The Chocolate Lady

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Part 2, of Potty Training, Step 1

As we have discussed, the very wee-early stage (pun intended) of potty training, is the child's development of body awareness.

The "external" portion of that awareness, is the child recognizing that their diaper is no longer dry. The "internal" part, is recognizing that the *feelings* on the inside.

Case in point, Little One's new bath time ritual.

Tonight, I ran the bath, and put Little One in, without plugging up the drain. This is a new thing. In the past, I put her in, put in the plug, and let her play as the water fills to a safe, comfortable level. However, recently, she has come to realize that a warm, water bath is the perfect environment for pooping. So, I have learned, to leave the drain open for the first few minutes, so that if she poops, it will be easier to clean up. Dont worry, it doesnt mean I let the logs go down the drain, it just means, I can pick them up easily without massive disintegration in the water.

So, the bath ran, and after a while, I decided that she mustnt be in the mood to poop, and put in the plug. And the water filled, and Little One played. And sure enough, Beauty, who was in the bathroom, drying off from her shower, began to scream,

"She's pooping! She's pooping!"

"Ok Beauty, no need to be alarmed, go get mommy the wet wipes from downstairs" I said, as I let out the drain and held Little One out of the way of the floating logs.

Time passed, and I hollered for Beauty to hurry, reminding her that "hurry" means "RUN", as I watched the logs begin to split and separate, little pieces breaking off in the water.

Of course, Beauty is my child that doesnt like to exert too much energy, as she doesnt like getting hot, sweating, or breathing too hard. So, the poop continued to spread into many chunks, floating about, as I held Little One to the side, and pondered if it would now even be possible to pick the poop up with the wipes that might not arrive for another 10 minutes.

But Beauty showed up, and "ooohed and aaahed" while I tried to fish poop chunks out of the tub.

After a few rinsings, a spray down with bleach, and some scrubbing and rinsing again, I was ready to put Little One back in and clean all the poop residue off her cherubic body.

And then I remembered, this part of the potty training journey, when the child knows they have to go, and chooses to go when they feel relaxed and comfortable.

Rather than squat down randomly, when she feels the need, Little One is now choosing more comfortable times to relieve herself. Great.

I began having flashbacks, and suddenly I was overwhelmed by a prediction that my entire summer would be ruined.

You see, Beauty, while FULLY potty trained, felt the same "comfortable" feeling in warm water. So much so, that EVERY SINGLE TIME I took her to the pool, she pooped.

Our community has strict rules about children in the pool, and require (old school) plastic pants to go on every child under 4. It doesnt matter if they are potty trained, they need the pants, or they cant swim. Nobody wants to have to shut down the pool in the middle of summer because a little kid let a floater loose.

When Beauty was 3 AND POTTY TRAINED, we went to the "toddler pool" almost daily. The toddler pool is a small pool, 1.5 feet deep, just perfect for young kids to explore the water safely. It's usually filled with cute tots, sitting and playing with buckets, or splashing about.

Each day, I tripled Beauty up, in swim diapers, and 2 pairs of rubber pants, intent on staring at her the entire time, ready to spot the first signs of pooping (ie. that red face she gets), and determined to get her to the potty before she let one slip. I spent the whole time asking, "do you have to go potty now?" to which she always answered, "no". I tried so hard to make sure she didnt go in the pool, and I failed every time.

I spent many a days, at the showers, stripping her down, washing her off, cleaning out the swim gear, and packing up and going home. Part way through the summer I gave up all together.

Now that Pooper and Beauty are independent swimmers, and Little One is walking...and the perfect age for the "toddler pool" I was really looking forward to a great summer.

Until tonight, when it hit me, that, like her big sister, Little One likes to do her daily poop while relaxing in warm water.

I've got a few months to prepare myself, and pray that this phase passes quickly.

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