Remember I told we've embarked on the adventurous journey of potty training? Well, here's a little update on that. To give some perspective to my newer readers, our older daughter Shira is now 22 months old.
From refusing entirely to go in the potty, Shira moved to consenting to pee in the potty, when offered at the right moment. She does not ask for potty and does not seem to mind a wet or dirty diaper. So, I expect the road will be long yet (although you never know), and from parents who went through the potty training saga not long ago, I've heard the most important thing is not to lose heart and remember that all children will, at some point, be potty trained.
It does not help, however, (and here you'll have to excuse me for a little rant) to get remarks from certain family members (in particular from the older generation), about how I should have started a long time ago, how they potty trained their children much earlier, and how "disgusting" it is to see a 2-year-old still in diapers.
I can't deny that about a generation ago (when I was a baby, for example) potty training took place much earlier, closer to the age of 1 than 2 (or even 3). It's a fact that I was potty trained at around 1 year old, with little accidents. I think it's great if someone succeeded to potty train their children early. Some, I know, are even doing Elimination Communication with their babies starting soon after birth (though I'd love to know how they are doing it if their babies, like mine, "go potty" not soon after, but during nursing - as a general pattern).
I do believe that potty training is a vastly different experience at an earlier age, and my guess is that it is based rather more on conditioning than on cognitive learning. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I think early potty training is great, as long as baby and parents are happy! But when you already have a 2-year-old who is not potty trained yet, you can sit her on the potty but you can't make her go if she doesn't want to, same as you can sit her in her high chair but you can't make her eat, same as you can put her to bed but you can't force her to sleep. I believe you can practice certain things which can be helpful, but eventually, she has autonomy over her body, little as she is.
Perhaps I could have started earlier, and windows of opportunity were missed (for example during the time I was pregnant and did not feel the sufficient energy to squat by a potty many times a day). Perhaps it is a shame. I'm not sure. Either way, I doubt that it will make much difference in the long run.
What I wish I could do is eliminate the competition element for parents about such basic milestones which will be reached anyway. All children will be potty trained eventually, and those who potty train later for various reasons are not bad parents and should not be made to feel like they are.