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Lesson learned: Potty breaks are an escape from the car seat

Happy to be out of the car seat.

Happy to be out of the car seat.

In the last 19, almost 20 months, there have been very few times that I have not been incredibly proud of Bekah for all of the things she can do.

Occasionally, like when she decides to make noises for every animal she thinks of during church, her skills can become a little embarrassing, but for the most part we’re proud of her anyhow.

One of the things we’ve been most proud of is her ability to use the potty. Even before she had the words to tell us, she made a sign and we knew that she was ready to go.

Using a sign, however, can be tricky, especially since she STILL doesn’t always remember that someone needs to be looking at her to “read” the sign.

Last week we learned that there is something even trickier about using the potty, and that is going on vacation.

My parents and brother were going to a car show in North Carolina (Stars, Stripes and Stangs…my dad and brother are collectors of classic Ford Mustangs) over the 4th of July, and since we have not gone on vacation, well, since we started remodeling our house (and saving for a baby) a few years ago, we decided that a short trip with them through Great Smoky Mountain National Park and a few other places would be a lot of fun.

Bekah and I spent a few days packing, my brother searched out a place that had a van available for rent (they’re hard to find in the summer!) and we were off on a four day trip with a small child.

For the most part, Bekah did great. She always gets a little cranky about being trapped in her carseat after dark, and so everyone was prepared for some crabbing and tears.

trying-to-sleep-in-her-carseatWhat we weren’t prepared for was just how smart and funny our littlest traveler is.

Because she still hasn’t realized that she should tell anyone more than a few minutes before she needs to use the potty, we packed up her little portable sized chair from my parent’s house to take along in the van.

It didn’t take more than a few times of her telling someone that she needed to go (and my brother being forced to cut through traffic to find a quick pull-off) before she caught on to the fact that using the potty got her a fast reprieve from the carseat.

Luckily (for her) she managed to go each time she made us stop, or we were going to find a place to buy a giant box of diapers and just keep her strapped in…or at least that was the threat (Please, we’d have never been able to go through with it, although more than once she has wanted to pretend that she is a baby and insists on a diaper while she CRAWLS around the house looking at her toys because apparently babies can’t walk and play with toys. Of course, she still uses the potty instead of the diaper, so I guess we’ll just let her play until she uses up the last of an old box).

In all, even with the tiny potty and its tiny user, we had a good trip, with no major, and only a few minor “accidents” along the way!

Now, if we can only figure out a way to never have to travel in the dark, we’ll be just fine.

About Sarah Plant, Patient Family

Sarah Plant and her husband, Christopher, live in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, with their daughter, Bekah, and a rabbit named Gussie. She enjoys bike riding and spending time with friends, family and her fellow church members. Sarah is a stay-at-home mom and former high school English teacher. In her "Following Your Heart" blog, Sarah shares her experiences as a first-time mom whose baby was born with a congenital heart defect as well as a mom of a healthy boy.