As I may have said before, I hate potty training. The whole process frustrates me, though it's one of those things that all children go through and they all get there in the end. Though my Mum does say, she feared that my brother would end up wearing nappies to his own wedding as an adult! (He is not married, but was well out of nappies before school started, so is proof that you get through it).
We had a few false starts with E. She would say she wanted to wear pants, and we would encourage her, and then she would continuously wet herself. While she was at it, she'd wet the floor, her books, her toys, jisaw puzzles. I got fed up of drying stuff. After too many clothes changes we'd go back to nappies and start again. We wanted to encourage her, but her logic of wanting to wear pants + not use a potty just made for wet clothes. Like many parents we read all sorts online about how to deal with this issue. Bribery with chocolate buttons didn't work. Leaving her to be wet for a few minutes to feel uncomfortable didn't work. She just kept playing with her toys in wet clothes. So we gave up.
Then randomly, a few weeks ago now, she decided to wear pants again, but this time, was willing to try with the potty too. She still needed lots of clothes changes at first, but was at least trying. Initially she would say "I need a wee" once she had already started weeing. Then it became that she would say it and start before reaching the potty. But she learned to hold most of it in until she got there. We went to see the family at a weekend around that time and she got lots of praise for being a big girl and trying with the potty and this encouraged her enough that two days later she said "I don't wear nappies in the daytime anymore". At which point, her Dad and I were like "ok then!".
Going out was a challenge at first, because weeing in public was an issue. We have a travel potty/toilet seat but E isn't keen on using it like a potty. I remember a day at the local wildlife park where we did what felt like endless trips to the toilets, and multiple clothes changes. I can also think of a day at work that involved a train commute, massive tantrums at Southampton Central, the spilling of various drinks as a result, and my getting to work feeling like I'd already had a 6 hour day. (I picked myself up with a bacon roll. It was needed). Then there was that trip to London where she slept through the stop at the services, only to wake up the minute we drove out of them and say she wanted a wee while we were driving through roadworks. We stopped on the hard shoulder of the motorway as soon as we could, but our little princess decided that having Daddy in the back holding her on the travel potty was "too wobbly" and refused to go. So we set off again and she proceeded to wet the car seat. (To her credit, she still held on to a lot until the next stop!). It all made me feel so exhausted.
You see, while quite happy to wear pants and use a potty/toilet, E is STUBBORN. And strong minded. Determined to do things her way. All great qualities on many occasions, but not when she needs a wee and refuses to go on the basis that she is being asked! ("No I'm NOT doing the wee wee dance"). Or when she just doesn't want the bother of stopping playing to go. This leads to little "dribbles" in her pants before she'll admit a need to go, and head to the bathroom. So we're not longer changing full sets of clothes, just underwear.
But here's the rub - she stayed with her Grandparents this week, and was totally dry for 2 days straight, not a drop. She comes home and needs pant changes again. When asked why she hasn't kept her pants dry at home she says, "Because I won't". So we're still working on it. Just like we're still working on her allowing Mummy to brush her teeth, but that's another story.
Little monkey. I do love her. Despite the weeing issues we had a lovely day together after she came home yesterday. We even got out in some rare spring sunshine.