Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Heathen Potty Training

Phase One: Naked
Cloth diapers promised us many things as a family; ease of eco-guilt, thrift, reduced diaper rash and easy/early potty training. These promises were more or less fulfilled, with one glaring exception. Toilet learning has eluded us for the most part. Our daughter never caught on to the fact that having a soggy bottom is no way to live. The bulky diapers totally prevented her from exploring her options as a nudist. Other mothers worried about spontaneous strip shows. I found myself encouraging them. Even prescribed naked time didn't seem to make her want to shed her diaper full time. The inability to undress herself has been my constant discouragement from starting the training process. All the books, the pundits and experts say that this is an important milestone, an indication of readiness. I had allowed myself to be sucked into the baby-rearing machine. I was checking my every move against the internet and driving myself crazy. I kept saying, I'll wait until summer and just let her run naked. I started fantasizing about summer. We are a busy family from the moment it gets warm enough to go to the park until it's time to pick the pumpkins. After the holidays we settle in for a period of hibernation until the temperature rises once again. I find myself in that period of isolation right now and I am bored. The pieces start to come together now and I realize that I do not want to be struggling with the worst part of potty training right when we are ready to emerge from the chrysalis of winter. How much fun will we have at the park or the pool if I am constantly nagging an increasingly resistant child to make a pit stop? Do I have anything better to do right now, besides baking and eating too many cookies? I woke up as if from a terrible dream and remembered that I am the decider! Off came the diapers and lo and behold the miracle of mindful peeing was born. The road ahead of us is long, but I am confident that by summer we will be in a place where we can go on our adventures without too much trauma. I can see that warm temperatures would make this phase easier. I would not hesitate to take my child to the park without panties on under her skirt, but she is 2.5 NOW and we'll just deal with the time table we've been given. I have no idea when we will be able to begin Phase Two: Panties, but it will come eventually. Stay tuned.

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