Marisol Nichols' Blog: Pondering Potty Training

In this week's blog, Nichols talks about tackling one of a toddler's toughest challenges with stickers, words of encouragement - and a lot of patience!

Our newest celebrity blogger Marisol Nichols is back in Los Angeles after a spring and summer based in Shreveport, Louisiana as she filmed her latest project, ABC’s The Gates.

Although filming has wrapped, the actress is still working hard — potty training 23-month-old daughter Rain India in time for preschool!

In this week’s blog, Nichols talks about tackling one of a toddler’s toughest challenges with stickers, words of encouragement — and a lot of patience!

Oh boy, potty training.

My daughter, Rain, is going to start preschool in about a month and one of the requirements is that the kids are potty trained. I’d been toying with the idea for a while and had researched all the signs on whether or not she was ready to start. According to the “experts,” we’re a go!

I actually first attempted this when we were in Shreveport. I went and got a huge poster board and some star stickers — big gold star stickers. As soon as Rain saw the stars she said, “Oooo … stars.” Exactly!!!

I told her very slowly and clearly, “This is for when you go pee-pee in the potty — and every time you do you get a star.” She yelled, “Okay!!” and ran over to sit down, and then just kinda stared at her pee-pee for a while.

We did a back-and-forth thing where she would sit, and it wouldn’t come out or she would stand and it would go on the floor. Then I would try to get her to stay longer, which took the fun out of it because it became something she had to do. So I decided to walk away from it for a while and not mention potty-training at all. Nothing, but just kept her potty there.

Then when we got back to Los Angeles, she started liking to pretend pee-pee in the potty again. And then she wanted to sit on mama’s potty — the big potty. She was again interested!

Last week we toured a preschool for Rain. I have never seen her so excited about something. After the tour, Rain talked nonstop, “School, school, school. School fun!” So I explained to her that they don’t let people who wear diapers go there. So in order to go to school we would have to learn to use the potty, to which she responded, “Okay, school!”

A friend had told me about a “potty training in three days” book. I didn’t get it but thought, “Hey if it can be done in three days then I should have no problem!” If this was a movie here’s where the director would cut to me on the floor cleaning up pee with a scroll on the bottom of the screen saying, “Day Eight”. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Day 1:

We closed off the two rooms in our home with carpeting and let her run happily throughout the house — naked. We have her two potties nearby, one in the living room and one in mama’s bathroom. I’ve showed them both to her and explained, “Rain’s potty. This is where we let the pee-pee come out.” She then repeated, “Pee-pee come out.”

And … Oh my God! Rain went and used the potty, while excitedly declaring, “Pee-pee come out!” I was ecstatic! Then she looked at me and asked, “Star?” Oh noooooo, I forgot the stickers! And she remembered?! She’s a genius!

Fortunately my husband was at home so I raced out to the nearest Staples and picked up poster board, happy-face stickers and small star stickers. I promptly showed her the stickers and said, “This is because you put pee-pee in the potty.” She loved the big, multi-colored happy-face stickers. She got to pick which color she wanted (teaching her colors at the same time, multitasker that I am), and happily put it on the board which I then put on the wall above her potty. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. Is it wrong to get this excited about pee-pee?

She drank a lot of water and peed probably 20 times that day. She had a poster board full of stickers and I felt I had probably cleaned up more pee than I’ve seen in my life. I would cheer and jump up and down and exclaim, “Yay!” every time she used the potty, then promptly let her pick out a happy-face sticker. She did great!

I also discovered the drawback to having her naked all day is poo-poo. Whole different ball game there.

Day 2:

Staying home again. Weather is great today so we’re venturing outside in our backyard and bringing her potty with us. More naked Rain. More pee-pee. More happy-face stickers.

Right after breakfast, first thing Rain said was, “Sticker, pee-pee?” I asked if she had to go pee-pee to which she replied, “Okay!” and I got her down off her highchair. She ran over to the potty, sat down and did it. “Yes!” I thought. “I totally did it. Could we be done? Could it be that simple?”

My question was answered 15 minutes later when she stood five feet from the potty looking at it while peeing on the floor.

Day 3:

Rain didn’t particularly want to wipe; she just wanted to pee and get her happy-face sticker. So I added that step to the routine. I showed her the star stickers I had brought home two days ago and added, “When you use the toilet paper you get a star!” making it sound like some mysterious, amazing magic star that would be the ultimate thing to get. I gave her the TP; she wiped — and it was all good. The day continued on with more pee in the potty and yes — more on the floor.

At one point, I was on the couch and I heard her saying, “Rain clean, clean.” Actually it was “Rain keen, keen,” which sounds adorable to me and I happily looked over to see that she was cleaning up pee-pee on the floor … with mama’s sweater. That took a beat.

“Oh, thank you, honey.”

She was proud: “Keen, all keen!” Well, what’re ya gonna do? Never liked that sweater anyway…

Days 4 – 8:

I’m very proud of my little girl. We’ve got smiley faces all over the living room — on the floor, poster board, couch. She’s saying pee-pee and running to the potty and it’s going really well. There’s less and less cleanup for me to do and sometimes she doesn’t even ask for the sticker — she just wants to use the potty.

Still working on it though — what was the name of that book?

She’s getting better and better. Last night when I was putting her nighttime diaper on to sleep in she said, “Pee-pee?” And we went over to the potty and she used it before going to bed instead of just going in the diaper. Good girl!!!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me on Twitter and keep up with me on Facebook, or you can check out The Gates — it airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on ABC.

To all you wonderful moms out there, I love you so much! Moms rock!

— Marisol Nichols

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