Being a parent is a steep learning curve. By the time you get to toddler-hood, the milestones may be further apart but the curve is just as damn steep and most of the time I spend my life desperately grasping on to anything I can to stop myself from sliding all the way back down. Whatever you call it – poor adulating, not parenting the shit out of life – it all amounts to the same thing: sometimes this child-rearing thing bites us on the ass and then kicks us when we’re down.
So what is it, I hear you ask, that has caused this most recent fall from parenting grace? Two words: potty training. “It’s easy,” everyone said. “Just wait until she’s ready and you’ll nail it in two days.”
Damn you all.
I thought she was ready. She said she was ready. She didn’t want to wear ‘stinky nappies’ anymore. She wanted to do wees and poos in the potty. She just LOVED her princess pull ups. I cleared a weekend. We could stay in and just figure out this toileting stuff. No pressure, no distractions, just me, my daughter, a stack of clean clothes and CBeebies.
Saturday morning was exciting. She was excited about her ‘big girl pants’. I genuinely thought this was going to be a breeze. She was the one telling me she was going to do all her wees and poos in the potty. What could possible go wrong?
Well, despite numerous reminders that she had to tell me when she needed to do a wee or a poo I discovered a soggy patch and a sticky pair of legs 33 minutes in. No worries I thought, everyone makes a mistake in the beginning. She’s learning. When, a mere 12 minutes later we had wet pants again, I was starting to think we should abandon shit…I mean ship. She had been adamant she didn’t need a wee and by this point she was ripping her princess pull ups off in a frenzy and kicking the potty across the room.
Defeated I went upstairs to get a nappy only to come down and discover that, while the Small was vehemently against doing number ones in the potty, she had no concerns about curling down a massive turd. She was so proud of her little gift that I couldn’t help but smile. Maybe this potty training thing was going to work after all.
The joy was short-lived. Three more pairs of wet pants later, I decided to give it up for another day. Plus, it was only 11am and we were both already going stir crazy in the house. There weren’t enough episodes of Mike the Knight or Peter Rabbit to stop the bonkers from happening, so we chalked this up to experience, put a wash of wee-covered clothes on and left the house for the park and some chocolate cake…with a decent supply of Pampers to get us through the rest of the day.
Here’s to the next attempt. Maybe I’ll leave that one to Jimmy Plays Bass.