Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Toilet Training: Mental Exhaustion

I deliberated before posting this shot...but with her father's penchant for this pose and setting considered, I decided to risk it.

Our bathroom underwent a necessary transformation;

Potty Training for me has been intense (that is, training Esky...ahem). The most difficult part has been knowing how desperately Esky likes to please, how clearly she understands what will please, and yet how unable she was to do so for (seemingly) so long. Two weeks into the process, I began to second-guess my methods, question my timing, and sincerely doubt this chapter would ever. end.

Haki took clean-up duty for an aerial number two one evening (knickers = down, already-out-contents = flying) and afterwards said, "I don't know how you do it all day," but the thing was, the clean-up, washing, and extensive repetition of both didn't bother me so much. It was the mental exhaustion that did; the constant need to be upbeat and calm in spite of feeling disappointment for my little girl, a reflection of the disappointment she radiated, and how I couldn't heal it, I could but wait. After the 30th accident or so, it was a strain to act just as confident it would be okay, it'll come right...when you're beginning to doubt it ever will! (Seriously, I felt then that I'd have the first kid at high school in diapers.)

I Googled "I hate potty training," at the end of week two. Reading other people's posts was kind of comforting.

Until I saw the first indication of change and an uphill trend, I found it gruelling. For us, I learned Potty Training started on a plateau - that things did not visibly change at all for a while, but they did change.

And when they did, I was elated.
I'm so glad I stuck with my chosen route, in spite of lacking a measure for progress for weeks.

When I first heard pee hit that porcelain I sang. I danced.

A week later, when Esky let me know in the supermarket she needed to go, made it at least 150 metres (through trolley blockades 'n' all), waited for the toilet door to be unlocked, and then peed on a toilet without a cushy insert, I wanted to cry with joy. I was so jazzed for the rest of the shopping excursion I'm sure everyone I spoke with on the way out thought I was high. I shared my success with more than a few strangers that day. I was also whistling.

To all that have been there, done that, good job. I want to hug you and praise you.
To all going through it or who are about to, good luck! Here's how I tackled the beast - in case it helps you feel less alone or come up with your own ideas by reading about someone else's.

Clearly folks, skip this series if it's not your bag!
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