Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mila the Big Girl

I think of all the milestones a little person undergoes in their first few years, learning to potty is my least favorite.  Unlike so many of the milestones that happen naturally - getting that first tooth, taking those first steps, even sleeping through the night, potty training takes so much effort on the parents' end...and it's so unpredictable...and sometimes, it just sounds easier to change diapers.  But, after experiencing unexpected success with ridding our house of Mila's precious paci earlier this year, we decided to capitalize on our momentum, keep our calendar wide open last weekend, and try this potty thing out, simply to see how our girl would do.  I did my best to give up control of how things would go, planned to celebrate the little successes, and not expect a single thing.  It was a simple, "let's see how this goes" weekend, and I had every intention of sending her to school this week with diapers and plans to try again soon. 

Oh, ye of little faith. :)

Friday afternoon, I went to Copy Works and printed a free Princess Potty Chart to hang up by Mila's little potty chair.  I bought some new pink stickers, some celebratory jelly beans, and a pack of little Hanes panties.  Don't get me started on these adorable little panties.  I organized a little potty station in the bathroom, knowing the only way my headstrong little lady would buy in to any of this would be through attention, praise, and lots of pretty things.  We went for a walk at the park after school, to which Mila worked up quite a thirst, downing an entire bottle of Bug Juice on the way home.  Turns out, this was not the best way to initiate the potty thing, as I'm pretty sure Mila peed every twenty minutes for the next three hours - a few times in her potty, to which we celebrated relentlessly, but most of the time straight through the entire pack of her brand new Hanes panties.  About an hour after I initiated the start of potty weekend, I caught Beau shaking his head from the kitchen with a look on his face that screamed quitter, and I pointed my finger at him and said, NOT YET!  We put her to bed (in a diaper), I started a load of laundry, then made a late night trip to Wal-Mart for not-so-princess-potty essentials, including some carpet cleaner, a package of pull-ups, and two new packs of (adorable) panties. 

Saturday we woke up to a completely different story.  What started in the morning as marches to the potty every 15-20 minutes, soon evolved into visits every hour, and by the end of the day, Mila was telling us when she had to go.  She filled up an 18 slot potty chart by the time she went to bed Saturday night, without one recorded accident.  She even pooed on her potty, AND woke up dry from her nap, two HUGE milestones that I seriously couldn't believe on her first full day of trying this thing out.  It all seemed to click with her so fast and just like I expected, she thrived on the attention and the big girl accolades she received.  It became this family affair all weekend, the four of us gathered in the bathroom nearly every time, singing the potty song Beau wrote for her, Cruz helping her get the sticker off her sheet, and me tackling the rest of the business, of course.  Our weekend, that at first seemed so dull and daunting, turned into this sweet little unexpected lens into everything I love about this stage in our life.  Mila in her little dresses, sitting like a pro on her potty, usually holding a baby doll, staring at me with a look of such concentration, then her blue eyes lighting up with another success.  The endless "Mila, do you have to go potty?" questions, often followed by high-pitched squeals and tippy-toe runs to the bathroom, usually with Cruz not too far behind.  And my heart, swelled up with pride and adoration for these sweet little souls that are too smart for their own good.

Mila has continued to take on this potty thing like a seasoned champ.  She wore undies to church Sunday morning, to school Monday, and hasn't had an accident yet.  Today, we ventured to Iowa City to play at the Children's Museum, and Mila conquered an hour and a half car ride, public restrooms, and automatic hand driers without an ounce of fear.  It's so funny, she walks with an even bigger bounce in her step than before, and seems to embrace her new big girl status in ways I didn't know a two year old could comprehend.  She showed us, and this potty training thing, that it's got nothing on her.  She's a force to be reckoned with. :)

It's funny, but I didn't expect to feel so much about my little girl learning to go potty this weekend.  Suddenly, she just looked so much older to me, and I started to see this little window into all these milestones we're going to hit along the way, all accompanied with that deep sense of love, pride, and adoration for who she is and who she will become.  Potty, preschool, prom, permits, it's all important, and she'll handle it all in a way that'll be just right.

But hopefully not always with a princess potty chart. :)


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