396. Potty Training Mayme
Well, it has been a long month. We started potty training Mayme 4 weeks ago. This was our third attempt in the last 9 months. It took about a full month, and I say that gingerly because I still don't feel we're 100% there. Oh, maybe I should say that we are and give her the benefit of the doubt. She is really doing SO well! It is very exciting! I know there will still be some accidents though. She is such a smart little cookie, so it was frustrating that it took her SO long to really get it. It was certainly a LONG month. It started out as expected, lots of accidents, lots of laundry. We handled them very well.
However, as the "3 days" dragged on to 4 day, 6 days, 7 days, frustration grew and weariness set in. It got more and more difficult not to get angry with her. It hit me that just because I knew that she could do it, didn't mean that she knew that she could do it. I quickly accepted that this was still going to take a while. I couldn't let the "3 days" go on forever. I had 3 other kids to care for and homeschooling to lead them through. Constant watching of a 3 year old wasn't feasible any longer. So, I yielded and began asking the Lord what lessons He had for me in this.
It isn't funny how quickly the Lord opens our eyes to the lessons He has for us when we are truly open to seeing and learning them. (I know He doesn't always do this, but often, more times than not, I've found that within seconds of asking what He wants me to learn, answers begin popping into my head.)So, here's what He showed me, this is the good He worked in my life through potty training:
1) The Lord is slow to anger. This is a good thing! He is so patient and long suffering with us. Think of all the times that we sin and stumble, when we KNOW how to do it, yet He is gracious and merciful and not condemning. I needed to learn to be more like Him.
2) I did a lot of laundry during this time. This was a GREAT way to help me get more disciplined about keeping up with laundry so that we didn't run out of sheets or underwear. Necessity is a great motivator! I admit that since she's been doing better (not wetting the bed at night or nap time, not as many accidents, not as many bad accidents) the laundry load has lessened, and so has my diligence. Still, I've learned that I really can do it--keep up with the laundry that is.
3) Small steps are still worth celebrating. Even if you haven't completely accomplished your final goal, any step in the right direction is still good and in the case of potty training, is still worthy of celebrating.
4) Encouragement is huge! This isn't a surprise, or at least it shouldn't be a surprise to you...I hope it isn't. It is amazing how much of a difference even a little genuine encouragement can make in someone's life. She knew when I was frustrated and I became very aware of the ways she reacted to my frustrations or anger, even when I tried to hide it. However, when I genuinely encouraged her and reassured her that I wasn't mad or angry with her for having an accident, she seemed settled and at peace. The more encouragement we gave, the more steps forward she took. The more encouragement we gave, the less time it took to get back up from our falls.
5) Slow and steady isn't bad after all. Weren't we told that when we were younger? We want everything to be fast and instant in this day and age. I'm guilty of this for sure! Being forced to wait for something is good for us. It develops character and makes the end result all the more sweeter. I learned not to fret when we made two steps forward and one step back, or even when it was one step forward and two steps back because ultimately we were moving forward no matter how slowly...we were moving forward. My attitude didn't always reflect this, I'm sad to say, but I knew it to be true in my heart. Slowly and surely, I knew we would get there.
I'm sure there are more lessons that I haven't touched on, but that's enough for now. Praise the Lord for potty training. Praise the Lord that He can teach us and work in us through any ordinary, everyday thing, and then the not so ordinary everyday things too. So, is potty training a toddler/preschooler in your future? Fear Not! God will show Himself faithful to you too. Let Him work in you during that time, and I promise you it will be a time you'll never forget...whether it takes 3 days or 30.
(In the middle of writing this, Mayme had an accident. :) See, I told you it would still happen, but it didn't upset me. I'm so thankful that she came to me right away and was able to finish the job on the toilet. Slowly and surely we're getting there!)
By the way, I mentioned above that we used the 3 Day Potty Training method. I did overall really like the method, advice and tips! I would recommend it to others without hesitation. Like I said, we had tried two times before to potty train our daughter and I don't blame her for the failure; it really was more our fault for not being consistent and faithful to help her enough, in many different ways. My first two children were potty trained in about 2 or 3 days easily just by putting them in underwear and pants, so I guess I just expected the same from her. Every child is different!! This method really gave me the push to get back in the saddle again and stick with it this time, no matter what. I didn't call in for help and mentoring as is offered through their website. And after a week or so, we began to realize that we had to change some of their suggestions as they weren't helping Mayme...so thanks to Daddy and a little tough love more progress was made. But overall, I was really pleased with this method and the help it gave us this time around.