"use the force caroline"

4 days, 96 hours, 27 pairs of wet undies, 1 package of wipes, 3 bags of candy to taunt the pregnant woman, 1.5 rolls of paper towels, and countless accidents.

While the weekend was far from a wash, we are far from done. Our supportive ambivalence appeared to be backfiring on Saturday when she stood frozen, arms flapping, seeking help from Mommy, peeing all over herself in the afternoon hours without so much as move toward the potty. Yesterday morning I talked with her again about how it was up to her and I was here if she needed me, she just needed to ask, and how proud we were of what she was doing. I felt like Obi Wan reminding her to "Use the force." She made many solo trips all day, getting up from even her most beloved treat “Miss Spider” to try for a moment. Imagine the devastation when your attempt leads you to miss the ending of the show ushering in naptime. Not a happy camper.

Our biggest challenges right now appear to be sense of urgency and her complete reluctance to sit for more than 3 seconds. I even tried getting her to eat her treat on the potty for another 2 precious seconds, but it hardly made a difference. The urgency seems to be pretty common for new trainees. While the lack of actual sit time is a major issue for success, I am all for letting her go 10 times in a row rather than sit her in front of a program for 20 minutes knowing she won’t connect the urge to go with the potty sitting - accidental success.

I cannot even talk about the excretion of the other variety from yesterday without shuddering. If I wrote about THAT incident I don’t think I could ever blog again. It was just that terrible. Later when we were both able to look at one another in the eye again I watched her plop her baby on the potty reminding her to “push, baby, push!” I had to laugh at that one, in fact I may have laughed to the point of tears it was all just so ridiculous.

I think I may have learned more than she did in the process. Let her do it alone. Stop reminding. Help only when asked. Offer lots of support for the misses right along with the cheers for success. With all this attention to the potty I was able to predict about when the next deluge would occur – 8:45, 10:45, before or after naptime, 3:45, before bed. That is far more information than I had before and frankly more than any mother really needs to know, but taking some of the unknown out of the equation helped me cope a bit better. She is super clingy to me right now - her potty partner - but we are hoping that in time that will lessen as well as she becomes more and more capable of doing it all by herself.

The weekend was full of cheers and some disappointments, but we have definitely launched ourselves forward with gusto. As depressing as it is to consider that we spent one of just four weekends home between Labor Day & Colleen’s wedding in January doing this, we were really able to focus and ultimately - I think it was a worthwhile use of our time. Granted I kept imagining all the things I could have been doing with all this TIME, at HOME, with NOTHING planned, but I ended up with perhaps the cleanest house we have had since we moved, so it isn’t a total wash. Though my hair could really use a decent trim. And yes, four weekends home in the next four months. Laugh with me will you? I am already cracking open the calendar to plan which BC Football game(s) Caroline and I will be sitting out of because holy hell!

Not sure yet if school will be able to help us gain any forward momentum this week, but the plan is to continue the at home training in the evenings. She’ll get there!

Now if only we could speed the first fall cold out of the house.


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