Tales from the Toilet: Potty Training Day 365

One year ago C and I started the journey from diapers to potty. My what a long and tedious road it has been! When I reflect back on this past year I see how C wasn’t really ready to be potty trained when I wanted her to be. Due to the fact that she was going to be in preschool in the fall, the push was on in my mind. And boy did I push. And boy did she push back! While we have been diaper free from that first day a year ago (and completely diaper free at night since December) this does NOT mean we have been accident-free. Not in the least bit. And that is okay. Just in the last month, yes, one month ago, did C start telling me on a regular basis that she had to go to the potty or going on her own initiative. This means that for pretty much the past year we have dealt with yucky messes and hiding and just plain grossness.

But we kept moving forward and we keep moving forward. While C still wakes up wet pretty much every morning we dry her off, change her pajamas and remind her yet again that she can get out of her bed and go to the potty at nighttime. Like she has eventually got it for the day, I am confident that she will get it for the night as well. It just takes time and patience. While I have plenty of time, it is the patience that I am constantly working on. This is what C is here to teach me (among many other things!). I am not in control. She will get there in her own due time.

So if you have a child that is just beginning potty training (or has been on the journey for quite some time) and you are at the end of your rope, just know that many have gone before you. You are not alone. They will not go to kindergarten in diapers.



My girls are stuffed animal fans. I have found that there are usually two different camps of girls – those that like stuffed animals or dolls. While both of my girls will play with the occasional doll, they do not sleep with them, they do not call them their “buddies.”

This shouldn’t surprise me since I was the same way. Before the days of “Pillow Pets,” I would sleep with all of my animals lined up on my pillow with a tiny space left for my head against the wall. I did this for quite some time and knew it was unique enough that I actually took a picture of it before I went to bed one night. I even think my sister (9 1/2 years older) snuck into my room one night to take a picture too. I hate to admit it but I still have a bin full of my own “buddies” in our basement. This bin has moved with me from my parents home and probably makes my husband question my sanity (just a little bit).

Of all my stuffed animals, my favorite by far was and is Poopasha. Yes, Poopasha. I am not sure how old I was when I named him but I think I was around 5. The age where you find the word “poop” extra entertaining. I remember my dad asking me what I was going to name the dog (who is brown) and I coming up with the name off the top of my head. Poopasha has not been regulated to that bin in the basement. He has a place of honor on my dresser and even went with me when I went away to college.

As Miss M is now 8 she doesn’t play as much with her buddies but she still keeps them on her bed and sleeps on a unicorn pillow pet. Occasionally she will let C have one or two for her bed but sometimes she will suddenly realize that she doesn’t want them to stay on C’s bed too long. A couple of weeks ago something happened between the two girls that made me realize that M was still pretty firmly attached to one of her buddies.

Before I get to that story, I first have to tell you about Doggie aka FluffleBally. He is C’s special buddy. She sleeps with him, talks to him and for him (in a special voice). He is looking quite worn already and we hope he will make it through the rigors she puts him through.

Now back to what happened a couple of weeks ago. All of a sudden M realized that her Bear-Bear is now on C’s bed (where it had been for a couple of weeks at least). She suddenly wanted him back. C started crying that M can’t have him back because Bear-Bear is Doggie’s Daddy! M then started crying that she wanted her Bear-Bear back. Good times. The situation was finally resolved when I told C we would get her her own Bear-Bear to replace M’s. The next day we went and got Bearie the Bear-Bear, Doggie’s new Daddy.

I was really taken aback by M’s initial reaction. I didn’t expect the tears and complete exasperation on her part towards C having her Bear-Bear. Thinking back on it I realize that M was just rightfully claiming what is hers and that is good. So many times M will give into C since she is littler and also has a stronger personality than M. I am proud that M did not give in this time.

I am glad that both of my girls have these comfort items in their lives. I think it is always good and healthy to have something that you can confide in and be your true self to without feeling judged.

Buddies for life.

Comfort Items

Stuffed Animals through the years: (L-R) Bearie the Bear-Bear,Bear-Bear,Doggie/SnuffleBally, Poopasha

Do you have a stuffed animal buddy in your home?

Election Reflection

Yesterday was an interesting day. Not only was it Election Day it was also the 28th anniversary of my dad’s death. Back on that day in 1984, when he passed away, it was also an election day. He was a staunch Democrat so the joke was made after he passed that Bob didn’t want another four years of Reagan. He had a wicked sense of humor so he would have appreciated that one. I think it is fitting that on this particular anniversary we elected our first African-American president to a second term. My dad certainly would have voted for him. It makes me happy when I reflect on the things that would have made him happy.  So that helped to make the day brighter.

Another bright point of the day was seeing how excited and interested Miss M was in the electoral process. I always try to take the girls with me to vote but this time, Miss M. was especially interested in what the ballot said and what I was marking. I had promised the girls stickers from the voting place prior to going there. Unfortunately they were all out by the time we arrived (around 4:30pm). C was especially disappointed but we decided to make our own stickers at home and wait till Daddy got home to borrow his since he voted at 6am. This satisfied them. M enjoyed looking at the map and seeing all the different states turn different colors. I relished in her enthusiasm – even if it was partly a ploy to stay up a bit later than usual! M kept asking when we would know who was voted the next president. Both J and I told her that it won’t be decided until after she went to bed and maybe not even until after we went to bed as well. We were right. Although many networks declared Obama victorious by 10pm central time, no speeches were given until 1am!

When M woke up this morning, her first question was Is Obama still president? I told her I think so but that it wasn’t definite when I went to bed at 11pm. So we went downstairs and checked the computer. Some funny quotes from the girls as they looked on and saw the new final map with all states colored in except Florida: Miss M seeing Florida not colored in “Wonder why Florida didn’t vote. Maybe their people fell asleep counting votes.” and C upon recognizing her state on the map “There’s our state, Illinois, a blue state!”

I love being able to share this with my daughters. We are so blessed to live in the times we do with so many freedoms. I can hope through my example of civic duty I will enstill in them (as my parents did in me) the blessings and power that comes from using your right to vote.