We are entering a new phase in this household and it is called Potty Training.
I bought Violet a potty chair several months ago while visiting my grandmother in Indiana. There was a Target store nearby — I absolutely love Target — and I shopped there three times in the week I was in Indiana. I must have been running out of things to shop for if I resorted to buying a potty chair for retail therapy.
I haven’t pushed the issue of potty training much at all. A few months ago, it looked promising; I actually thought Vi might be a potty chair prodigy. She went #1 in the potty several times after her baths and was very excited when I rewarded her with a little bit of Mommy’s lipstick. That girl loves lipstick! After a few days, though, the novelty wore off and when I’d ask if she wanted to use the potty she’d say in her curt, elfin way, “No.” Alrighty then.
I’ve never done this before. All I know is what I’ve read in magazines and what my mom has told me about when she potty trained my niece and nephew (separately) in a weekend. I’m not quite ready to put Vi in cute panties with Elmo on them and follow her around the house with an absorbent towel and carpet cleaner. Part of me also knows that it will be a real pain in the ass when I do finally get her out of diapers and then when we’re out-and-about in town she announces at the most inopportune times that she has to go. Now. I would be relatively content to leave her be for a while longer and let her decide when she’s ready (as one theory of potty training suggests), if it weren’t for the diaper rashes. I’ve been fighting them ever since she was a baby, even going so far as to pay $30 for a tiny tub of prescription butt balm — which didn’t work much better than Desitin. The most effective thing I’ve found to do — and we’ve been doing it for nearly a year — is to use Viva paper towels soaked in water instead of traditional baby wipes. For whatever reason, it is gentler on her bottom and allows it to heal faster. Even the alcohol free, sensitive wipes are too harsh for her when she has a rash.
So twice in the past 24 hours she has gone in the potty. In lieu of lipstick, she’s been able to pick a sticker out of a small stash I had set aside whenever she did so. I thought I’d make it more fun for her and make a chart where she could stick her stickers (since she always wants to stick them on Mommy). Naptime was spent making the chart — which turned out much more boring than I imagined, but more stickers = more excitement — and going through my extensive sticker stockpile.
I have collected stickers since I was 6 years old. There used to be entire stores dedicated to sticker collecting. My friends and I used to trade stickers. There were puffy stickers, scratch and sniff stickers, stickers with googly eyes, stickers with some kind of oil inside so if you pressed on it with your finger it oozed around and made cool colors, fuzzy stickers, hologram stickers…. You get the picture. I was stuck on stickers. All my old-school stickers are stored in the bookbag I had in 1st grade. Since I can’t use these acid-ridden stickers in my scrapbooking, I figured why not spread the joy and let Violet enjoy them. She may even recognize a few characters, since I’ve been allowing her to play with my old Strawberry Shortcakes when Mom and I are out working in the garden. I just set her up at a low table and she’ll play with ’em for at least a half hour!
I can’t explain why, when she woke up from her nap and I excitedly showed her what I had concocted for her sticker-viewing pleasure, she burst into hysteric tears which would not subside until the chart was securely stowed away on the kitchen table. Huh. Maybe it was sticker-shock?