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Our 2-year-old has decided she is ready to potty train. Combined with the fact that it is 25 degrees outside, our dog keeps peeing on our snowmen, our twins have been out of school for over a week, my wallet was stolen on Christmas Eve, andmy husband’s basketball team lost by 40 points the other night—our toddler’s foray into toileting is making for a festive New Year’s holiday.


I almost pulled the potty training trigger around Christmas, since we were nearly out of diapers and since it really was time for Jane to be a big girl. But that particular morning, Jane resisted, and in the fray of trying to retrieve my compromised identity, we broke down and bought 52 more Pampers. Of course the next day, Jane determined she wanted to sit on her Dora seat—and sit, and sit and sit, only to get up and wet her pants two minutes later.


We have been captives in our house ever since. Being winter, going out would require bundling Jane into too many layers of clothing to make an emergency bathroom trip possible. So we’re just keeping her home—and trying to keep her off the couch. I know from experiencing potty training with our now 6-year-old twins that Jane will soon get it. But I wish she would step on it, already, so we can all move on.


In the meantime, my husband took Jane down into our carpeted, basement play area, against my advice, to try to kill some time. Sure enough, although she’d been sitting on a potty for about 20 minutes before her cellar adventure, Jane urinated all over the wall-to-wall rug. For the rest of the afternoon, Jane rotated in and out of two bathrooms, dragging her Elmo and Dora potty seats with her. She kept hopping off whichever toilet she happened to be on at the moment, saying things like, “I want to sit on Dora now.” Then a minute later, “I want to try Elmo.” I didn’t dare scold her, for fear of hampering the process.


When I took a break to visit a restroom myself, Jane peeled off heaps of toilet paper and shoved them into the bowl, clogging up the works. Then later I walked into the kids’ bathroom to see Jane fishing some soggy tissue out of the toilet. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” I screamed, unable to control myself. I shook Jane’s hands over the bowl until she unclasped the sodden paper and rushed her to the sink, where I scrubbed her fingers pink. “I just needed some paper towels,mommy!” Jane cried.


But last night after dinner, while sitting on the potty and playing with a sticker book on her lap, Jane called out, “Mommy! I went poo poo!” Even her brother and sister did a dance. I texted the news to Jeff, who was on his way to coach a basketball game. “That’s awesome,” he wrote back. “Maybe we’ll win tonight!”


They did. And I counted Jane’s accomplishment as a victory for all of us.


“I’m so proud of you, Janie,” I said, giving her a big squeeze.

“I so proud of me, too,” Jane said, hugging me back before going to sleep—in a Pull-Up.

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