As of yesterday, Natalie is the proud owner of 21 new pairs of big girl panties. She has, in about 28 hours, soiled over half of them. But that's okay! It's all part of the process.
After reading about a number of different methods, I've decided to just take this slowly and easily and be okay with taking a step back and trying again later if it's not working out. I'm okay with her being in diapers sometimes, but I'm giving her more opportunities to get in tune with her bodily functions.
I try to let her be bare-bottomed as much as I can. And there has been some progress. She used to be horrible- if we ever let her get away without a diaper, she would (seemingly deliberately) pee on the floor, watching with interest as she made a little dark splotch on the carpet. Now, she's comfortable with it and I feel like we can trust her a little more. Plus, I'm keeping track of when she goes so I can predict more accurately when/if she has to go. She loves to climb up into our bed and snuggle naked whenever she gets a chance.
This morning was AWFUL. Before 8:30, she had already had 2 accidents. I went to aerobics and had her in panties and training pants and she did fine. But she (understandably) doesn't like going on public toilets, so by the time we got to the library, she was full. She unloaded approximately one gallon of urine onto me as I held her on my hip. All other stops were cancelled and we went straight home to shower. Fortunately, we did snag a nice video at the library called "Elmo's Potty Time", which she watched with great interest:
She had 2 more accidents before nap time and I was feeling very frustrated.
This afternoon went much better and gave me hope. When she woke up from her nap around 3, I put her in panties and training pants and she stayed clean and dry pretty much until 8. And even then, it was during nakey time before bed and she had the courtesy to poop on the plastic sheet laid out in front of the TV.
We checked out 2 books from the library and have several more on hold. They help a lot. When I want her to try to go, she doesn't want to stop what she's doing. But if I offer to read her one of her potty books, she's much happier to come to the bathroom and sit.
Last night, Micah cleaned off a sweet kitchen set that someone had thrown out by the dumpster. Natalie LOVES it (as evidenced by the 2 accidents that she had on the floor right in front of it- she just couldn't pull herself away!) and I wish we had several more rooms to hold toys because the more we get the happier she is.
So, if you've read all of these details, I'm very impressed. You must have a deeply rooted interest in the eliminatory success of our child, and I thank you. Or if, more likely, you've been skimming, looking for the summary and uplifting conclusion, here it is: Some moments are up, some are down, but we are plowing through and I've lined up a friend with a carpet cleaner.