This morning my mom (AKA The Sitter) called in sick. She’s got a terrible headache, is vomiting, and has a stuffy nose. All at once, I had both kids and nothing planned. Since Keira is still in potty training mode, I figured we’d make it a no diaper day. Katelyn could help by being the keeper of the stickers and treats. It was soon apparent, though, that it wasn’t going to be the fun event I had envisioned. Even though Keira is able, when not wearing a diaper, to hold it in, and is asking to go on the potty she’s also scared of the potty at times. This morning was one of those times.
We got downstairs at 8:45. We had breakfast. We sang songs. We also ran back and forth between the kitchen and the bathroom a lot. “Mommy, potty, potty,” Keira would say. I’d put her on the toilet. She’d sit. She’d get the scared look on her face. She’d jump off. By 10:30 I figured something had to give soon. Keira desperately wanted to use the toilet, but was so scared she couldn’t let go. I didn’t know what to do, so we stuck with it. Finally, at around 11:30 she did it. She peed in the toilet, crying hysterically while she went. Once she was done, she was all smiles. “Potty, potty! Hooray,” she screamed. We did the potty dance. She got stickers. She got an apple. And soon after my husband came home, put a diaper on her, and took both girls to the park. All the morning’s hard work and tears were forgotten. Keira didn’t ask to use the potty while she was out, although she still told my husband every time she peed in the diaper, he said.
I am very torn about this whole process. Keira is obviously physically ready. She was able to keep from having an accident all morning, and she knew she had to go even if she wasn’t sure whether she actually wanted to. So where do I go from here? I don’t want the kid crying on the potty, but I also don’t want to miss my window. Last week she told me she had to go while we were out on a restaurant playdate. I took her into the bathroom. She sat down, went right away — not a tear in sight. Today, it was like she was having a small nervous breakdown. At 16-months-old.
During all the morning drama I found myself thanking Katelyn. For what, she wanted to know. For making it easy for me. There was no process with Katelyn. Once she told me, at 15-months, that she was going to use the bathroom, there was no looking back. There were no tears. There was no hesitation.
But that was another child and another time. Today I have to make a decision. Do I continue the training in the hopes that Keira will get over her fear? Do I forget about it for now? What do I do if she’s begging me to go potty — like she does almost every day? Do I tell her no? Potty experts (if you’ve survived potty training even one kid, you’re an expert): What would you do?