December time last year mainly driven by the fact that I was SO over diapers I set about potty training Joss. We'd had a potty for her for a while and as any mother knows she usually followed me into the bathroom and we had been talking about how mommies and daddies do wee wee and poo poo in the potty. I had read a few books but nothing really fit us completely so took what I like from the books and in true Emma style decided to informatively wing it.
While we had great success as long as I sat her on the potty at regular intervals she never asked to use it and if I didn't regularly insist on her sitting on the potty an accident was a sure bet.
The combination of a stressful pregnancy, impending move, and knowing potty training with the arrival of a new baby is a bad idea I stepped back. While I knew that it was unlikely that she would be the five year old still not potty trained there is certainly lots of pressure from others and self pressure when it comes to potty training. Well meaning grandparents who recount the fact that their children were potty trained at 18 months (congratulations here's your trophy) to the play group mothers who proudly announce their little Einstein potty trained in two days and before their second birthday as your child shouts from across the room "mom I did a poo in my diaper"
In my head I figured if by August Joss was showing no interest we would broach the subject again but in the mean time I needed to survive the first crazy month or two of a newborn.
The middle of June Joss started talking about how Jasper did his wee and poo in his nappy but (insert every adult she knew) did their wee wee and poo poo in the potty. She would even occasionally ask to use the the toilet usually at the most awkward moments like in the grocery store as far away from the toilets as possible or at the play ground where the toilets are across a huge field. While I fulfilled all request to use the toilet they were few and far between and with a small baby I didn't push to move the process along.
The last week of June we spent a Saturday night at friends who have two girls one six and one a few months older than Joss. The younger one had just recently potty trained and Joss was amazed watching her go use the toilet on her own and commented on her big girl knickers. We spent the night there and after a horrible night of about two hours of sleep Joss was up and marched to their bathroom and in true Jocelynne style announced she needed a wee and she was doing it ALL BY HERSELF. My somewhat snarky sleep deprived response was fine but leave the door open so if you fall in the toilet I can come get you out. The rest of the day she asked to use the potty at regular intervals.
Monday morning after a bad night with Jasper and completely sleep deprived knowing daddy was off to work I made a really tough decision to capitalising on Joss' interest in Amelia's big girl knickers and pulled hers out from our earlier foray into potty training. I will be honest it was HARD not because I was pushing Joss to do something she wasn't ready for but more due to a not yet six week old baby to contend with as well but Joss was more than ready and willing. There were many times when Jasper had to fuss for a few minutes before getting settled for a nap or a feed as Joss' need to go potty eerily almost alway coincided with Jasper's need for attending to, Jasper had more than his share of nursing sessions with me sitting on the bathroom floor. The learning curve was quick with few random accidents after the first couple of days. Joss however remembered that treats were offed for wees and poos and insisted after her first success. She was easily weaned off of treats for wees but not so for poos. After about a week of success in both categories I pulled out the big guns and offered an even more tempting offer than chocolate buttons of "special ice cream" for a whole day with out accidents. On a whole it works well and Joss knows that after diner we will make the slow walk up to the corner shop to pick up her treat and if the stars all align it tends to be the right time to wind Jasper down for the night and the push chair ride is just the right length of time to get him to drowsy and transfer him into the cot.
There is still the odd accident when mummy gets pre occupied or when Joss gets too engrossed or is afraid she will miss out. There is also still the need for mummy to help if I am attending to Jasper when all other times she wants to DO IT HERSELF.
As with EVERYTHING else in her short three years Jocelynne did it her way but this mama is breathing a sigh of relief that she won't be turning up to the preschool gates in September with her eldest still in diapers