Potty Time

Camp All-American

Our first full week of summer has also meant Violet's first full week of camp. Oh, the great irony of being a teacher with summers off, only to plunk down good money to send your kid away. Ha! But it is good for all of us, trust me. I have limited it to one week-long camp for each June and July, so there will be plenty of time to hang out at home as well. Violet is a child who thrives on routine, however, and it is a good way to ease us into summer. There is a wake-up time, a reason to get dressed and ready by a certain time, and a forced break from technology. She gets to experience new things, new faces, flex her independent wings a bit, and then has the great joy to return to us in the afternoons, made all the sweeter by her absence. Yes, kicking off summer with camp is the way to go for us.

This year Violet is trying Camp All-American for the first time. It's a fairly intense, HUGE day camp run by a local HUGE church (we're talking, 20 minutes just to negotiate yourself out of the parking lot huge). But with huge churches come amazing resources - this camp is a well-oiled machine and I always appreciate logistics done right. She signed up for the art specialty (out of so many to choose from) with her friend Taylor. Each day they get some type of water (splash pad or pool), outdoor fun, assembly, Bible time, their specialty... She is exhausted when she comes home!

The first day, the counselors had make a big five-five tunnel to run through. Violet, my sweet shy eldest, intentionally decided to carry her backpack in her hands, neatly avoiding the high-fives. Meanwhile, my happy-go-lucky youngest, collected as many high-fives as she could on her way through the doors. That pretty much sums up the difference between these two. Annie was devastated to learn that she was not to stay at camp with her big sister, although spending some time in the indoor playground cheered her up. 

We've had our own camp at home this week - potty training boot camp!

Oh, potty training. The rite of passage for every child. I have been looking forward to and dreading this week. On one hand, I successfully had Violet done in two days, I've got this, I'm a pro. On the other hand, Annie is her own stubborn animal altogether. She already knows "how" to go, she's been sitting on the potty at school for months. But she's also just as happy to use her diaper. She is a non-discriminant pee-er. 

Day one was fairly brutal. We had to get Violet settled at camp, take Gus to the vet (he has his own bathroom problems) and run through Publix to stock up on potty-inspiring drinks and treats. Annie didn't even get her underwear on until 10:30 (oh, but is she proud of that big girl underwear!) The first time the timer went off, she happily sat on the potty. The next time it went off, she showed less enthusiasm. And by the fifth, sixth time, she was flat-out refusing to go. Or she'd hop up on the toilet, wiggle for a few seconds, tell me firmly "I'll try again later" and then promptly pee on the living room floor. We were both so frustrated with each other. By the time we needed to get Violet from camp, I was ready to throw in the towel. (Thank goodness for wise friends to counsel patience and heap on encouragement... I remember the same thing happening with Violet's day one, but man, when you are in that trench...) We got in the car to pick up Violet and Annie said, "Mommy, I not pee on the floor again." She said it with such a sad, small voice that I immediately felt guilty for my own negative reactions. I assured her it was okay, she was learning, we'll try again... and lo and behold, she hasn't peed on the floor since. I guess she figured out it's just as easy (and far more socially correct) to use the bathroom instead of the floor.

Day two was one thousand percent better, since there was no pee on the floor and every two hours seemed a good interval to limit the frustration and maximize the success. And we've been off to the races the rest of the week. I'm keeping her in pull-ups for the car and of course while she's sleeping, but she's done a fair amount of waking up dry, so I'm feeling pretty good about the state of affairs. One of the hardest things about potty training is being tied to the house, but we've hit the pool with friends almost every day. I haven't gotten much off my summer to-do list, but considering potty training was at the top of that list, I can justify a week of lounging and pool time. Onward and upward, my friends!

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