"We like for our students entering Exclusive - You're - Lucky - We - Even - Consider - You Preschool to be potty-trained prior to the first day of class."
These words filled me with an unreasonable amount of dread. The truth is, I've been very lackadaisical about the potty training of my 2-1/2 year old daughter, Alex. The truth is, I assumed that at some point she'd decide to wear panties on her own -- after all, how many healthy high schoolers do you know who wear PullUps?
The truth is, I was sort of hoping her preschool would handle it.
Realizing that the school had decided not to so accommodate, we've begun Potty Training Boot Camp at our house in earnest. Since returning from our summer holiday, we've eschewed PullUps for panties adorned with cute little images like stars! And bunny rabbits! And monkeys, for the love of Pete!
And because everything I've read has told me that I shouldn't scold her, and that my tone should be warm and supportive, I've been walking around sounding like one of those annoying New Age meditation audio tapes: "Alex, and noooow it's tiiiime to pee-pee in the potty. Thaaaat's it, sit comfortably on the potty. Now, relaaaaax. That's it, relaaaax."
Thankfully, after a couple of weeks, she seems to be getting the hang of it. I'm not saying she's accident-free -- there have been a few instances of her shrieking "I have to POO-POO!" while racing to the toilet like a cowgirl with saddle sores, and not quite making it. Still, it's clear she's trying, and in my book, it's the effort that counts.
What is starting to concern me, however, is that lately, my every thought and word seems to revolve around pee-pee and poo-poo. "Let's go pee-pee!" I call dozens of times a day. "Alex! You poo-poo'd!" I exclaim, usually immediately followed by the Potty Chair Cabbage Patch Celebration Dance. "Go tell [insert friend's name here] what you just did," I tell Alex excitedly, much the horror of many a recent dinner guest.
But the worst was a few days ago when I was busy pulling up Alex's panties, and she was equally busy looking into the toilet bowl, admiring her work.
"Look, Mummy!" she said, her eyes shining. "There's a Daddy poo-poo, and a Mummy poo-poo, and a Baby poo-poo!" She looked up at me, smiling widely. "And they're a FAM-ILL-LEE!"
"Yes, darling!" I beamed back, my eyes moist with pride. "A poo-poo family!"
Clearly the first day of preschool cannot come fast enough. It appears my very sanity depends on it.
Karen is a recovering attorney, now full-time writer and photographer, living in her native Trinidad & Tobago. She's currently working with specialists to ease the word "poo-poo" out of her lexicon.