Today I finally faced what I have been dreading with an all-consuming, unreasoning horror since the second half of 2012: potty training. Again.
It wasn’t so bad with my first, you see. We switched to panties (cold turkey), and while we went through 10 pairs the first day, she woke up dry by the third. (In a pull-up. I don’t worry about kids sleeping in panties until they’ve woken up dry for a month or two.) She had accidents, of course–including one truly awful one at Classic Fun Center when I was 8 months pregnant with her sister–but overall, there was decently rapid forward progression after the first day.
Then came her sister. OH, the horror! My second girlie hates new experiences on principle. She’s also as stubborn as a Russian winter AND in possession of an inherited need for, um, a lot of fiber in her diet (so to speak); it was almost a year before I could really consider her potty trained. The accidents were awful, the frustration was beyond belief, and the thought of reliving the process was unbearable for a long, LONG time.
My son, however, will turn 3 tomorrow, and he’s begun removing his own diaper at diaper changes. I’m running low on his size of diapers, and while I told myself I wouldn’t start until I was done with kindergarten pickup, and then I wouldn’t start until we were home from Idaho, I have finally run out of excuses. His older sisters are doing a mini cheer camp with cousins, so today I bit the bullet and broke out the underwear.
(By the way, I lost count of how many times I started to say “panties” today and had to correct myself. The hazards of starting a family with two girls in a row.)
Here’s the thing. Almost nothing is as bad as the dread makes it out to be, and I knew that. I was still pleasantly surprised, however, at how well he was doing by late afternoon. We only went through 5 or 6 pairs of underwear, and I didn’t begrudge him his late afternoon realization that he could call attention to his dry underwear, squeeze out another teaspoon or two into the potty, and get another M&M. (I was so proud of him for coming home from the neighbors with a quarter-sized wet spot on his underwear and then going a considerable amount in the potty I was happy to humor him, although I did suggest he wait a bit after his 4th trip in 10 minutes.) We’ll be busy enough in the next few days that keeping up will be challenging, but the first day is over with, and that’s generally the worst.
We will survive.