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Once in a Lifetime

toonvectors-27123-140There is only one time in a girl’s life that it’s okay for her to show off her underwear.  And that’s where my young Grand is right now.  When Husband arrived home from work, I said to Elaine, “Pop’s home.  Let’s go to the door and greet him.”  She ran to him, hugged his knees, and said, “Pop, have you seen my panties?”  And then she pulled down her pants just enough to reveal her pink and white underwear.  Elaine is learning to use the potty.

What was my biggest clue that this young Grand was ready to be potty trained?  One day while visiting with me and when she wore a diaper, she stood still for just a few seconds and then asked, “Gran, do you have a clean diaper?” Then she ran to my bedroom and lay on the floor – the exact spot where I’ve laid her when I’ve changed her diaper for the past 2-½ years.

When a child is potty training, it’s also a time that potty talk is allowed.  By both children and adults, and we really should be discreet.  While Daughter and I ate lunch at a restaurant, I asked, “So is she pooing or just tinkling in the potty?”  Daughter chuckled, put her finger on her lips, and said, “Shhh, Momma.”  Then I realized that the people at a table beside us probably heard me.  Certainly not normal mealtime conversation.  I would’ve apologized and explained, but they never made eye contact while Daughter and I whispered about Elaine’s progress.  A few days later, Elaine’s older sister and I discussed the process of potty training, but that’s a conversation I’ll never share.

My Grand’s parents are the real teachers.  I follow their directions and am amused by the funny things Elaine says.  I helped her get situated on the potty, walked out of the bathroom, and then I hear her chant. “Tinkle, where are you?  Oh, tinkle, where are you?  Come out, tinkle!”  Eventually, it did.  When I praised her she asked, “Gran, do you have a chocolate for me?”  I’ll give my Grand a chocolate candy anytime to avoid changing her diaper.

Teaching a child to go to the bathroom in this day and time is drastically different from the days when my own two children were toddlers. Thank goodness! Then age two was the set-in-stone age when any sensible mother had her child out of diapers.  Cloth diapers – that had to be rinsed, soaked, washed, dried, and folded. Maybe all that work was the incentive for us mothers to encourage our children to use the potty.  Now we know that children don’t awake on their 2nd birthday with enough control of their bodies to feel the urge and make a beeline for the bathroom.  I remember wiping many messes off the floor and, looking back, I’m not sure who was in training.  My child or me?  I even set an alarm clock for every hour to remind myself to take my child to the bathroom.

I’ve learned through the years that there are as many ways to encourage a toddler to use the potty, as there are squares on a roll of toilet paper.   And one way is pretty panties.  Elaine is so proud of hers.  This, too, shall pass.



2 Responses

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