Let me start off this Potty story by sharing Liam's experience. Liam was a bit of a challenge to train. I shared some of his story in this post. The end to that was, while perfectly capable of going to the toilet, at the age of 4 he still just didn't care and if he was too busy playing, he would pee his pants and keep on playing. Accidents once a day, three times a week was his normal. He's 4 and a half now and only in the last month have I not had any bags of clothes come home from school - Yay! I think it comes with maturity and also a sister that is potty training too (a little competition never hurts). I came to realize that perhaps I had started Liam potty training too early (at 2 and a half) and maybe should have waited longer. So I thought, for Adeleine, I won't push it, be over excited about it, I'll wait until she's truly ready before we start. I was expecting anytime after 2 and a half I would begin to look for signs. Then the poop began.
November 2012. Adeleine is 2 years and 3 months old (her adjusted/developmental age is exactly 2 years old). She begins to do crazy shit. Literally.
She removes her full poopy diaper in the living room, smearing it down her legs. Gross. I catch this and immediately throw her in to the tub. See this post about my reaction to "Poop mess".
Then another time she removed her full poopy diaper in the bathroom (good), smearing it down her legs and walks away leaving it there, only to wander around the house with poop all over her (not so good).
*The time she stepped in it after taking it off and left poop-prints on the carpet.
The time she greeted me with a big smile in the kitchen first thing in the morning and hugged my legs only for me to smell the scent of death and look down to see a naked bum and two little brown legs.
*The time she took her diaper off before pooping and squatted next to it on the carpet and left a log/blob.
*The time she pooped in the tub and Liam sounded the alarm (because after this many incidents, it warrants an alarm: Liam screaming "Mom! poop! Adeleine pooped! Poop! There's Poop!"). Both kids and all the toys had to evacuate and I had to throw the kids in the shower, disinfect all the tub toys and try and nudge poop remnants down the tub drain with my finger before disinfecting the tub. And my hands.
*The time she did not poop in the tub, but 30 seconds after she was dried off after her bath she ran into the living room and pooped on the carpet.
*The time she reached into the back of her diaper, got poop on her hands, said "Sticky."
*The time she took her poopy hand and wiped it on the ottoman, the couch and the carpet then continued to play with her toys until someone noticed the stink.
The time she pooped on the carpet, Liam sounded the poop alarm and I ran over, picked her up and ran towards the bathroom. On the way, more poop fell off her and landed on my foot and I kicked it across the room.
*Note the points above that have a star* indicate that these particular situations happened MULTIPLE TIMES.
Sometimes we would have three poop alarms in one day. I remember one Saturday there was one bathroom and two living room poop incidents. I thought I was going to LOSE MY MIND. After each one I get so frazzled. You don't know what to clean first, the kid, the floor, the furniture and you simultaneously have to ensure that no one puts their hands in their mouths (difficult apparently) and sufficiently disinfect everything so no one dies of eColi. I would be frazzled ALL DAY after just one poop incident.
And poor Adeleine had no idea what the problem was. Didn't phase her a bit. She would look at me like "What? What? Did something happen?". This went on for over a month.
O. M. G.
So many poops.
Such a long time.
Then I had a conversation with her Montessori teacher. She said that they had noticed she was doing well with going on the potty and wanted to know what was going on at home. WELL. I had a story or ten for her about that. The teacher said she thought that likely this was an indication that she didn't like poo in her diaper and she was ready to potty train. BINGO!!! At the same time I was incredibly proud of my little girl wanting to train so young I felt incredibly silly that I didn't think of this as a real possibility A MONTH BEFORE!!!!
Of course the teacher was totally right, Adeleine loved her underwear, peed and pooed on the potty like a champ the first week. After two weeks she was down to one accident a day. Dear lord. Liam took 2 years to do that. And the poop-tastrophes came to a screeching halt.
So, moral of the story is, if your kid does weird stuff with their poopy diapers, they might be ready to potty train.
The other moral is, no matter what happens with your first kid, your second kid is totally different and you will feel like you haven't learned anything at all.