That title may be a little misleading. These are not potty training tips, nor is this a list of life lessons such as "accidents happen" and "don't give up" that a child might learn through the process of potty training. No, these are more lessons learned by a mommy who has just potty trained her 3rd child. Potty training is tough stuff. Often tougher for the trainer than the trainee. But as a mom and the one who is with the children during the day, the "duty" falls on me (pun intended). Even though it is sometimes difficult, I’m sure that this too shall pass (I can't help myself) and I'll look back and cry...or maybe laugh.
Lessons Learned by a mommy while potty training:
1. A bad day or grumpy mood can be lightened with a spontaneous 30 second dance party...Whether to a nice chant about "pee pee in the pot-tee," to celebrate a small victory, or a quick spin around the kitchen with your kid to distract them from the fact that you're not letting them have any more sugar today.
2. If you do the dance party method of reward, be prepared for when your little trainee comes out the the bathroom singing to a restaurant full of people, "Poo poo in the pot-tee! Poo poo in the pot-tee!"
3. If you potty train your child (who also happens to be a little mommy-in-training) by demonstrating a doll using the potty, be prepared for your child to then teach ALL her other dolls how to use the potty. Additionally, be prepared to wash these dolls when they fall into the potty. See exhibit A below.
4. Scarves, while really cute and warm, should be removed when helping a child with their potty needs...unless you like wearing toilet water, ETC.
5. Don't let your daughter see the spare pair of panties you keep in your purse for "just in case"...not because it will show your lack of confidence in her (although it might), but because you may be having a nice lunch at a restaurant and look over to see your daughter naked from the waist down so she can put on the purse panties instead.
6. Purse panties DO come in handy for when your child has an accident...OR when she manages to completely miss the potty she is sitting on and somehow projects pee all over her panties instead...OR for when your water-loving child goes for a dip in the mall fountain...OR if you are at a social function and you play the purse game (a contest to see who has the most random thing in her purse.)
7. VERY IMPORTANT (and I learned and relearned this one with EACH child) When trainer is using the public restroom in the presence of a young trainee, be aware that certain locks on toddler-friendly lever handles will pop open when said trainee pulls (as she/he certainly will) on the lever...thus exposing you to the next person in line / entire restaurant / people resting their feet at the mall.
8. A little potty humor goes a long way towards keeping you cheerful when things really stink (sorry, I couldn't resist one more!)
Actually, Annabelle has been so easy to potty train. She has been excited about this new independence and getting to wear Minnie Mouse underwear. She still has occasional accidents but I am so proud of her for picking this up so quickly. Today, she couldn't decide which pair of Minnie Mouse panties she wanted to wear so she wore them both.