Most days, it seems like just yesterday that we brought Natalie home from the hospital, some days I feel every one of the days and nights in the two-and-a-half years since we brought her home. She has always done things on her own time and we have learned that we shouldn't force her when she isn't ready for something.
One thing that we had been thinking about starting for a long time is potty training. It is the "next thing" that parents start asking about, you know, "Oh, she isn't potty trained, yet?" with that somewhat disapproving look, but we decided that we didn't want to force her to do anything she wasn't ready for. Also, we were worried that once Philip was born she might want to go back to being a "baby" and we would have to fight the battle all over again. SO, we figured we would start gradually and go slow. Plus, my mom had said that no matter when you start, girls will most likely be day trained by 2 and a half and boys will be by three, so we had some time.
When Natalie was about 18 months old, we bought her a potty seat because our nanny said she would start working with her, which she did, which was great. So by about 20 months old Natalie was pretty much day trained, during the week-days. Evening and days? That was another matter. I think Phil and I were too lazy or didn't want to deal with accidents. Who knows, whatever the reason, we just kept her in diapers in the evenings and on the weekends. Then I decided one day that she was ready to make the jump to pull ups - so I bought a big box of them at Costco and brought them home to a very excited Natalie. She wanted to wear them RIGHT NOW and immediately took off her diaper, then immediately peed in the pull ups. I explained that these were big girl panties and she can't pee in them. But basically, she can, because pull ups are just more expensive, less absorbent diapers. So I put the pull ups away and decided that for Easter, the Easter bunny would bring her some big girl panties and a potty book. But then she was showing some major interest in using the potty, so we decided to give her the panties and book before Easter and it pretty much worked for a while...until she decided that she could pee in the panties and not worry about it. Such a struggle, so we decided to give up...so we did for a few weeks. Then we started again and whenever she wasn't wearing a diaper we would say "do you need to potty" or "be a big girl and remember to potty" about 500 times an hour. Which then resulted in Natalie responding to the "do you have to pee" question with "NEVER", so again we decided to stop, stop with panties, asking and prodding her to potty.
Flash forward to last month, when again we decided to start (gluttons for punishment) again. And something seemed different, she seemed ready, in some way. She was day trained in no time and then one evening while Philip, Natalie and I were playing and waiting for Phil to get home she had an accident and by accident I mean, she knew she had to use the potty and rather than going to the bathroom, she hid in the closet and peed on the floor. I grabbed her and raced to the bathroom and something in me snapped. Mean mommy made an appearance. We don't like mean mommy and I try to keep her hidden...but sometimes she is stronger than me. I told Natalie that clearly she was a baby and she would now have to wear diapers because she wasn't a big girl. Well, that sparked something in Natalie and through her tears (see, mean mommy) she told me that she was a big girl ("I big girl, not baby" - breaks my heart that I made her cry!) and she wouldn't wear the diaper. Well, clearly mean mommy gets results that calm rational mommy doesn't get because since then we have had (knock on wood) no accidents, and no need for diapers, except for night time.
Night time...ugg...the next diaper/potty training battle. I guess it is a good thing that she is so skinny, she can wear diapers for a while if needed!
So, long story short, she is basically potty trained and she has made one step farther away from being my little baby, because she is now a big girl.