The Ruark Kids

Number 2


One of the things I’ve missed documenting as Siena grows and time slips inexorably past is that she’s becoming a real champ with the potty. Sadly the timing of her first successful pee and poop on a potty are lost in the mists of time now, but it’s safe to say it was a few months ago.

Siena has transitioned from the infrequent, random, “let’s sit on the potty for 10 minutes and fidget” phase into a “I need to poop on the potty NOW” phase, which is fantastic. Unfortunately she’s also learned that we are not only training her, but she is training us. We will drop everything on demand when she says she needs to use the potty, and given that this is basically the one instance where she has complete control over us, she wields that power mercilessly. (Maybe we’re using the wrong parenting tactic here, which certainly wouldn’t be a first. But when she says she needs to go, we go. Once she can prove that she can hold it until we can get to a bathroom, it seems best not to deny her the potty when she wants it.)

A few weeks ago, a typical bed-time routine starting from the point where we’ve got Siena headed upstairs for bath was:

  1. Get out of pants/leg-attire and diaper (or pull-up, which we’ve been using recently too).
  2. Go sit on the potty for a while, try to read some books.
  3. Bath.
  4. Fluoride. Hair and tooth brushing.
  5. Read books.
  6. Turn out the lights, snuggle in bed, and sing some songs.
  7. Parental unit: “Goodnight Siena, sleep well.”
  8. Siena: “I need to use the potty.”
  9. Scramble out of bed and to the bathroom for another potty sit.
  10. Sit on the potty anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.
  11. Back to bed, and more songs if Siena is lucky, just tucked in if not.
  12. Optional extension step: Go back to Step 8 and repeat.

Very sneaky of her to extend the awake time by using the potty angle. Sometimes, though, she actually would pee during that time, so there’s a positive!

More recently, thanks to mama’s re-engineering, the above routine has been modified to put step 8 after reading books. So the final trip to the potty is just before getting into bed, with the hope that we don’t then get out of bed. It seems to be working great, so far.

Finally, some random notes on the potty activity to date:

  • We started with the books Once Upon a Potty and Everyone Poops. Frankly, we’re sick of both, but daddy’s probably more sick of OUaP at this point. Everyone Poops has a lion eating a carcass, which just never gets old.
  • Siena seems to finish on the potty sooner when we just get up and leave and ask her to call out to us when she’s done. When we linger in there with her, she’ll just sit and chat or read, because it’s more mama and daddy time for her.
  • She’s getting better about knowing she needs to poop *before* she poops. This means we can often get to the potty in time!

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