After our 8 days at home potty training, I arrived at nursery pleased as punch with our efforts. The staff seemed relaxed and happy with our plan, we had brought her lots of changes of clothes. Just before I left I took J to the toilet and she had a pee, I danced and whooped all over the place, and then she went off to play with her friends and I thought “Yup. Nailed it”. When I came to pick her up I was told she had been for a wee with a very smiley member of the nursery crew but had a couple of accidents. To me that’s great. She weed once with a staff member, that’s good enough for me for the first day at nursery. The next day she didn’t have quite as much success.
“She’s wet herself but she’s also cried and seemed quite stressed” one of the nursery’s staff informed me as I picked her up.
“Have you been assigned to her all afternoon?” I asked trying to sound carefree. She confirmed this was the case.
Now, I felt kind of angry with this if I’m honest. Why all of a sudden is she upset when she wets herself? I’ve never told her off for it. I’ve never suggested it’s a bad thing. All I say is oh dear never mind, next time we’ll get to the loo. So what are you, lady, doing to make her cry and feel stressed? I looked her dead set in the eye.
“Well it’s no problem if she wets herself is it? We just clean her up and she can have another go next time.”
“No, but potty training is a total nightmare. When I potty trained my kids, when they went to nursery they wore pull-ups”
Hmmm. Now I’ve got nothing against pull-ups – they’re quite a useful tool at the beginning. But I didn’t want to confuse J. Making her do one thing at home and another at nursery isn’t consistent and with kids, consistency is key. I love our nursery and obviously I’m a big fan of the childcare industry otherwise I wouldn’t have been part of it so long, but I was getting the distinct feeling that this particular lady was projecting her feelings around potty training onto J.
“She’s been very relaxed about it at home,” I answered, doubtless betraying every bit of the annoyance I was trying very hard to hide. “And we have been doing our best to help her feel fine about it. I’m a bit concerned that she’s been getting stressed here – the last thing I want her to be is stressed out. I’ll take her home for the weekend and see how she does and then I’ll come back on Monday morning to discuss how the weekend went and how we are going to progress forward.”
And I left the building feeling like I might take a leaf out of J’s book and hand that lady a poo next time I saw her.
We had a good weekend and only had one accident when we were playing on the beach. But who doesn’t wet themselves on the beach? Oh really? Just me then?
My partner Jelli and I went in on Monday afternoon armed with J’s potty and passive aggressive smiles. United parent front.
“We just wanted to discuss J’s potty training and how it’s been going at home and how’s it’s been going here?” Smile.
We discussed how we do it home and how they could perhaps emulate it here. We explained that we didn’t want her to feel stressed about it and we definitely didn’t want her to feel that when she has an accident it’s naughty. This was met with a chorus of yes and no’s and nods of agreement. Everyone seemed on-board. The staff boosted our confidence in them and in our plan – we were all much happier.
We came back later that afternoon and hurrah she had two pees in the potty but only one accident – but she’d told them and just hadn’t made it in time. Win!
The next day she had no accidents. Success! We picked her up excited, thinking what amazing parents we were. All it took was a pep talk and we just turned it all around. We told J that we were going to go to get some ice cream as we thought we all deserved a treat. Yay J! She was very excited. Walk in the park this potty train malarkey. We went to the shop and as we were staring through the freezer door, I heard the sound of dripping. I turned to find J looking casually at the floor as if it wasn’t anything to do with her, with much the same expression of accusatory surprise a dog gives its own bum when it farts. She pointed down “Mummy, wee wee!”
I looked down at the puddle and thought that some people might be of the opinion that this well-known giant superstore might deserve it.
“Oh woops lovely, never mind, we’ll clean it up.” Onwards and upwards.