Potty training at the Peapod became legendary after just one child. I had read a book about potty training in one day and that was my very misguided expectation.
After 4 or 5 days of constant training, I was frustrated to the core. Standing at the window in our living room, I became irritated that the bushes had grown so high they were covering the lower third of the glass. I decided trimming them with the clippers would be just the way to work out my frustrations. And so I slammed the handles of those things together with as much force as I could muster. It gave me great pleasure to see the trimmings go flying in the air.
Before long I noticed that while the bushes were green on the outside, they were brown in the middle. All my efforts at "trimming" merely exposed the ugly insides. Of course the ugly part had to go. Dead brown bushes in front of my house was worse than overgrown green ones. Slightly worried, I went back to working the clippers.
When Michael got home from work, we only had ugly brown bush stumps left. He had every right to yell at me and be very,very mad. Instead, he was kind enough to simply ask, "what happened?" I poured out the whole story while he helped me dig up the stumps.
When I mentioned potty training Daniel (3 months younger than Brenna was) Michael hid the clippers. Or maybe he sold them...seeing as how we don't have any bushes to trim anyway.
Since I fell for the potty training in a day ruse the first time, I did a lot more research this time. It seems that before disposable diapers became common, mothers trained their children long before they turned two. I also discovered that in many other countries and cultures, children are potty trained even before they turn one.
I figured that meant Daniel was plenty capable of being trained as soon as I was ready to make it happen. And really, why would I want to keep buying diapers if I didn't have to? The more powerful motivation, though, was his red bum. Cotton Elmo underwear is much kinder to his skin.
So I gathered up my mother-determination and got started. Mostly I used the methods outlined by John Rosemond, adapted to meet our own needs. After three weeks of work (I was warned that boys are harder to train, after all.) we've had three consecutive days with no accidents. I'd say he's got it - when we're at home. Sunday he made it through lunch at a restaurant. (I packed his potty in the car and he took a break between the meal and dessert.) I'm not confident in public just yet. But we're getting there.
More importantly, though, I didn't chop, cut, clip, hurt, or in any way destroy anything in the process. We still don't have bushes in front of the house, but that's because we haven't planted new ones yet. Not because I chopped them down again.