When Adi was 16 months old, Tía Janet told me that she potty trained her eldest at 18 months. This was wonderful news at the time. I figured I would just potty train Adi in 2 months and be done with diapers forever. I bought all the books, read all the articles, watched some creepy potty videos, and bought a pink princess potty that played music every time a deposit was made. A couple of days later, Adi sat on the potty and peed. Then a couple of days after that she peed in it again. Then again. And again. And Again. There was celebration. There was fanfare. There might have even been cupcakes.
Then it stopped. Adi completely stopped peeing in the potty. We reverted completely to diapers. Adi would now verbally tell me when she needed a new diaper, which was new since the initial potty experiment, but she insisted on using only her diaper.
Fast forward to 25 months. We were nowhere near potty trained. Adi hacked into her pink princess potty, removed some component, and can now make it play music without peeing. Adi would sit on the potty and then get up and pee on the floor, or pee in her diaper. I knew she knew how to use the potty. It was maddening.
I was ready to give up. I decided to put off aggressive potty training a few months. Maybe Adi needed some maturing, or more friends who used the potty. Maybe I needed to read another book or wait for an archangel to appear to me in a dream and reveal the secrets of toilet training. Then, last week, Adi walked up to me and told me that she pooped. There was no poop in her diaper. I asked her where the poop was.
I ran to her potty. It was empty.
“But there’s no poop in the potty, Adi”
Adi then informed me that said poop was in “Kitty” potty. I walked over and sure enough, my daughter had dropped a deuce right next to the cat box.
I need to take a potty vacation.
Potty Training is like dating. You don’t want to come on too strong on the first date or the young object of your scatological affections might get creeped out and not call you for a second date. You also can’t play it too cool or your toddler will pee on the floor. You need to make the potty exciting but not scary. Adi sees me use the potty so I started acting like it was the coolest thing ever. I bought another potty. The kind that fits over the existing toilet. Maybe (cross your fingers) she’ll take to that.
But what happened to the amazingly lavatorialy-inclined Figueroa genes? Turns out they might be recessive. I asked my mother about it. Turns out she sent my brother to his first day of preschool with a change of clothes and a prayer. Tia Janet then informed me of the same situation with her youngest.
For the past couple of days Adi will only sit on the pink princess potty to pee if she’s still wearing her diaper. Same goes for “the big mommy potty” toilet attachment. It’s better than nothing I guess. At least I don’t have to constantly clean the bowl out.
Rachel Figueroa-Levin is a soapmaker, cofounder and educator at Urban Babywearing, a hyperlocal Inwood blogger and organizer, a political/life/religion/parenting satirist, and all around trouble maker. She is also the creator of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Spanish-speaking alter ego @elbloombito. You can reach her via twitter @Jewyorican.