Last Saturday Mum and I took Grace to the zoo.She's been wanting to go for ages, to see the animals and find them with the map. But the last time we went, Grace was in that half nappy, half toileting stage and it was painful. She could go to the toilet, but she often wouldn't. Especially away from home. Or when there were other things she would rather do. And it was driving me nuts. And no matter how much I knew that Grace could well come to this late and it would just click (this happened with walking, she didn't walk until 18 months) or how people would say, oh but they all do it in their own time, I just did not want her to turn four and still be using nappies. Too ookie, for her and for me.
So, I cracked the shits (oh ha de ha ha) and went with a method I read in a blog or heard at a craft weekend (sorry, but I've forgotten where or from whom). I bought a big container of marbles and found a glass jar, not too big, not to small. Then Grace and I had a chat (the final in a long line of such chats) and I explained that I wanted her to do her poos and wees in the toilet and that her not being able to do this made it difficult for us to do fun things like go to the zoo. Then I told her that every time she did a wee in the toilet, she could put one marble in the jar and that a poo in the toilet would get three. But if she did poos in her pants she would have to take three out, and in a nappy two out etc. And that when the jar was full, mummy would know that she was good at doing poos and wees in the toilet and we would go to the zoo.
The first day, there was a little resistance. Then on the second day, we made sure that we reminded her to go at various points during the day and there were heaps of marbles in the jar. From then on the thing just sky rocketed and was wildly successful. There has not been one poopy incident and only a few wee ones since. On the second evening we forgot about the night nappy and have left it off since. Apparently at childcare she was comforting one of the younger kids who'd had an accident saying, sometimes kids do pooeys in their undies... Grace has also learnt how to use toilets at other peoples houses and in public places and can be just a little obsessive about it. Which is fine (although apparently she ran screaming from the talking robo toilet at the big park). I am just so pleased and so is Grace. It's given her a real sense of being a big kid.
We talked about going to the zoo for the whole week before going and Grace told a number of people that she was going to the zoo because she filled up her jar with marble, one for wees, three for poos. For the big day of celebration, I made weetbix slice and ham sandwiches and we left nice and early. It was one of those glorious warm autumn days and we saw heaps of animals including some baby monkeys and the pregnant elephants, checked the map frequently and had chips for morning tea. There was a ride on the merry go round while Nana popped out for a smoke (no more smoking at the zoo) and lastly a stripey icy pole. By the end of it, we were all pretty tired and ready for a nap. Except that someone had left the parking lights on (probably me - although there is a little girl who likes to pretend drive given half a chance) and we had to wait for the RACV. The little girl said that she was very sleepy and once we found blanket, she was out like a light.
Now we just have to figure out what to do with the marbles. I suggested to Gerard that Grace could like, play with them and he rightly said, and yeah, we'll end up falling on the floor. Maybe they can be window ornaments for a while. But yes, I am so, so pleased. Finally.