WARNING: This post is for and for mommies only. If you’re not a mom, stay away from this post. 🙂

I don’t really talk much about my daughter in my blog. Or if I do, I try to keep it to a minimum; but this post is all about mommyhood and if you’re not a mom, you will not be able to relate. If you are going to be a mom, reading might give you some insights. As for all the others, you have been warned.

Today I am one very proud momma. Today, it seemed like I have toilet-trained Lia.

A month or so ago, I saw the following signs (This is a list I took from this site):

  • Your child can pull his or her pants down and then up again.

Lia has actually been able to put clothes on and off herself for a long time now. When she is sleeping for the night or her naps, I have to check on her every so often to see if she still has her clothes on. You have to understand that my daughter sleeps on her own and by herself. We just put her in her crib every time she needs to sleep and she falls asleep on her own. We never have to carry or rock her to sleep. It’s always been that way after I stopped breastfeeding her at eight months (not by choice but due to my own health), it took forever to put her to sleep when I rocked her to sleep and she was too heavy for me to carry so I just ended giving her a bottle and she fell asleep on her own. After that, she could not fall asleep as long as someone was inside the room. We always had to close the door as a signal that it was sleeping time and not playtime and that she had to go to sleep. So now, every time she is asleep, no one is allowed to go inside the room until she wakes up and calls out.

Lia is now able to put clothes on that she even sometimes puts my own blouses on her. (Did you see that photo of her wearing my blouse on my birthday? She put that on herself.)

She is also able to put on pants and shorts or take them off. She can even take off her own diaper that sometimes she can be seen walking and running around naked. That is also how we know she doesn’t like what she is wearing and we need to put on some other clothes on her that she likes. That is also the reason why we make her pick out the clothes we put on her.

She is also now able to put on footwear… and its so funny when she puts on her parents’ shoes and walks around on them.

  • Your child stays dry for periods of 2 hours or longer during the day.

This is the reason why she can be allowed to walk around without clothes on. There is no risk of her soiling things or if there is, its very minimal. Hahaha. To date, I never had to wash blankets or pillows or clean up the bed or sofa because she peed or pooped on them. She always made it a point to go down the bed or the sofa – something I always appreciated too.

  • Your child signals that his or her diaper is wet or soiled.
  • Your child feels uncomfortable if his or her diaper is wet or soiled.

I have been really busy the past month bringing Lia to the doctor for colds, coughs, shots, tests etc. etc. I am actually really tired (and broke) from all the fees and medicines. She has been taking a lot of medicines for her bronchitis, then her primary complex, and now I have to take her to hospital for the peripheral smear as part of the test for thalassemia – and I have been worrying that she might have a urinary tract infection (UTI) because she always wants to take her diaper off every time she pees. I am relieved to know that that was just her way of saying she peed and she does not like the feeling of a soiled diaper! Thank goodness! I don’t want her on more antibiotics! 🙁

Lia even complains when she is asleep at night. That’s also one reason why I stay up late at night, other than the fact that I can work better because it is quieter – I have to change Lia’s diaper and make her a bottle of milk in the middle of the night. I have always been the one to do this, since the day she was born. My husband, being the one who works for the family, asked of me when we were discussing parenthood issues even before Lia was born, that he be allowed to sleep through the night and be allowed at least 6 hours of straight sleep every night.

  • Your child understands and follows basic instructions.

This is simple enough. I think a lot of babies or toddlers learn this early enough. Lia knows, “Let’s go”, which is a signal for her to take my hand and walk with me. She knows how to hand over things when I tell her to “Give it to Mama,” or comes around when I tell her, “Lia, come over here,” or “Sit here”. Though her father finds it frustrating when she doesn’t listen to him, but Lia listens to her Mama almost all the time. Of course except when she’s throwing a tantrum. Now that’s another story. 😐

  • Your child wakes up from naps with a dry diaper.

This happens although not all the time. What happens is, she has a nap that is too short and calls out, irritated. She wakes up every time she needs to poop most especially. Her usual nap time is about two to three hours, twice a day, morning and afternoon, and if she wakes up in less than that, that means she has to go poop or she peed.

  • Your child seems interested in the potty chair or toilet.
  • Your child says that he or she would like to go to the potty.

Lia and I have a very close relationship brought about by my breastfeeding her and by my being a stay-at-home mom. I work freelance, and in the times I have a project going on, I work from home… So I am almost always home or only away for a few hours at a time. That is why she drops everything she is doing every time she sees me, she follows me around the house, she wants to sit on my lap every time I am eating and eat with me in my own plate (she even feeds me sometimes with her spoon and puts finger foods in my mouth). We take a bath together and we do a lot of things together, like she wants to sit on my lap every time I am on my laptop and type too. We read books together. We draw and write together. Yes, Lia “reads” for real and “writes” for real. She plays in my home office while I work. She puts on my clothes, bracelets, necklaces, earrings (I have not even had her ears pierced just yet) and even carry my bag around.

All those being said, I take Lia to the bathroom with me every time I have to go pee. Sometimes she even sits on my lap! Its either that or I leave her outside the bathroom with the door closed while she screams and bangs on the door on the other side. 😐

So, she has always known about the toilet. She has an idea what the toilet is for. I once tried to make her sit on it on her own and well, she didn’t like it. I have not bought a seat for her and it was too big for her own little butt that she got overwhelmed. Well, it was worth a try. 🙂 Though a week or two ago, she climbed on the toilet seat on her own and sat there and pooped. That was really funny. 🙂

So I have been thinking a lot about potty training for some time now. I once looked it up and sources said something about doing it from at least 18 months and I decided it was too early to potty train Lia.

Here are a few more sites to get information from:

The third link on the list above is particularly helpful once you’ve gone over the simpler lists because it has a more in-depth discussion on child readiness.

The right time depends on your child’s development in the following four areas:

  • physiological development (bladder and bowel control)
  • motor skills
  • his/her cognitive and verbal development and
  • emotional & social awareness

You can also take this short quiz from iVillage to help determine if your child is ready to be potty-trained, click here.

Friday last week had us going to SM Marikina to buy her a potty chair because I could not ignore the signs anymore. We also bought more bibs as she eats on her own with her own utensils and refuses to be helped and a bath sponge and towel. Lia knows how to put soap on the sponge and scrub herself. She even knows how to put shampoo on her hair. She also pours water on her head and herself, as well my head! I have to watch her more because sometimes I just turn around to dry myself and when I turn back, I see her soaping and shampooing herself again even after I have already rinsed her!

Lia loves her bright yellow potty chair (that we bought for P299). She loved it the minute she saw it Saturday morning. She kept dragging it around and sitting on it.

She sits on it even while she watches TV. Lia’s favorite channel is MTV but since we moved to Cainta and changed cable companies from Global Destiny to Sky Cable, we’ve been stuck with Myx, which just so happens to be the most jologs music channel there ever was. Lia loves music. She loves to sing (she can sing the intro to Justin Bieber’s Baby perfectly) and she loves to dance. She has different dance moves for different beats, like if it’s a little bit on the slow side, she just moves her head and her arms but if it’s the one she loves best, with distinct drum beats, she stomps her feet along with the music. That is why now she channel surfs, yes she changes the channels all on her own, when looking for music. There was this one day we were watching a noon time show, where people had their arms up, swaying along to the music, and Lia just went up there, close to the TV and started doing the same thing as the people in the audiences. That was just funny! Lia has never been interested in cartoons all that much. She doesn’t like anything with lots of talking. She keeps looking for music and even dances to commercials. There was a time when her favorite was the Surf commercial where there is singing… Lala-la-la-la-la-la-laaa! Hahaha. When the tv is not on, we turn the radio on for her music. She also changes the station when she doesn’t like it.

Lia drags her potty chair around with her. She loves to sit in it even while she reads or eats on the living room center table. She especially loves the cover as it allows her to lean back or rest the nape of her head on it; though I have to support her head and the chair so that they don’t topple over.

This morning she dragged out her potty chair and was telling me she wanted to take her diaper off but I was not fast enough. Lia sat on her chair with her diaper on and peed. This afternoon after a little walk outside, she did the same thing but I was not fast enough either and she sat on her chair with her diaper on and peed. The only thing left for me to do was take her soiled diaper off. This evening, after she was done eating, taking her medicine, brushing her teeth, I told her it was already time to sleep. I said, “Let’s go,” and she took my hand and we went over to the stairs. Lia knows how to climb up and down the stairs now on her own, and that is why I keep saying Lia is a test of endurance because she has so many ideas of her own and she can do a lot of things, and you always have to keep up. She has not peed since after that afternoon walk so I took the potty chair with us upstairs.

I kept asking her, “Do you need to pee?” and “Shouldn’t you be peeing now before you go to bed?” and the minute we reached the second floor. I put her chair down against a wall and she went to sit on it. She kept indicating she wanted to pee but it wouldn’t come.

So I said, “Come, I’ll clean you up and prepare for bed,” and she followed. She asked for her milk bottle and I laid her on the bed so she can drink her milk properly; but she quickly gets down, still with her bottle dangling from her mouth, and points at her potty chair. So I grab her and quickly carry her over to where her chair was and seats her down on it, then she pees. I give her a big proud smile and say, “Wow! Very good!” and she smiles back at me and claps! She claps every time she knows she did something great. Like when I taught her the word door so she can say it every time she wants to go out. (She pointed at the door, said “Door!” and laughed and clapped!) As a side story, Lia can now identify and name the colors, red, yellow and blue. After Lia was done peeing, I even got to wash her with water as she was still sitting down. My, my baby is all grown up..!

I am now looking at family photos on my home office’s wall. I posted all those photo booth pictures because they are funny as well as the prints of the Christmas portraits taken at my parents’ house last December. My sister told me it was important to post photos so Lia will find the faces familiar when she sees them in person. We seldom see my parents and my siblings and their families; only during special occasions. I am looking at how Lia, in all the photos, always have her hands on me – her hand resting on my arm in one photo, her hand clasped on my own hand in another. She and I have a real close bond – and that is because I spend almost all of my time with her and taking care of her.

I allow myself to fail on work, quit jobs or projects when they get too much or miss events and travels, because I always have to be with her. It is the choice I make. It is a choice I made two years ago, when I dropped everything when I got pregnant with her, and everyday I make that choice.

I still get to blog a lot I guess. I still get to go to plays, be in a movie, see and be with my friends – and that is because I make that choice too. Even if it seems that I have got a lot going on, I try to never miss out on my child. Time and again I say, “Lia, you are the only thing in this world that is truly worth it.” So every time I have to do something or be somewhere or be with other people, it is because those things and those people are dearly important to me – important enough to not be with my child.

One of my close friends posted this status two weeks ago: “Some peeps forget that I also have a full time job. When I have time to do other things it’s because I FIND time.” It made me think, “I have a full time job – and it’s being a mom. When I do other things, it’s because I find the time – because those things are also important for me.” I can’t do a lot of things, not anymore, not like I used to. I can’t be everywhere and be with everyone. I am busy raising a child, taking care of a home and a family and all the while, trying to preserve myself.

Everything I am, everything I do is always an attempt at a balance. And when I have little successes like this one, I am allowed to be proud. Today I potty-trained my 15-month old child and I am one overly proud mom.