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Potty Training Guide

by Jo Wilkie

It’s happened. Susanne is using the big girl potty. Finally. Whew. The first time, she suffered a bit of stage fright, but then she caught right on and was delighted to be just like Mommy and Daddy! Taking her to school on Monday in her big-girl panties, I was so excited to share with her teachers that she was going to join the ranks of the potty trained kids.

Don’t you just know that didn’t happen? Me and my expectations…

Let me tell you something about my daughter. She absolutely will not bother using the potty if she is anywhere near a diaper or a pull-up. Nope. Won’t happen. Why should she? She can use the diaper, for heavens sake! I tried explaining this to the teachers at school. I also tried to explain that as soon as she sat on the potty once, she would be fine.

I took Susanne to the potty area at her school and along came all the other teachers, talking a mile a minute. I told Susanne we were going to practice and she freaked. Started crying for a diaper. Honestly? I was furious (um, hello? Ego? You’ve met your match). The teachers were looking at me like I was the biggest jerk on the planet, insisting that my daughter can go on the potty when *clearly* she can’t (in their eyes). Of course I wouldn’t want to potty with ten pairs of eyes on me either… but to know that she can do it, she just needs to get over that initial hurdle, like she did at home. Grrrrrr. Believe me when I tell you, I was doing some serious deep breathing.

In any case, she is doing so great (at home) in her big girl panties. No accidents, so proud of herself (and I’m so proud of her, too!). As for the school, I’ve let go. I believe eventually Susanne and I will have a come to Jesus moment at a bathroom outside of our home- she will cry and refuse, then she’ll sit on the potty and go. All this fussing about toilets outside of our house will be over. Until that time, I am willing to accept that Susanne is going to do just exactly what she has always done at school- wear a diaper. And I’m going to keep doing exactly what I’ve been doing all along- learning more and more about acceptance and equanimity from my very best spiritual teacher and beautiful, spirited, daughter, Susanne.

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In other news, this weekend Mark and I are going on our first guided tour here in Rome. We will be visiting the Jewish Ghetto, a tour (and guide) I have heard terrific things about! I look forward to sharing some pictures with you next week. Also, next weekend, we will be doing yet another tour, that one of the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. It’s nice to feel settled enough that we can start enjoying the rich history of the city!

For both events, Susanne will be enjoying some quality time with her wonderful babysitter…

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