so let's back up to the very beginning.
ever since gracie's first day at her montessori preschool (around 18 months old) she's been very interested in the potty. when we lived in holland, i remember buying her a little potje for her to sit on and get familiar with. she never really used it, but we did have some success with her just sitting on it, bare butt, for a few moments at a time before we ended up moving and leaving the potje behind in hengelo.
once we got settled (enough) here in texas, i went out to target to find another potty for gracie. but all the ones they had were just way too fancy and expensive. i wanted another little potje like what i found at the HEMA in hengelo: cheap (like 3 euros), durable, and simple. good luck here in texas, where EVERYTHING is bigger!
we settled for a "dora the explorer" toilet seat cover, which essentially makes the size of the toilet seat smaller, so she could sit on it comfortably without fear of falling through and into the toilet bowl beneath her. and it was cheap. bonus!
this worked for several months, but the problem started around the time gracie turned 2 (omg, a LOT of problems began around the time gracie turned 2). it was around then that she became, besides very very bossy, very very independent. and this whole needing-to-be-lifted-onto-the-potty-by-a-grownup thing was NOT cool with her. we tried a step-stool next to the toilet, but no luck.
well, the weather finally turned nice. so gracie got to run around "naked butt time" as she calls it. we'd be out in the yard, and if she had pants or shorts on, she'd run over to one of us asking frantically if she could "be naked butt time." so we'd strip her down, and she'd run away, and crouch down, and pee. with her head between her knees so she could watch the peepee coming out! hilarious! (and a cheap way to water the lawn, too!)
it wasn't too long before our little genius figured out a way to improve on this. she'd insist on running around naked even INSIDE the house. which i was happy to do -- if my hippie child wants to be naked and barefoot, who am i to stop her? but the next thing i know, she's starting to let herself out to pee, like a dog! ha! i'd hear the back door open, and there would be gracie, one hand holding the door open, the other hand on her knee, crouching down with her head between her knees again, watching the peepee splash on the back step. like, she couldn't even take another couple of steps into the yard! noooo! she has to peepee right on the back step! (so now i have another mess to clean up!) then she runs back inside, all proud of herself, saying, "mama mama! i go peepee OUW-SIDE, mama! gwacie peepee OUW-SIDE, mama! yay!"
and of course, i'm proud of her too. way to solve your problem and be independent, doodlebug! now let's go clean up that pee puddle...
this couldn't last. it's gonna get hot, and that pee is gonna start to smell. so we better get her a real potty that she can use on her own.
we went to target, and finally settled on a relatively inexpensive froggy potty. and AS SOON AS WE GOT HOME she went peepee in it! now that's all she wants to do! no more peepee ouw-side anymore. she's even attempted (unsuccessfully thus far -- but attempted nonetheless) going #2 on the froggy potty. woohoo! we've put the froggy potty in a busy part of the house, so she doesn't feel like she needs to miss out on any of the action if she needs to use it (another downside of going to use the dora-seat on the big potty. nothing's happening in the bathroom, so it's boring to go in there. but with the froggy potty, we can put it in the living room, or outside when we're riding our bikes, or in the backyard if we're working in the garden, etc. she loves her froggy potty!)
yesterday was sunday. we went to a coffee shop with some friends and left the house at about 10:30 in the morning. in panties. and we didn't get back until nearly 2:00 pm -- we had even gone out for brunch. in panties. and came home in time for a nap, and she didn't have ANY accidents the whole time! what a big girl! she tells us when she needs to go peepee on the potty, and though she still won't go #2 on the potty, she will at least tell us when she needs to put on a diaper so she can do it. (i wonder if she needs to learn how to poop sitting down? she only seems to know how to do it when she's standing up, bracing against something like the coffee table or a chair or something.)
so she's virtually potty trained. she still wears a diaper at naptime and at bedtime, and when i take her to the gym (cuz there's 30 kids there, and 3 adults, and no way anyone would notice if mg was doing the peepee dance). she even wears panties to school, and MOST of the time doesn't have an accident. she's getting so big!
but now, here's the funniest story of all: this just happened today...
so, i'm going into her room to wake her up from her nap. but when i walk in, i see that she's sitting up quietly in her crib, and the whole room smells of diaper cream. "oh no, gracie! did you get into the diaper cream?"
"yeah!" (she says this like it's a good thing.)
"oh, gracie, we don't play with the diaper cream. that's not a toy, honey! come on, let's get you out of the crib and clean you up!"
at the foot of her crib is a shelf where we keep her diapers and diaper supplies. i think we must have left the tubes of diaper rash cream on the top of the shelf, where she could reach it, instead of inside one of the cubbies. so i take the cream out of her hands, put it in the shelf cubby, and start cleaning up the top of the shelf in general. i notice there's this old, poopy diaper sitting on the top of the shelf. and i think to myself, "dammit, adam," (cuz of course it's his fault, right?!) "you need to put dirty diapers in the trash! what if she would have gotten into the poopy diaper instead of the diaper cream? then what kind of mess would i have to clean up?!" i was totally irritated with adam (cuz again, it MUST be his fault, right?!). and irritated with gracie for playing with the cream, when we've told her time and again that it's not a toy. sigh.
so i'm taking her out of her crib, to strip the sheets and put her blankies and stuffed animals in the wash (since she was kind enough to put cream on the bottoms of all her friends too). then i notice, as she's walking away, that she's not wearing a diaper. and i KNOW i put a diaper on her at naptime.
and then i notice she's got diaper cream all down her legs and on her butt, too.
>and then it clicks for me:
"gracie, did you change your diaper?"
"yeah!" she replies proudly.
HAHAHAHAAAHAHAAA! gracie, big girl that she is, took off her poopy diaper, folded it nicely, put it on top of the diaper shelf, got the cream, and started to put it on her bottom! had she been able to reach the wipes, i have no doubt that she would have wiped herself too. what a big girl! i felt so bad for scolding her, when all she was doing was just solving her own problem and being the independent girl that i love and adore!
but still, we had to take a bath to wash off all the cream. and i had to run an extra load of laundry today. in spite all of that... it was totally worth it. she's such a big girl! and so FUNNY!
i was talking to my mom-in-law today, and told her this story, and after we both stopped laughing we thought that maybe instead of potty training gracie, we should just teach her how to change her own diapers instead. that way she can keep wearing the diapers (which she prefers to do anyway) and i won't have to bother changing any more poops! and then when she gets tired of changing all those smelly diapers, she'll be more motivated to use the potty... brilliant!
isn't that FUNNY?! omg, i love her. what a great girl she is!