Now I know that it grossly tempts the gods to blog about any sort of parenting achievement - you are almost guaranteed an enormous setback immediately pressing post. But despite the curse (and the fact that Sophie peed on the floor not two hours ago) I feel safe in saying that we have finally crossed the potty training hurdle. Not without a couple of accidents here and there, clearly, but in general, she is making it to the bathroom at least 90% of the time.
Holy sigh of relief!
Given the struggles we had with her, and even getting her interested in using the toilet, I wish I could say there was some great break through that finally made it click. Think of the parents I could help with my super secret potty training tips! And in fact, there was one change we made that suddenly made all the difference - although I have yet to really see how it correlates to proper potty usage.
I stopped making her take naps.
My justification was simple: she always seemed to poop at naptime, and for whatever reason she would neither come out of her room to do it, or tell me once it had happened. This left me with many many delightful, pooptastic discoveries whenever I went to get her up from a nap. It left her (and her poor, room sharing sister) with many many fewer toys, as there are limits to what I am willing to scrub poop off of, and barbies don't make the list. And it left me wanting to smash my face against the wall everyday, but only after drinking myself into oblivion.
So even though we had previously followed a strict naptime until you are 5 rule (which I guess wasn't that strict since Jack got to stop going to his room at 4 1/2 so Isabelle would stop driving me nuts during naptime), I decided to keep her out of her room. She only rarely slept anyway, and the activities she had been choosing to keep herself occupied were extremely less than favorable. I figured that I had a much better chance of getting her to poop on the toilet if I could remind her to go every so often.
Except she didn't ever have to go at naptime. And suddenly I realized that it had been days, and then weeks, since I had had to clean up anything poop related. Almost overnight she started pooping in the morning, and cleaning herself up all on her own. Curing leprosy my ass, THIS is the real miracle!!
So, we made it under the 4th birthday humiliation deadline by a hair, and barring only a tiny handful of accidents (and teaching her that at this point maybe mommy still needs to do the heavy duty wiping), we have achieved proper toilet usage. I still keep her in pull ups overnight since learning to wake up can be a little trickier, but to be honest her diaper is dry every morning, so I really think that the potty is no longer an issue. I can't believe it - I really thought this day would never come.
Now I just have to recover from the trauma before it's time to get Beatrice out of diapers.