Why is it that whenever you start to think that maybe, just maybe, you might be ever so slightly getting a teeny tiny handle on this parenting malarkey something comes to bite you in the arse?
Today we started potty training the toddler. And what have we learned at the end of day one? Potty training is a sack of poo. Literally.
The eldest is two-and-a-half now. Nursery is looming and I’m beginning to feel the pressure a bit. She’s bright, articulate, ticks at least four of that six point checklist thingy and I haven’t had a WIP (wee in peace) or a PIP (poo in peace) for about a year and half now so she’s definitely interested.
I woke up full of positivity. We’d get this nailed in three days, a piece of piss (boom,boom). How hard could it be?
How wrong could I be?!
Turns out we have all the gear- potties, loo seat, pull-ups, pads- and no idea. I was armed with a huge array of cleaning products ready to tackle little accidents but what I wasn’t prepared for, what I hadn’t even contemplated, was a potty training toddler who wanted absolutely nothing to do with the potty.
Everyone in our house has been on the potty. Mommy, Daddy, the baby, Ewan the Dream Sheep, Anna, Elsa, Peppa Pig, every toy in the sodding toybox. Everyone, that is, except for the toddler.
By 10am, we were on pair of pants number four. She’d hit the potty, thrown the potty, bodyslammed the potty- anything but sit on it.
By 10.30am I’d texted the hubster dramatically declaring that that was it, our potty training journey was over. She was never going to get the hang of it. I was a failure of a mother. I was going to have to give up work forever and home school her because schools do frown upon eight-year-olds who can’t use the toilet.
It continued this way for much of today. I tried anything and everything you could think of just to get her botty on that potty, certain that if she just did it once we would be well on the way. The hubster came home and even tried to physically sit her on the potty but she did that weird toddler thing where she went all rigid, screamed blue murder and managed to overpower her 6ft 14st father with ease.
After bathtime we hit an all new parenting low. It was Elsa from Frozen’s turn to sit on the potty and I was getting desperate. Let It Go was playing for the 150th time that day from the musical box in the toddler’s bedroom. Suddenly I was struck with a burst of inspiration and before I knew it I was singing. I was singing like I’d never sang before.
“The potty glows white on the mountain tonight, not a nappy to be seen,” I warbled.
“A kingdom full of potties and it looks like you’re the queen.”
Blank face (from the hubster as well as the toddler.) I carried on undeterred.
“Your wind is howling like a swirling storm inside, don’t keep it in, heaven knows you’ve tried.
“Let one go, let one go, can’t hold it in anymore. Let one go, let one go, the potty’s better than the floor.
“I don’t care what they’re going to say, let the nappy bore off – the potty never bothered me anyway.”
The toddler stopped in her tracks. She looked at me. She slowly eyed the potty and then……she wee’d on the floor.