February 18, 2010

Wee, widdle and WooHoo!

I still remember fondly the day Claire was finally potty-trained. Who knew M&Ms had another use besides filling up my belly while I watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart? The day came after many, many months of urging from well-intentioned family to start potty-training while - at the same time - an equally well-intentioned pediatrician AND a couple well-intentioned parent educators I met via the local Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program  encouraged us to basically ignore well-intentioned family (but thank them for their input) and follow the scientific research that basically says to wait until Claire's really ready because it will be a whole lot easier on Claire - and us.

Anyway, it's hard to pinpoint the exact day, so for the purpose of this blog entry I'm referring to the first day we ever left the house for longer than an hour after she'd been trained. I wanted desperately to outfit her in some Pull-ups (aka big kid night-night pants), but I was somehow able to ignore my natural instincts - the same instincts I've failed to ignore in the past that proved to be so wrong so many times - and we left the house, both of us wearing only underpants... under our clothing, that is.

The day started out like most Tuesday's back in the fall of 2009 - with a trip to the library to pick up a book or two and (usually) a DVD. Claire assured me she didn't have to pee before leaving the house, despite my pleas and urgings to do so. So we piled in the SUV and off we went. We checked-out a book about dinosaurs and a Pixar DVD ("Hoodwinked", I believe), and we were about to leave for the second phase of our trip - grocery shopping - when Claire declared, "I have to pee!" About 15 seconds later, I was horrified to discovered the Chaska Public Library doesn't have a family restroom equipped with a little kid potty, so I had to situate Claire and hold her on the men's room toilet seat while she attempted to go potty.  It's a delicate balancing act between propping the child on the toilet seat and actually having her fall into the can. If not performed in a precise manner, the child is certain she's about to be swallowed up by the toilet, and it leads to what happened next - Claire screaming "NO!" repeatedly and VERY LOUDLY until it was clear she was not going to pee. Not surprisingly, it was also the exact moment I became incredibly freaked out thinking the library administrators must be wondering what horrible act is taking place in the restroom?! So it was up with Claire's undies and pants, and off we went. 

Once again, I ignored my natural instincts of wanting to drive back home so Claire could use her potty chair. Instead, I drove directly to Super Target to get some groceries and my all important daily Starbuck's venti iced-mocha. Upon entering the store, I reluctantly asked Claire if she had to go potty, to which she replied, "No." Really? I didn't believe her, but what could I do? I already tried to make her go potty against her will before we left the house, and it didn't go very well. So after about 20 minutes, we were in the check-out line having our groceries scanned by the elderly cashier who asked Claire, "Are you helping daddy shop today?" It's a fairly standard occurrence that Claire ignores most every time. And on this particular day, Claire responded to the question by turning to me and saying - rather whining - "I have to go potty." 

After paying for our groceries, we entered the men's room and found it to be unoccupied. We commenced to the first stall and the delicate Toilet Dance of the Reluctant Tot began again. Astonishingly, this time Claire only managed to whimper "No" before producing a steady stream of pee into the toilet - followed immediately by a big grin and the words, "I did it, Papa!" We were both so overcome with pride and joy that I forgot to warn Claire before I flushed the toilet, and the restroom quickly filled with 140 decibels of what is apparently an incredibly frightening sound for a toddler to hear. So while we washed our hands, I promised Claire an apple juice from Starbucks if she'd just stop crying. It worked, and all was forgiven.

Unfortunately, it would be another month or two before Claire would ever use a potty chair to go #2. She learned instead to ask for a diaper when the need presented itself. Although something in the air usually gave us fair warning of when diaper time was approaching. But I still remember fondly the day Claire finally went #2 on the potty...


Brad and Hailey 7:22 AM  

Wow. Good job Dad! What a brave move taking her out like that! And can I just say Hoodwinked is one of my favorites.

Anonymous 10:30 AM  

So proud of you, Stewie!! Naiya still hates those loud toilet flushes and especially automatic flushers - no warning on those!


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About This Blog

Commentary from a stay-at-home dad on daily happenings and misadventures while helping raise a wonderful little girl. The goal is to employ wit, sarcasm and/or humor to make the blog pseudo-entertaining. Then again, setting goals never really worked for me, but maybe you'll chuckle anyway.

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