You may be wondering what could have led to this lovely picture. Let me back up…. Potty training is one of my least favorite parts of parenthood. As Natalie approached her 4th birthday last December – more than a year after we started potty training – she had another serious regression of a #2 being in her pants every single day for 3-4 months. No matter what we tried. Positive verbal encouragement. Immediate incentive of gum or a sucker. A chart with stickers. A longer-term incentive ((e.g. an Elsa doll after a week of dry and clean undies – which she did with no problem, only to re-start the accidents 1-2 months later and saying “Maybe if you give me an Anna doll, I’ll stop popping in my pants again.). Shaming. Peer pressure. You name it, I tried it.
So, after 4 months, I decided to go for a really long-term incentive – 21 days to make a habit, right? I knew she wanted to see the Cinderella movie, so 3 weeks of dry and clean undies (every day in a row), and we’d get to go. She made it 5 days the first time, had an accident and we started again. She made it 3 weeks then, but then had an accident and when I tried to talk to her about it, she refused. So, I said that if it happens again, we have to talk about it. And, knock on wood, nothing yet.
My mom has wanted to be at Natalie’s first movie theatre movie for more than 3 years now – I think she let her interest be known back when Natalie was 1. She has very found memories of my first movie – Pinocchio – where I shouted out at the end, “He’s a real boy!” and the whole theatre giggled and/or said “ah”. Given Natalie’s 5-day setback, we weren’t able to see the movie when my mom visited over Easter. So, we had to wait until the next visit – Memorial weekend. (Unfortunately, for us, the movie is no longer showing in Chicago, but luckily, we had the option of Glenview and LaGrange!)
Natalie also invited Nana (who was delighted to come) and Allison (our nanny – who unfortunately couldn’t – she’s 21, so I swear, she is celebrating someone’s birthday every weekend – I could never keep up!) As an extra treat, Natalie had the idea of doing a girls makeover prior to the movie.
And, Nana – who doesn’t have too many girls around – also shared the idea of dressing up! Not a problem for Natalie – she already has a Cinderella dress. Since my mom, Nana and I don’t have adult sized Cinderella dresses, so she made us princess skirts! As Nana said, “this is the stuff memories are made of!”
Needless to say, we had a wonderful time. Natalie was, quite literally, on the edge of her seat….