I'm there guys. I'm going to potty train my toddler. Not just ANY toddler though, THIS TODDLER. Your thoughts are appreciated during this time. STEP ONE: UNBRIDLED ENTHUSIASM.
This is IT. You're going to potty train your child, woo hoo! No more diapers, right?! AWESOME! Now to get your kid on board with the whole potty thing. This is the step where you think you are psyching your toddler up for potty training by being really, really REALLY EXCITED about it. Like really excited. You say things like "Guess what sweetie you're going to use the POTTY SOON OMG!!!!" and point out the big kid underwear at Target like it's the coolest thing you have ever seen. At this stage you are still really *optimistic about your success at potty training your child.
STEP TWO: PREPARATION
This is a fun step, why? You get to go shopping! You've planned it out, you know what kind of potty you want and they've carefully selected the kind of underwear they want. You've polled all your mommy friends about what kind of pull ups to get and you've bought the bribe candy. Hell, maybe you've even taken it up a notch and printed out some charts and hung them up. You are ready, girl.
STEP THREE: ANTICIPATION
The chart is hung, the bribe M&Ms are opened, the potty is strategically placed, you've read potty training books to them and talked about potty training for weeks now and they've had about four bottles of water. Let's do this. It's allllll happening...
STEP FOUR: PEE ON YOUR FLOOR
It's okay, it's okay, not a big deal. Minor setback. To be expected! We'll just clean that up and start over again right? Cool, cool. Okay no problem. Back on track.
STEP FIVE: OTHER STUFF ON YOUR FLOOR
Let's just skip past this one, shall we?
STEP SIX: REALITY SETS IN
Maybe, just maybe...this isn't as easy...as you thought it might be...
STEP SEVEN: YOU START REWARDING YOURSELF TOO
It's a team effort after all.
STEP EIGHT: SMALL VICTORIES
OMG THEY PEED ON THE POTTY ALERT THE MEDIA TEXT YOUR HUSBAND AT WORK IMMEDIATELY YOU ARE MOTHER OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
STEP EIGHT: NO MORE DIAPERS
You're really going to miss changing diapers. Oh wait NO YOU ARE NOT BYEEEEEEE!
STEP NINE: YOU REALIZE YOU HAVE TO TAKE THEM IN THE CAR IN UNDERWEAR NOW
Say what now?
STEP TEN: PUBLIC BATHROOMS WITH A TODDLER
Just...try not to think about the germs. And don't get me started on Porta Potties.
STEP ELEVEN: ACCEPTANCE
You've come this far. You can do this.
STEP TWELVE: REGRESSION
Wait, what? That's a thing? YES IT IS. Yes, yes it is.
STEP THIRTEEN: TOUGH LOVE
You've done it before, you can do it again. YES YOU CAN.
STEP FOURTEEN: SUCCESS
You did it, Mom. You have conquered that dreaded mountain of parenting. You faced it, you scaled it, and you SUCCEEDED! Now pat yourself on the back, you earned it.