It is no secret that our little Ella thinks that she can do anything that her older siblings can do. As a result, it should have been no surprise to me when she sat down on the potty chair on her own accord this past summer and went pee pee. But considering the struggle that it was to get our two older children potty trained, it still was a total shock to me. I have never had a child voluntarily sit down on a toilet and go the bathroom for the first time AND I have never had a child do this before his or her third birthday. In fact, in order to get that to happen for the first time with both Lia and Logan, it took many hours of talking about it and practicing it. So, needless to say, I was totally surprised and thrilled. However, I was not thrilled about the timing as we were leaving to go to Hawaii four days later and I did NOT want to be in the middle of potty training while dealing with airports and airplane flights and hotel rooms and constantly being on the go. As a result, I made a conscious decision right then and there to not go full-speed ahead with the potty training thing until we were done with all of our summer trips. And so for the rest of July and all of August, Ella went pee pee in the potty once or twice a day, but still wore diapers. Once again, I have never done this with a child of mine, but I told myself not to feel guilty about it as we would commit to real potty training on the first day of school after life settled down into a predictable routine.
So fast forward six weeks to the first day of school. After dropping Lia off at school, we came home, put on Ella's princess panties, and then set out to get Logan's haircut before his first day of PreK the following day. Ella promptly had her first accident right then and there in the hair place. Luckily not enough came out to form a puddle on the floor. After many of these "little" accidents that Ella never seemed to mind, I threw in the towel after two days. I just couldn't deal with it and I told myself that Ella wasn't "ready" because she never seemed to be bothered by having wet clothes on her skin. My mother was not pleased with this decision and had no problem informing me that I gave up too quickly, but I was just too tired and busy with life to deal with it. As a result, the rest of September and October passed in a blur. I kept on telling myself that I needed to give it another try, but kept on putting it off because there was always something else that needed my time and attention.
This all changed at the beginning of November when Ella and I were in her nursery class at church and I learned that a just-turned-two-year-old with a two week old sibling had just gotten potty trained. This news sent me into orbit! What mother of a newborn has time to potty train a barely two-year old?! After hearing that the father (who works from home) decided to take on the task himself, I felt a little better about myself, but it still made me mad. If this barely two-year old could be potty trained, then my two-and-a-half-year-old could do it, too! And that was all it took. Sometimes my competitive nature can be a good thing! So the next morning, on Monday, November 7th, I put Ella back into her princess panties and recommitted myself to making it happen. And I am happy to report that two weeks later, it is a go! Ella has only had a few accidents here and there, but luckily it is never enough to make a mess on the floor. And unlike her older sister and brother, she goes to the potty twice as much as they do, so the amount that comes out is always half as much making her messes a breeze to clean up. I am so amazed that I have a child who is barely two-and-half potty trained. I have heard about this world, but have never been privileged to live in it. Leave it up to my independent and head-strong Ella to decide when she was going to make this happen and to do it months before I ever expected! Oh, that Ella. I just love her to pieces and am so proud of her for being such a big, little girl!