Monday, June 2, 2008

Could It Be ... We're Diaper-Free?

I had given up hope they'd ever stop wearing diapers.

Despite all the nudging I'd gotten on potty training from friends and relatives and busybody strangers, I stuck to the plan: encourage, but don't push.

But it was the preschool teachers who took matters into their own hands, no doubt weary of changing a year's worth of diapers. Half the class was already trained when they clued me in, insisting Thing 1 and Thing 2 were dry all morning, and coveting other kids' Dora and Blues Clues underwear.

Usually Late Blooming Mom rails against rampant commercialism, marketing to toddlers, the Disney-ification of even the preschool set.

Not this time.

We'd already been making potty chairs and underwear available at home for many, many months, with only intermittent use.

But suddenly, peer pressure -- and the lure of cute theme underwear -- seemed to have kicked in.

So after a few choice on-line purchases from a site dedicated to potty-training products, theme underwear included, we sent them to school with underwear.

Within two weeks, they were wearing it every day (with a few rewards on the weekends -- they're bonkers for strawberry banana smoothies).

Within three weeks, they were willing to wear underwear at home too.

Of course, the accidents began.

Late Blooming Mom goes on record here to say she has never, ever, done so much laundry.

One weekend it seemed the washer and dryer were going round the clock. May the gods of Global Warming forgive me. (I promise I use earth-friendly, high-efficiency detergent). I should probably purchase carbon credits just for that weekend.

But now we're past the month mark, and visiting every bathroom in West Los Angeles.

They're all fascinating. Seat covers are cool. Flushing is too loud. Sinks with stools so kids can reach them (or step stools so Thing 1 can pee standing up and miss the rim) are the best. It's not unheard of for us to spend twenty minutes going potty in a restaurant. (One time we came back and our food was gone and we had to order it all again.)

The trips to the store to purchase new diapers have slowed to trickle. Yes, we still use a few -- pull-ups, that is, and only overnight. I'm too much of a softie to deprive Thing 1 and Thing 2 of their night-time sips of water, and they don't quite get that they can get up at night and use the potty if they need to go.

The money we're going to save going forward ... well, let's just say it's time to put some into the college fund.

And all my stress over when and how to potty train, and whether they'd ever, ever, ever really get there, has vanished like stormclouds after the rain.

Praised be the potty.

Now if only I can teach Thing 1 to improve his aim ...

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