Childrearing

My Daughter Potty-Trained Herself While I Was Away On Vacation

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I’ve long held that the first rule of Potty Training Club is “Do Not Talk About Potty Training Club.” But what happened to me last week is so awesome that I just have to share.

The first thing to know is that I did not do a great job of training my older daughter. After one particularly brutal day of failure, I decided to read up on the topic for tips about what to do. That was when I learned that I was doing it all wrong. For instance, apparently you’re not supposed to lock the child in the bathroom until something happens. Live and learn, I guess. So my oldest daughter was only trained completely a few months ago.

I figured my younger daughter would be a year away from training. But a few weeks ago we were in New York with my cousin. We all went to the park and then my cousin took the kids back to put them to bed while my husband and I went to dinner. Somehow we left the diaper bag at the playground. By the time we realized, retrieved it and got it back to my cousin, my daughter had been caught without diapers for an hour or so. She put on a pair of her sister’s panties and loved it. She did it again the next day.

But who wants to potty train while on the road? Not this mother. So I didn’t exactly encourage it. In the ensuing weeks, she tried it two more times. And had an accident each time. Again, I was not in the mood to push it. I knew I was going on vacation in mid-July and we’d all be taking a family trip later this summer.

The night before my husband and I left, when I was frantically trying to pack and deal with a thousand things, she asked me if she could go potty. My policy is to always say yes to such requests. So we sat on the potty for about 45 minutes while she said “It’s coming. It’s coming.”

And lo and behold, it came. She had her first success.

We left the next morning and that night my brother and sister-in-law, who were watching her, told us that she had gone potty multiple times that day. Same for the next day. And the next. And the next. And the next.

We came home yesterday to a little girl who has made serious headway in her potty training efforts. And she apparently did it on her own with my brother and sister-in-law’s help.

I’m in no way exaggerating when I say that this accomplished my ultimate child-rearing fantasy. I was the mother who used to think during pregnancy about how much I didn’t want to potty train my children.

I am the most blessed of all mothers. That’s what I think. Sure, we have night-times and #2 training and all that. We’ll get to that. All in due time. But for now, I’m just reflecting on how I had the best mother’s vacation in history. And trying to figure out the perfect gift to give to my sister-in-law. Is a tennis bracelet too much?