All of the above.
My first two potty training experiences were nightmares. I started Brother a couple of months after he turned two. He finally got it at about age 3. I waited until sister was well over three. She finally got it at 4 1/2. It was a full excruciating, frustrating year for each.
And all those moms that told me how they potty trained their children in a week, a weekend or even a day?
I wanted to hurt them.
Seriously. Hurt. Them.
If you are one of those moms, save the success story. I don't wanna hear it.
So this last time around, with Baby, I've said I was waiting until she was five. Until her curiosity was so piqued she was begging me to let her use the potty. I mean, I homeschool. I could TOTALLY get away with it.
However, she has been asking me to sit on the potty lately and being the sweet mommy I am, I have indulged her. In fact, on one occasion, I had to pry her from the seat kicking and screaming so I could put her to bed.
She is nowhere near five...not even three. We are NOT potty training.
So today, I saw her assume the position. You know...the squat, followed by the quiet, intense stare of focus and concentration. I left her alone to do her business and returned a few minutes later to do mine.
"You poo poo?" I asked, grabbing a diaper and the wipes.
"Uh, huh," she answered. But when I checked the diaper, it was clean. Nothing there.
"Baby, do you need to poo poo?" I asked again.
"Yeah, on the potty!" she exclaimed and ran full throttle to the bathroom. I followed and allowed her to put the Blue's Clue's potty ring onto the toilet seat, take off her diaper and climb aboard, as though she were an old pro. Sister sees her and, feeling it is her duty to impart all her worldly wisdom of five years unto her little sister, asks if she can bring her books.
"Bahbie!" says Baby. (Translation: Barbie.)
Sister brought her a Barbie book and a Sleeping Beauty book and brought over the stepstool next to the sink for Baby's feet. She told Baby what a big girl she was and I tore myself away from the heartwrenchingly precious scene to avoid the pressure...
I'm feeling a bit nervous. I know this is a pivotal moment. I know she is practically saying, "Mommy, please teach me!" Could it be that I actually have one of those fabled children who practically potty train themselves? I don't wanna mess it up. It's my last chance for redemption.
I return to find Baby hard at work. I sit on the bathtub beside her and watch. A few seconds later, we have success, and Baby looks to me with her face so small and beautiful and expectant, radiant with accomplishment.
I want to cry.
"Baby, you poo pooed in the potty!" I squeal, in a voice about three octaves higher than normal. She smiles proudly and Sister, hearing the merrymaking, joins the celebration. We clap. We dance. We hug and squeal some more.
"I do more!!" Baby announces resolutely and resumes her station.
We wait in silence.
Then comes the telltale "plop".
Again with the dancing. There's a party in the potty.
Just before bedtime, as I was changing Baby into her pajamas, I asked if she'd like to go potty again. She jumps up and runs to the bathroom, as though I've just handed her the keys to the candy shop.
How do I feel? Shocked. Elated.
So so proud.
Maybe tomorrow we'll break out the underpants.
Knock on wood.