Shown here are Samuel's barn theme potty chart (now covered in stickers 2 1/2 weeks later!); the toy bowl for use in distracting the little man to keep him on the potty; sheets on the back of the bathroom door which he colored with each potty success; farm themed bathroom reading (like father, like son); and, of course, the bathroom door decorated to look like a barn door.
As for how it all went, here are my major reflections.
1. Samuel is doing great at this. He peed 4 times in the first day - in the potty! Had a few accidents, too, but that's to be expected. In the days that followed, I expected - mostly because of the book's promises - that there would be very few accidents. Not the case. It really took about a full week for him to consistently hold it until we asked him if he needed to go, or initiate going. At the one week mark, we were down to about an accident every 2nd or 3rd day. That has continued. It took about a week, also, for him to be dry during naps. Now he has been doing naps in his underwear for about a week, accident free! We think he is dry in the mornings about 50% of the time, so he'll stay in a pull-up at night for a while longer.
2. My expectations were too high. The book essentially promised that if you did everything according to her instructions, your kid would be potty trained in that one day. Well, he still doesn't always initiate going - we have to ask him about the time we think he needs to go. And I think that's OK, as long as we don't have to have constant costume changes!
3. Potty training is good for parental character development. It took me to the end of my own patience and forced me to ask the LORD for help. That's a good place to be, if you ask me. Psalm 103 has been my mommy passage over the last few weeks. I am learning to look at my kid the way God looks at me - He sees the reality that I am just dust, I mean, come on, He made me. And yet He has great compassion for me and patience toward me - which is really fabulous news when I consider the depths of my own sin. So that has helped me to look at Samuel as a two year old who can't even put on his own shirt - helpless in so many ways - and learning a totally new developmental skill. When I view it this way, I realize that he needs me to be compassionate and patient with him just as the LORD is with me. Plus, I find that Psalm 103 gives me eternal perspective and helps me dwell not on this passing phase and frustrations associated with it, but on the character of my Father in heaven, whose benefits are literally life-saving and life-giving for the heart.