My daughter is wonderfully independent.
When we went to baby massage classes as all the other babies looked for their mothers reassurance my daughter tried to crawl to the other side of the room and stand up.
The first time I took her to playgroup she walked off and didn’t look back, her settling in period with the childminder took all of 5 minutes before she skipped off calling the childminder mummy.
I joked that she was desperate to get away from me.
Thank God for baby led weaning – no one managed to get a spoon anywhere near her mouth.
My daughter is clever, bright and funny, she will be 3 years old this month and I have absolutely no control over her whatsoever.
For a year now potty training has been a niggling thorn in my side. Friend’s children were ‘done’ at 2 but I was desperate to not be the competitive mum. To be happy whatever happened. To not put pressure on me or her.
Which you must admit is a lovely idea.
If only I had listened to myself. Every time I saw those huge soggy nappies dangling down my heart sank. And I learnt an important lesson: It’s easy to not be bothered about how your children are doing in comparison with others when your children are doing well.
How many times have I said to other parents ‘oh I wouldn’t worry about them not walking, they all do it in the end’ It’s easy to say when your own children just toddled off under their own steam within the prescribed ‘ normal’ time period.
When other children are doing something with no fuss and you are still struggling it is very disheartening.
This summer as the heat wave hit I decided it was time to potty train.
Unfortunately my daughter must have missed the email announcement and made a clear decision she was still going to wear nappies.
Like two knights about to joust we marched out under our banners: Me gaily waving Peppa Pig pants her clinging to her size 5+ Pampers.
Now I have read all the potty training guides and at no point does anyone say that getting into a daily battle with an angry two year old is a good way to go about it. There can be only one victor and I am no match for someone who thinks bouncing on a trampoline with a baby and a fork is a good idea.
We started off with treats and sticker charts, reading stories while she sat on the loo. Toilet training is fun! We ended up with her pissing in the street shouting ‘I want to wear nappies. I want to be different’.
I deliberately ran out of nappies she took her brothers nappy off, sat on it and piddled.
I dragged her kicking and screaming into the loo.
I coaxed her onto the potty with chocolate frogs.
I talked endlessly about friends and cousins who wore big girls pants.
She happily told me she would not be getting a chocolate frog everytime she pooed her pants.
She went to the toilet with my mum, my dad, Mr Eeh Bah but never me.
So we battled and I retreated again and again piss soaked and depressed.
I had hoped this would be a funny informative post about how to manage the challenge of potty training but I have literally no idea what works. One day she got up said ‘I think I’ll wear knickers today mummy’ and that, was that.
I have no idea what she is doing in the loo as she refuses to let me in, slamming the door in my face.
What I have learned is that sometimes you don’t want advice. You don’t want to know what worked for someone else. You simply want to hear that it doesn’t matter.
No pressure. No expectations.
The only problem is I have another child to potty train soon and I have learnt absolutely nothing about how to do it.
But there is someone in the family who knows what to do…..
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Coming soon ‘How to fail at being the perfect housewife’ and ‘Top 10 things a 2 year old should really not be playing with’.