Thursday, May 01, 2008

Potty Training, China style

Day #1 with no diapers.

L-- has embarked upon the road toward Big Girl-dom. She has not worn a diaper since last night. And yes, our floor has seen its fair share of pee today. She's a bit opposed to using the potty - so far we've changed clothes 4 times.

In the lovely Shanghai spring, we spent the afternoon playing outside, picnicking, and frolicking in the fountains. Dave left our party bit early to meet some friends for a tennis match, outside our complex. The girls and I walked home 20 minutes later, only to remember that in Daddy's pocket were the following: my key, my keycard, my cell phone, my wallet.

S-- rather gamely fell asleep in her stroller, and L-- and I passed the time (3 hours) in the warm spring air, talking, singing and dancing to ourselves. Until the undeniable need hit L--.

I need to go potty.

The first time all day that she has felt the urge, stopped herself long enough to tell me, and then waited until arriving at the appropriate place.

And we were locked out of our home.

Now, for the unitiated, Chinese people do not potty train their children the way Westerners do. There are not diapers on Chinese children. There are pants with holes in the bottoms; little children walking around with their private parts displayed for the world to see. When they feel the urge, little Chinese children just squat on the grass and let nature take its course.

For the most part, this disgusts us.

Today, I thanked my lucky stars to be potty training in China.

We raced to a grassy spot near a line of bushes. I created a triangle - 1 side bushes, 1 side stroller, 1 side myself. And I taught L-- the all important skill of squatting. She performed quite well, and then offered to wipe the grass when she finished.

Not even a sideways glance - what we did was perfectly normal. In fact, moving away from the sidewalk and creating a barrier made our actions a bit absurd.

We truly are raising a Chinese child.

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