If you follow me on any social media channels, you already know this (because I have been oversharing everywhere), but just in case you missed it…
Harlow is potty training.
It’s important to note that up until last week, she expressed no interest in the potty whatsoever. In fact, I was beginning to think Harlow was diametrically opposed, and would continue shrieking and storming out of the room whenever the subject was brought up for the next 2-18 years.
I didn’t push though because Mazzy did the same thing and as I later found out, when Mazzy was ready, she was ready. No forcing or fuss.
I firmly believe you can’t and shouldn’t force a kid to potty train, but this is harder to do in practice as the months tick by and kids much younger seem to be using the potty no problem.
I would say things like, “Don’t you want to be a big girl, Harlow?”
And she would say, “No! I want to stay a baby!” so there was really no room for argument.
FYI, if you saw the potty dance she did a few weeks ago on Instagram, that came about because I saw Harlow make her poop face (wide eyes, like she has something to hide) and literally picked her up, ran to the bathroom and plopped her on the toilet. So yes, she did poop in the potty and she was very excited about it, but she was hardly “trained.” When I tried to make the same move again the next night, she screamed, ran into the corner and wouldn’t let me near her.
Then suddenly last weekend on President’s Day, Harlow changed her tune.
“Hey, Harlow. What do you say we take off your diaper and try potty training today?”
Really? Okay, then. Potty training for the day it was. (FYI, only parents would waste a perfectly good holiday by spending it locked inside a bathroom with a toddler.)
Harlow spent pretty much the entire day sitting on the potty, which was a giant step in the right direction (since in the past, she never even entertained sitting on the thing)— but she did not go once.
Later that afternoon, in the five seconds she left the bathroom to eat at the kitchen table, she peed all over the kitchen chair. She had a teeny tiny poop on the potty during the day but didn’t really “let it go” until her diaper was on later that night.
I figured Harlow wasn’t really ready and didn’t push it for the next couple of days.
Then, last Wednesday, I was at Mazzy’s desk asking her questions about her drawing, when Harlow saw the perfect opportunity to divert my attention back to her.
“I have to go to the potty!!!”
She was wearing a Snow White dress and lifted it clear up over her head, ran to her princess potty and did the deed.
She peed! True to her character, she got absolutely no pee on the dress whatsoever. Harlow is a total neat freak, if I have not mentioned that previously.
After Harlow was done, she called everyone in the room for her celebratory flush. We had a round of high fives and she did her now signature potty dance “Ooh La La” for the second time.
It was awesome. (Even if Mazzy and Harlow couldn’t land their high fives to save their lives. You might have seen their pathetic display on Snapchat: ilanawiles).
It’s only been a few days since that first pee and so far, Harlow is still in diapers when we leave the house but at home, she’s running around in her undies and using the potty as needed. It’s worth noting that we haven’t made a sticker chart, given her a single M&M or promised a big prize at the end. I’m not trying to brag; I’m just saying if you wait it out and do it at your kid’s own pace, maybe all the incentives aren’t as necessary. Harlow just had to decide it was something she wanted to do, instead of me telling her it was something she wanted to do.
Tonight, Harlow had her first real poop in the potty. It was magnificent.
MIKE: Do you need to take a picture of this to post on social media or something before I flush it?
ME: No. Definitely not.
You are welcome.