Kevin Smith's Blog

Day 496 - training

Friday, 06 January 2012

The back end of 2011 was hectic to say the least and, as a result, I didn't find the time to write a post in November or December. Had I blogged I'd have told you about the incredibly impressive, if a little scary, pumpkin at Ida's nursery:

I'd have also bored you with the details of squeezing too many tender plants into my tiny greenhouse:

You'd have also heard about the time Ida and I made rustic mince pies:

You'd have not escaped Christmas:

And I'd have told you all about a special Christmas gig The Feeling put on:

But all that's sooooo last year, so I'm going to bring things bang up to date and tell you about training:

At the beginning of this week, in a moment of enthusiasm, madness and resolution, I decided to start potty training Ida. Unfortunately I decided to give up alcohol too (I always try every New Year and always fail), which has made for a few trying days (wine is all I've been craving at the end of each accident-filled day). But I've been strong and, I think, quite successful (no wine consumed yet and Ida is wearing big girl pants).

I read lots of books on potty training, spoke to lots of friends and family and decided a 'cold-turkey' approach was best. So, with great fear, we ditched the nappies and went straight into knickers. We didn't leave the house all day on Tuesday and Ida seemed to get the general hang of things. Hurrah, I felt like a potty training genius. That is until I put on Finding Nemo, Ida became glued to the television, ignored me every time I asked her if she needed a wee and then had five consecutive accidents in a row in the space of an hour. The sofa has only just dried out. I didn't really know how to tackle the huge wet patch, but decided a spritz of anti-bacterial spray, a bit of dabbing with kitchen towel and then hoping for the best would have to do. If you're a regular visitor to my house I won't tell you which seat was affected.

Wednesday presented a further challenge as we were due at a play group in the morning. Arrrrgh, I'd have to leave the house. Not knowing how things would pan out I packed about 10 pairs of knickers, a loo roll, anti-bacterial spray, five changes of cloths, baby wipes, nappies (just in case we got through all 10 pairs of knickers) and, of course, the potty. I also fashioned a 'buggy protector' out of an old towel and a bin bag. The mum's at the playgroup seemed to think I was slightly mad (ah, bless the stay-at-home dad) but I figured it was best to be prepared for every eventuality. One mum also told me you can buy 'buggy protectors' from Amazon for £7 (ah, bless him again).

And what do you think happened? Well, I'll tell you. Ida was a star and stayed totally dry for the entire time we were out. I took all the paraphernalia home with me unused, and she's been doing really well ever since. I sent Ida to nursery full of confidence yesterday (and she's there now) and all went well there too. Don't get me wrong, we're not out of the woods just yet, and little accidents are still happening, but I think we've generally cracked it.

So, there we are. I must have been one of the only men in the country potty training a two year old girl this week - now that deserves a glass of wine (no, I mustn't).

Until next time...

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Kevin Smith | Garden Media Writer and Editor

On 31 August 2010 I quit my full-time job as the Commissioning Editor at Gardeners' World Magazine to be a stay-at-home dad  and to try and scratch a living as a freelance garden journalist. It's often said that a 'life change' is good, but can I cut it with the yummy mummys? Will I manage to get a single shred of work done? Will Ida (she's the gorgeous little girl who's the cause of all this) like gardening as much as me? Who knows, we're going to find out...