is such sweet sorrow
It is a pleasant dream. My little Kaavya is going off to college. She's all grown up. I can't see her face clearly but I know it's her. Kaavya doesn't look very excited though. "I hope you've packed everything?" I ask. She looks around at the suitcases, bags and a large cardboard box. "Mummy, I wish I didn't have to take this big carton of DIAPERS," she sighs. I can feel her eyes looking at me, sadly, yet accusingly...
I woke up, shaking. I knew it was a sign. I had to start toilet training her soon!
Unfortunately, babies do not come with a "How To" manual. Fortunately however, there are plenty of books, websites and experienced mothers to bombard you with advice on toilet training. It shouldn't be so difficult, I thought. If Kaavya was old enough to point to the fridge and say "tothlet" she could point and say "Potty" as well.
After scouring through my trusty 'What To Expect - The Toddler Years," I felt I was ready to begin. The trick was to find out if Kaavya was ready. For three whole days, Big Mother was watching her every move. I looked hard for the 'look' that apparently indicates readiness for any bodily function. I took her to the bathroom and described its features like a broker trying to pass off a tenement as the Taj Mahal. I bought a little red potty and decorated it lovingly with a Winnie the Pooh sticker and little silver stars. In fact, it looked too pretty to be used for its designated purpose!
I still could not make out whether we should take the great leap forward. A premature initiative could leave scars on her tender young mind and put her off toilets forever.
Around the same time, I bumped into my old classmate at the supermarket. She proudly showed off her 15-month-old boy. "I potty trained Ayush when he was barely six months," she claimed. "Now, he doesn't wear diapers at all. In fact, his first words were 'Mama, soo-soo..'"
It was time. All systems said Go. I sat Kaavya on the potty for the first time and waited. Now I know what the farmers feel when they watch for the first signs of rain. I was not blessed with even a few drops! Instead, Kaavya got up after examining the Winnie Pooh sticker and wandered off. All efforts to get her back on the potty were met with strong resistance. When I threatened to take back chocolate privileges, she launched an uncivil disobedience movement.
I had to try something else. "Make
her feel like an adult," suggested the book. I got a potty seat and placed
it on the WC. "Now Kaavya is a big girl," I coaxed her. She will use big
potty." Once she's on it, she can't run away, I thought. I plonked her
down. Before I could let go, Kaavya chose to develop a sudden bout of vertigo.
She shrieked and squealed as though I was torturing her, till I lifted
her out and put her on terra firma.
"Encourage her," advised my pediatrician.
"She needs motivation. Don't push her or scold her." I complied.
Any small deed was rewarded with loud cries of "Good Girl, Yea Kaavya,"
accompanied with an excited clapping of hands. When she sat on the potty,
I did a little jig in front of her with a big smile on my face and a musical
rattle in my hands. A couple of pompoms and I could have passed off as
a one-woman cheerleading squad. The other day, when my husband came home
early from work, I greeted him with an effusive cry: "Good show, way to
Go!" When I patted him on the head and said "Good boy" after
he helped me to clear up the table, he hinted that I might be overdoing
it. However, it had no effect on Kaavya. I am sure it is easier to
teach a Royal Bengal Tiger to jump through fiery hoops.
"It's timing," said a helpful cousin.
Kaavya was as reliable as the
"How did you spend your day?"
my husband would ask in the evening." In the bathroom," I would reply glumly.
" What did you do? " he would
Kaavya is 22 month old now. Our house smells alternately of disinfectant and baby piss. I have bought a nice little stool and a bookshelf for the bathroom. I have made some progress as well. Kaavya and I have opened a channel of communication.
I often ask her, "Where should you
I have decided to be patient. She
will learn on her own. Meanwhile, I have started accepting donations towards
Kaavya's Diaper Fund. I have to be prepared for the expenses towards her
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