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Little Miss turns five in a mere two weeks. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but I know she’s thrilled about it (for the record, she’s asking for a snorkel and a Star Wars toy for her birthday).
I have other priorities than her birthday, however. Little Miss is still in Pull-Ups.
P0tty training my little girl has not been easy. With Mister Man, we told him how it worked, we told him what he needed to do, and twenty-four hours later, he was in underwe@r 24 hours a day. There are some benefits to having a perfectionist personality.
Little Miss was not so simple. When my parents took the wee ones to Florida a couple years ago while I was at a wedding, my mom put Little Miss in underwe@r and started pushing the issue. She wasn’t ready, and I wasn’t thrilled.
What I discovered eventually is that Little Miss is perfectly capable of staying dry and using the bathroom, but that she simply doesn’t care enough to do so. She’s perfectly fine continuing whatever she’s doing and using her diaper. And getting wet or dirty? She doesn’t care.
We eventually convinced her that she couldn’t do swim lessons unless she was out of diapers, and that motivation was the solution for her. Except during naps. And bedtime. And periodic oopses, always of the messy kind.
I finally took away naptime Pull-Ups when I realized that she could indeed stay dry during naptime if she chose but that if she had the Pull-Up, she’d use it. Bedtime – not so much.
We (read: my husband) accidentally put her to bed one night in her underwe@r, and she woke up at 2am saying she had to go potty. Ah-ha! We were golden, or so I naively thought. The next night, sheets were changed somewhere in the o-dark-hundred hours.
Needless to say, we quickly gave up on that idea. And now she’s almost five. Less than a month from it, and she’s my light sleeper. This is definitely something she’s capable of, so I decided to have a conversation with her about it.
Little Miss, you know you can’t have sleepvers with your friends if you wear Pull-Ups at night.
I got a blank look.
Peanut, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to wear underwe@r all the time and not have to take off your princesses?
She shrugged. Oh yeah… Pull-Ups have fun characters on them now, too.
Little Miss, you know that Mister Man stopped wearing Pull-Ups when he was 3 1/2. How old are you now?
Four and three-quarters.
Hmmm, was Mister Man younger than you when he wore underwe@r at night? Hoping, desperately and obnoxiously hoping that a little competition and sibling rivalry might kick her “anything you can do, I can do better” personality into gear
Three and a half is younger than I am now.
Right, so don’t you think it’s time for you to stop using Pull-Ups?
But I don’t want to!
Well, why on earth not?
Mommy, when I’m sleeping, I’m too lazy to get up to go p0tty. Ummm, are you kidding me? You’re four and copping to being lazy? Ohhhhh no.
Just so you know, when you turn five, you will no longer be able to wear Pull-Ups. That is one of your birthday presents, and if we run out of Pull-Ups before then… I’m not buying any more.
And then we realized on Sunday night at about 7pm that Pull-Ups were all gone. None. Zero. And so we began The Great Underwe@r Experiment.
After soliciting suggestions on Twitter (ahhh how I love Twitter), I grabbed all our spare towels to place under Little Miss while she was sleeping to make changes much easier in case of issues. My husband and I woke her up three times to go p0tty over the course of the night, and … she stayed dry.
The next night, we had the same routine, and she was dry. Tuesday, she had a solid accident in her underwe@r because she was too busy playing to go p0tty. *sigh* It had been almost a year. Tuesday night, we had the same routine and same outcome. And yesterday? Another accident of the messy variety – while we were out of the house, of course.
This is not an even trade.
Last night, my husband suggested we cut down on the number of times we wake her up. I reluctantly agreed, and she got a mere once a night midnight p0tty call. Amazingly, she was dry this morning yet. That gives me hope, and fingers crossed we aren’t trading again today.
So far as I can tell, she has yet to wake up to go on her own. That doesn’t bode well for my sleep. I’m ok for now, but once my husband goes back to school at the end of August, I no longer have anyone in the house awake in the middle of the night.
Someone tell me that I’m not setting myself up for massive piles of laundry!