I am stil here. But I took a very long time to sit down to write again. Our adventure in South Africa was great, we saw some amazing places, had lots of Sun and our dear child hardly left the water. It was great even with the annoying flights.
Ever since then I am seriously behind with everything... I should try and write about my To Do List soon... Or about the disapperance of ME and what used to make me ME....
But at the moment I am on the edge. I thought I could multitask. I thought I had a lovely clever child. Until we met the potty. I am ,right now, in the middle (I hope it is the middle but it could well be only the beginning) of the potty training battle.
Since my child started sitting my parents repeatedly remainded me that it is time to sit on the potty. When I tried to outsmart them with the new and sparkly research that up until 18 months of age children aren't aware of their bowel movement I was reminded that my mother managed everything by herself with TWO children at much younger age than I am now and we were fully potty trained by 9 months (wow my sibling and I are baby geniouses how can I be so useless now?). But they left me alone appart from the odd remark here and there that I chose to ignore. Until we celebrated 18 months birthday. The interrogations started again.
Our child actually did show some interest in the potty which we brought into the house and did sit on it every now and then but how to keep a very lively child on the potty until something happens? According to my mother we loved nothing more than to sit on the potty all day long helped by a piece of roll to chew on.
There was some luck on the way but unfortunatelly it freaked our child out and she refused to sit on the potty, was hysterical, it was a battle. So for what felt like forever we went with doing nothing or trying gently - typical one step forward five steps back tradition of trying to bring up a child. I asked mother how did she actually do it. What trick am I missing? 'Oh your father was very consistent. He kept you on the potty, he kept trying, he wouldn't give up. He was so great.' (My dad passed away at the end of last year. He is now like a saint, all his negative traits are forgotten. I don't mind. But I find it interesting that it actually wasn't my mother who did all the hard work although I always hear how she did everything by herself with no help and, unlike me, with two children. So there is no trick to be learned. Husband does his bit but he is so busy at the moment it is hard to expect more from him.)
Then I read about how they must be ready. So I was looking for the sign. And I didn't see it. Or I did but nothing happened. Or the hysterics came and I simply can not wrestle screaming child for 45 minutes, I tried it with the cot and find it too traumatising for both of us.
I felt guilty occasionally. Did I go too fast in the beginning? Did I damage my child? Did I miss some signs? Am I bad mother? Whenever we went to the baby group or to the pool I looked around to compare the children. Are they older or younger? Do they wear nappies? Most of them do. And they seem fine.
I read about the magical training pants which inspire kids to use potties. I bought them. Child didn't mind in what it should do the business.
I read and heard a lot about potty training books and their magical inspirational touch. Bought it, read it, showed it. Child loves to press the special button on it and that is about it. The other day she actually stuck her fingers in her ears so she doesn't have to listen to THAT STORY again although it was HER who brought it to me, pushed it in my hands and asked: 'Read that one!' Clearly, she only needed somebody to hold it while she pushes the YEAH button hundreds of times until I get insane.
I would love to be able to stop washing and folding nappies one day soon. I would love to listen to something else on skype chats with my mother. Is she ready for it? In some ways yes, in other ways no since she won't realize it will happen until it is happening.
I decided to wait. To try gently. But last week there was a sudden nappy rush, out of nowhere, we didn't do anything differently, she wasn't in wet nappy for too long, maybe it was the warm weather. I don't know, but my child was red and clearly uncomfortable. So I decided to help the healing with some air and keeping dry. That means no nappies. That means potty training, ready or not.
Today is the second day of my ordeal. The skin is better. I am trying to time the number ones and miss most of them. Many places and the one person who is the homemaker and has to be here were wheed on. Oh dear. I did catch a number two yesterday and felt like a superwoman. Today I wasn't so lucky. The child tends to sneak around looking for a quiet spot to do the business. Yesterday I caught her in her favorite spot at the right time, today she changed the tactics and it took me a second to realize what the sudden quiet could mean and I was a second too late.
I bought about 20 pairs of lovely panties plus five pairs of proper training pants and they are flying out the drawer. There will be no end to the washing any time soon. But we are getting there.
I also read about the charts. We had a chart for a long time and now it is getting some stars on! And I did read about bribing child with chocolate buttons. I wasn't even pretending hesitation. Anything that gets the bottom on the potty and potty filled is worth it. And the chocolate buttons have an added benefit to them: one for each success by the child, three for each miss to chear up mummy and prolong her will to live and carry on...
I think I will dream about potties. If my child allows me. Besided anything else it keeps visiting me in random times of the night.... I thought little baby was difficult. I had no idea. It is harder now when we get used to sleeping through the night and know it is doable. Lets just carry on and hope we will not run out of chocolate buttons anytime soon!