The illustrated version of Ella and the Potty is coming soon! Until then, enjoy the story below:
Ella and the Potty
When Ella was a little unicorn her mommy did everything for her. She needed her mother’s milk to grow and she needed her mommy to tuck her into bed. She needed her mommy to change her diapers and give her baths. She needed her daddy to carry her places and to play with her.
Then Ella started to grow. She got bigger and stronger and smarter everyday. By the time she was one she could walk and talk. She could giggle and play games. Now she could move around the house by herself and find all sorts of things to do. She still needed her mommy to give her food and change her diaper and sing songs with her and tuck her into bed. But she could decide what to eat from her plate and when she was full. She did notice that sometimes her diaper was wet or smelly and her bottom got sore if Mommy or Daddy didn’t change it. Most of the time she didn’t think about her pee or poop too much.
When Ella was two years old her mommy told her that she was getting old enough to pee and poop in the potty like the big unicorns. They looked around at all of their friends and family. Missy was an older cousin who looked almost like an adult. She went to high school and she peed and pooped in the potty. Max, her little brother, was just a baby–he couldn’t even crawl yet. He still wore diapers. Mommy and Daddy wore panties and used the potty so their bottoms never got sore or smelly. Ella thought, “Maybe I can go pee or poopy in the potty.”
Sometimes when she could tell that a poop was about to come, Ella went to a quiet place to poop. Then she would tell her mommy that she was ‘poopy’. Sometimes, if her diaper was off while the bath water was running, she was surprised to see the pee come out her bottom. One time her mommy said, “Your diaper is dry. Maybe if you sit on the potty you can put your pee in it.”
Ella sat down and peed in the potty. She was very excited and her mommy clapped her hands a lot and got very excited and called Grandma. Now Ella was afraid that she might not be able to go pee in the potty again and was afraid to try. Her mommy said, “Okay, we all get scared sometimes. Just practice sitting on the potty again with your diaper on until you want to try without your diaper.”
One day her bottom got very sore and her mommy took her to the doctor’s office. Dr Wanda explained, “The cure for diaper rash in no diapers! Run around without your diaper as much as possible.” She told Ella’s mommy to do some ‘potty practice time’ in the kitchen.
The next day Ella’s mommy put the potty chair in the kitchen and told Ella that she was going to run around without a diaper or undies so that her bottom could get fresh air and so that she could run to the potty easily if a poop or pee was going to happen. Then they started to play.
First they made the cookie dough and put some in the freezer and baked some cookies. After they ate some cookies and drank some milk, Ella’s stomach started to hurt and she thought, “Maybe I am going to have a poop!” She ran to the little potty and sat down and the poop came out! She was so excited and her mommy came to her and said, “Good job. Let’s go put this in the big potty and wave bye-bye so that it can go and join all the other poopies to play.”
After that Ella’s mother said, “It’s time to clean up.” Getting her hands wet made Ella’s bottom feel funny and her pee come out. Ella’s mommy said, “Oh try to hold your pee and let’s see if you can put some in the potty!” Mommy picked Ella up and carried her to the potty and put her on it. Ella sat there for a moment and then the pee came out her bottom and ran into the potty. Both she and her mommy thought that was pretty neat.
When he came home, Daddy kissed Ella and said, “I am so proud of you peeing and pooping in the potty!” He liked her new undies with the bright rainbow on them. He took her to the potty and she tried to go pee but nothing came out. He said, ” You can try again later.” Then he changed his clothes and they started making macaroni and cheese. While the water was boiling, Ella’s bottom felt funny again and she ran to the potty and her pee came out. Everyone was so happy and Ella was so proud.
That night Ella put on her diaper to go to bed. Her mommy said, “Little unicorns still wear diapers at night even when they wear undies during the day.” The next day Ella didn’t want to wear her undies. She just wanted to wear her diaper. Her mommy said that was okay but her bottom would feel better with undies on. After lunch Ella went poop in her diaper and her bottom hurt. Her mommy said, “Go get a diaper and wipes and we will change you.”
The wipes stung Ella’s bottom. “Can I wear my undies?”, Ella asked.
“Sure,” Mommy said.
The rest of that day Ella went potty sometimes when her bottom felt funny and sometimes when her mommy told her to try. She only had one accident!
After the second day Ella wore her undies most of the time. Sometimes she would wear a diaper but they were sort of hard to walk around in and got hot easily. Her mommy said, “Every time you use the potty we save a quarter on diapers. Let’s put some quarters in a special jar when you use the potty.” When they had 4 quarters, Ella and her mommy went to the store and bought some stickers.
After a while Ella forgot about the diapers and she just got up each morning and put on her undies. On rare days she forgot to go the potty when her tummy felt funny and would have an accident. Her mommy said that accidents happened once in a while to little unicorns when they were learning a new skill. Ella said, “I wish I could just use the magic in my unicorn so that I didn’t have any more accidents!”
Mom replied, “Life would be boring if we used magic when learning a new skill. Besides our magic only works when we are helping others.”
“Will you come wipe me after I go poop,” Ella asked
“Of course,” Mom said. “but by the time you are four you will be able to wipe yourself. Did I tell you the story about Missy? When she was a little girl Missy didn’t like to wipe herself so she called her mommy or daddy to help her wipe until she was 6 years old! Then Missy’s mommy learned that 4 year olds could wipe themselves and she told Missy that she had to wipe her own bottom.” Ella and Mommy giggled over how silly Missy was. When Ella asked Missy about the story Missy just laughed and said that it was true, “Live and learn” she said. Then they went to the store and bought some ice cream with Ella’s special quarters.
Notes for parents:
This story is to help you and your child understand the mechanics of potty training and to give you an idea of how to use ‘potty practice time’ to reinforce other ways you have of teaching your child about using the potty. Children are observing us all the time and trying to figure out what we want them to do. They are also going through their own emotional and physical development. Our job as parents is to explain how things work and give our children an opportunity to learn. Exactly when they achieve different skills will depend on their own growth and development.
The use of salty snacks during practice time makes your child thirsty so that he drinks more and has more urine for practicing. Whereas adults can urinate a little bit even when their bladder is not full, children younger than three can only urinate when their bladder is full. This fact is why young children cannot always urinate before leaving home but will need to go to the bathroom shortly after starting the day’s errands. It is reasonable to expect your young toddler to try to pee before leaving the house, just don’t be mad if this program does not always work.
Sometimes children and parents get locked in a battle about potty training (as well as many other things in life). It is always helpful to remember that your job as a parent is to give your child the knowledge of how things work, the opportunity to practice and the reassurance that you know that he can succeed. It really is true that 99.9% of children master this skill before kindergarten.
These stories can be downloaded and printed but cannot be sold or reprinted without the author’s permission.