I should tell you that I'm a prude, and very opposed to talking about ones and twos. Not just on my blog, but in life. I don't like toilet talk.
So toilet training Abbey has been an interesting experience.
You see, teaching a toddler to use a toilet involves facing up to the fact that sometimes these things need to be talked about. Here's how it's all happened for us...
- Endless explanations are the first step, and involve talking to the toddler about what happens on the toilet, step by step. How does one know when to go? Why do some stand and others sit? What's toilet paper for? And why shouldn't an entire roll be played with? What about flushing - why shouldn't she press that button every five seconds? Why do I squeal when she tries to press said button while I'm still sitting there? And why can't hands be washed with an entire bottle of liquid soap? All of this is actually lots of fun.*
- I like to use books to cover any topic that needs explaining, but really, this might be going a bit far. Especially when the requests to read these books are so constant. We read one book about toilet training (Time to Pee by Mo Willems) whilst Abbey sat on the potty. It was kind of fun.**
- Three days of constant watching, hovering with a potty nearby at all times, was involved. We were housebound, talking about toileting constantly. And the ensuing frustration when we turned our back for two seconds and the floor scored again (thank goodness we have floorboards!) was almost unbearable. It was great to have that family time, though.***
briberyincentives came into play. Despite my best intentions, and being convinced that my little girl would be happy to do what she was being taught just for the pure pleasure of seeing her Mum happy, I resorted to stickers. This didn't work - she knew she could have stickers anytime, so why go to all that effort for one little sticker? We then resorted to the lowest common denominator: lollies. Let me just say that I'm against little ones having lollies - I don't believe they need all that colouring and sugar, and I've worked hard to keep her from eating them in the past - but, well, I made an exception.**** And it worked.
It only took three and a half days for her to get the concept, though, which in all seriousness was great. We were, and still are, so proud of her. We can now go out without nappies (except at night) and she doesn't even expect
* It's fun for toddlers, or adults who like spending enormous amounts of money on toilet paper and soap, or having their bum flushed on.
** It was fun for Abbey, who wasn't sitting there thinking of all the other things she'd rather be doing instead of reading books about toilets.
*** I'm lying. I can think of much better ways to spend family time together than sitting at home talking about, and cleaning up, wee and poo.
**** That is, I became a hypocrite. Actually, no, I subscribed to that old parenting adage of Whatever Works.
***** This means that I actually just try to distract her when she's demanding lollies everytime she goes.