After waking up mostly dry (I could tell the pull-up was a bit wet this morning), Eliza went into the bathroom with me and went potty. By this point she was getting pretty used to the "routine" times at which we generally use the bathroom: in the morning (and the fact that picking out a pair of big girl underwear follows this potty time is extra motivating at this time), before we leave the house, upon returning to the house, before and after nap and before bath time. By this day she also knew that when you sit down on the potty chair, you go pee. By this point she was willing and able to do this every single time she sat down.
So, by Day 3, it was pretty clear that if someone reminded her to try to use the potty every so often and/or coaxed her into sitting down and trying, she wouldn't have any accidents.
But to me, that's not the definition of "potty trained".
So, while we were at home, I wasn't constantly reminding her or asking her; I wanted her to learn her own body's cues and not have to constantly remind her that it was time to try to go potty. I mean, I know that's a common parental thing to say - especially when you're in public places - "do you have to go potty?" or "let's try going potty" -- don't you hear parents everywhere saying that to their kids like ALL THE TIME? Yeah, now I get it. 'Cuz at this stage they are like little ticking time bombs!!! -- but while we were at home, I just let the learning experiences happen in hopes that she would learn from them. Yes, while we were out I would (and probably still will for a great long while) ask/remind her, but not at home.
I was definitely excited that she had gotten this far, though! The fact that she was "holding it" for some period of time, could release when she got to the potty chair, and was totally cool and happy with the whole experience thus far - without using any sort of extrinsic reward? Awesome. I was just looking forward to that next step.
And so we trudged on.
On this day, we were watching our little friend Isaac and I decided it would be best to bring him back to our house instead of bringing the potential for accidents to my friend's house. So we went to Isaac's house to pick him up. Before we left for home, though, Eliza did use the Elmo potty at Isaac's house. She was very excited to show Isaac how to use the potty, to show Isaac's mama her big girl underwear, and to use a new potty. So, that worked out well.
We got home that morning, played a bit and then it was snack time. While we were all sitting at the table having snack, Eliza all of a sudden looked down and then I saw the puddle forming. I scooped her up and ran her to the potty saying "let's pee in the potty, okay?". She did sit down and pee a bit more, but she had peed a lot on the chair. Fun times. We talked it through afterwards. I told her that was the feeling of a full bladder and that meant she should run run run to the potty before that happens to keep her big girl underwear dry.
It's so interesting to go through this experience - you really realize that these physical feelings are all things that they have to learn on their own (at this young of an age at least) - the feeling of having to pee, the holding of that pee until they are sitting on the potty, and then releasing. There is a lot going on - muscular/physical, mental, and even emotional! No amount of explaining or talking or rewarding can really do that. It needs to click with them, I think.
So, on to our second pair of underwear for the day.
The rest of the day was rather uneventful. She peed before and after nap, stayed dry during nap, and then peed before we left the house to drop Isaac off, and then again once at Isaac's house - oh and that time she did actually say "I want to go pee", but I'm not sure if it was due to her actually feeling the need to go, or out of the novelty of using a different potty?
One thing happened later in the day that was interesting, and a good sign, I think: we were eating dinner and I knew she hadn't tried to use the potty since we got home about an hour or so earlier, but again, I wasn't going to bug her about it, so we just ate dinner together and then I got her out of her high chair and noticed her pants were a little wet. I asked her if she felt the wetness and if we should put on some dry underwear. So we went into the bathroom and I took her pants and underwear off and really, they weren't all that wet - like it seemed that she had peed a tiny bit, but then stopped. Then she sat down on the potty and peed a LOT more. So, I took that as a good sign - like she knew that it wasn't right to pee in her underwear and so she stopped until she got to her potty chair? I don't know. Again, she wasn't yet verbalizing the need to go potty and hadn't run into the bathroom on her own at all that day (a slightly discouraging fact), but maybe this was something?
Then Daddy got home, she peed again before bath, and it was time for bed. I was exhausted but feeling like some progress was being made!