We started the day with a nice breakfast out to eat as a family. Eliza had a fun time coloring with crayons while we waited for our food, and then she enjoyed a big breakfast of french toast, scrambled eggs and sausage (and some of mama's pancakes). We talked all about how Eliza was such a big girl now, and how after breakfast we were going to go buy her some big girl underwear - the day she had been waiting for a LONG time! She was really excited.
Off to Tar.get we went and found some pretty purple, green, white, pink, polka dots, and butterfly underwear. Eliza proudly put them up on the register so we could pay for them, and then carried the bag out of the store herself.
We got home and made a big celebration out of packing away her cloth diapers ("the baby will use them" she said), and threw away the few paper diapers we had hanging around (which of course I then rescued from the trash so we could give them away). She chose to put on the purple polka dot underwear first and then took off all her other clothes - she was SO proud and excited to be wearing big girl underwear. We explained to her how she was a big girl now so it was time to use the big girl potty, and to tell Mama or Dada when she had to go. We started by going straight to the bathroom. She sat down and used the potty to go pee right away. She even pulled up her underwear all by herself afterwards. We gave her high fives and told her we were proud of our big girl.
Soon it was naptime and even though she did go pee again before naptime, she still woke up wet. So we said "your underwear is wet, let's change you into a dry pair". The idea is to not make it a negative thing that they had a "learning experience" - just to try again. So we reminded her to try to tell us before she had to go potty, or to just run into the bathroom when she felt like she had to go.
Later that day we went to my parents' house - Eliza stayed there while hubby and I ran an errand, an Ikea run which took us 3 hours! While we were gone my mom and dad took over (bless them). She had one little pee accident and then peed in the potty once. When we got home she tried to go again but couldn't "release", so we just said "thanks for trying" and moved on. Not 5 minutes later I saw her in her familiar "stance" and scooped her up mid-accident and brought her to the potty. She did finish pooping into the toilet, about which she was VERY proud. "I made poop go in the potty!". Everyone came and looked. She sat on the potty for maybe another minute or so and then said she wanted to get down. So we washed hands and got ready for dinner. About 10 minutes later I saw her face and knew she was either pooping or had to poop again... sure enough, she had pooped in her underwear. Poor girl. So we went in the bathroom and cleaned up and started over.
At this point, I was feeling very worn down and questioning whether this was a good idea. I didn't want to put any pressure on her or make her feel like she was a failure. She is only 26 months, I knew that is on the early side...was this a ridiculous thing to do? But, I promised that I would give it a good try, so we forged on. We tried hard (and succeeded, I think) to keep things very positive and just kept telling her to tell mama or dada (or grandma or grandpa) when she felt like she had to use the bathroom. I knew she had to learn the feeling first, and that would take time. She definitely didn't like being wet or the feeling of poop in her pants (well DUH!), and she knew that pee and poop went in the potty, so it was just a matter of anticipating the events!
We got home that night accident-free and everyone went potty when we walked in the door. She put on another pair of underwear (pair #5 for the day!) and played a bit before bath time. We talked a lot about it and congratulated her on her first day of potty learning. It was a start.