just to be clear, that is an apple on the floor up above, and i am not writing about potty training because i know a good deal about it, in fact, i am writing about it for the exact opposite reason - we are horrible at it over here!
earlier this summer i wrote about how we were trying to, but it just wasn't going too well... so we held off for a bit. it was clear that chloe had no interest and was much more excited about, well, about anything else other than the potty. when i would mention it to her she would quickly change the topic ("a bug? a bug! wook, a truck and a bug!). i couldn't even bribe her with small treats, and the big kid underwear was not sufficient enticement. in fact she would demand the treats, make me believe she was going to sit on the little plastic chair, and then trick me and refuse to use the toilet! she has been brought into the bathroom with me since she was an infant and could be trapped - i mean, seated in the bumbo seat. she understands that people do go potty, on the potty, but she just was not into it. and because she is only a bit over two, and it's not like she is going off to college anytime soon, i figured we would try again another time.
well, we would try again a couple weeks later, and then again a couple weeks later. she never would go on the potty, and when i would talk to her about the accident it looked as though i were smashing a bit of her soul every time. she would "uh-oh" and give me a look as though she was going to break into tears at any second, and i just couldn't bear to make her go day after day like that. so we would instead do half-day potty training.
half-day potty training was an idea i got from a parenting website (don't remember which one, sorry!). it allowed us time to potty train, either before nap, or after nap, and have fun, run errands, and relax the rest of the day. since neither of us like to be cooped up for entire days at a time (i get cabin-fever very very easily and she enjoys getting outside and going to the park), this arrangement worked well. except, she never actually went on the potty. but at least i didn't need to make her feel like a failure all day long - so i considered it not quite a win, but not a loss either.
until recently when chloe decided she was no longer going to wear a diaper... but didn't decide she was going to use the potty either. primarily this happened when she was in her bed. she would go to bed wearing a diaper and some pajamas or a pair of underpants on top of her diaper as well as a t-shirt, but when we would get her up in the morning we would find her naked and soaked. same thing during nap time. and eventually she started taking off the diaper around the house... sometimes having an accident as well.
i guess this is her way of telling us she is ready. for the past couple days we have been doing all day potty training, only putting on the diaper (which continues to be a futile maneuver) during nap-time and bed-time. we have had a couple successful potty trips (yay!) and some incidents. we like to start the day by attempting to use the potty, and then i set a timer and every half hour i will try to make her sit on the potty for a few minutes. if i notice she is a bit antsy then i will encourage her to try. we reward her with small treats.. a lolly usually, and we cheer for her. often during the day i make "potty-forts", or "castles" as she likes to call them, and stock them with books, toys, and a potty, to entice her.
the hardest part has been staying inside all day long instead of going to the park/playground or running errands, but it has led to saving some money that i probably don't need to spend, and working on stuff for the little shop.
i know everyone says that it is better to potty train in the summer when you can let them run around without much clothing on, but cold and rainy days (which are in our forecast this week!) seem to be perfect for this around here, and this summer was perfect for a lot of outdoor fun where we couldn't be bothered with staying in for the potty. also, i have heard of parents (and recently met one) who started potty training very young... under a year young. i never thought it made much sense to start that early (i imagined following a naked and barely-toddling child around the house with a plastic toilet and i wasn't into the idea). however, now it is making sense to me - the earlier you get them to understand using a toilet instead of in a diaper, the better. it took a while for us to get chloe to understand it, and maybe doing this would have helped - just as long as you aren't expecting them to learn it overnight.
so, if you don't see us at the playground and if you notice a few new items popping up in my shop - it's because we have barricaded ourselves in the house with a bunch of lolly-pops and toddler training pants, and i am doing four loads of laundry a day and scrubbing carpet every half an hour!
she will be potty-trained before college.