we hit the nail on the head. M&Ms are totally her currency. It's a very neat trick. Just don't ask me how we are ever going to wean her off of them.