The Mummy Diaries – Toilet training Pt. Deuxième – the Dodo Fairy calls

The Mummy Diaries – Toilet training Pt. Deuxième – the Dodo Fairy calls

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 19, January, 2021

ANOTHER Groundhog week! I’m not sure if it’s because it’s January, or maybe the weather, or maybe it’s because it’s not new anymore.

Is it just me or is everyone finding this lockdown tougher this time around? 

I’m trying to come up with different things we can do at least once a week so they don’t get fed-up with the same old toys and routines. As we are now in lockdown number three, by this stage I have now figured out which toys and games to play based on the length of time it holds their attention. Now I know all kids are different and of course what one enjoys, the other usually doesn’t – but I’m actually pretty lucky in the sense that both Jamie and Lily like to play together. It seems to be that whatever keeps Jamie’s attention, also keeps Lily entertained. So, the key for me is keeping Jamie busy and then Lily will follow. 

We all know that toddlers have an attention span of a goldfish. So, it’s all about how much time I need for the things I need to get done, here's what I find:

Five minutes max.

  • Balloons 
  • Dancing 
  • Tidying up 
  • Hide and seek 


Twenty minutes max.

  • Lego 
  • Pretend baking and cooking 
  • Playing shops 
  • Puzzles 
  • Jigsaws 


Thirty minutes plus.

  • Baking 
  • PlayDoh 
  • Playing outside  
  • Painting 
  • Crafts 


Now I know what you’re thinking. Your thinking, why doesn’t she just do the stuff that keeps them busy for thirty minutes or more all the time? Well yeah, but there’s a catch. The thirty minute stuff is all things that I need to be with them for. Oh, and you need to consider that for every thirty minutes you spend with them playing, you will also spend another thirty minutes cleaning up the devastation that bought you that thirty minutes of peace in the first place. Whereas the five minute games, yes, they only last five minutes but it’s a whole five minutes unoccupied peace and quiet. 

It’s a hard one to call. Oh, and not only that, you have to keep rotating the games around so they don’t get fed up doing the same things all the time.

No one said this parenting thing would be easy but parenting in lockdown is a whole different level.

So, what would make a third lockdown more fun and less stressful? Let’s do toilet training! Yeeeaaah! Said no one, ever. But what better opportunity to make the most of being confined to the house anyway? The heating is on most of the time, it’s nice and warm so Lily can run around in her pants, we don’t have to leave the house for any reason and Lily has been more than ready to ditch the nappies for a while now. 

So here goes. Six pairs of spare pants in the bathroom. Kitchen roll and Dettol wipes at the ready…

“Okay Lil, so whenever you need to pee pee, tell Mummy and we’ll go to the toilet like a big girl?” I said. “What colour pants do you want to wear?”

Lily smiled and says, “The pink ones!”

So pants on, crocs on (always best to go waterproof!) and she was good to go. I set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes. I’m not sure what Lily was thinking and if she knew what she had to do but she was loving the freedom and kept going on about her “lovely pink pants!”

Toilet training is a bit like going back to the newborn stage when your life is split into those precious little moments between feeds. Except in the case of toilet training, it doesn’t run quite like clockwork. The first day is spent running back and forth and sitting Lily on the toilet every half hour in the hopes she will pee and then the penny drops and she realises what she has to do. 

What actually happens is she sits on the toilet for 10 minutes, doesn’t do anything, says she’s finished, washes her hands and runs through to the sitting room (the only room which has a wool rug in it) and then pees on said rug. 

Fox. Ache. 

I pick Lily up and take her to the toilet in the hopes she understands. Two accidents, two pairs of pants, and a full kitchen roll later..

“Mummy, I need to...”

And before she can even get the sentence out, I whisked Lily through to the toilet as fast as I could! The little superstar looked up at me and smiled.

“Woo hoo Lily!! Well done!!” I roared. At this point, Jamie came running through to see what all the commotion was about. “What’s happening Mummy?” Jamie asks.

“Lily did a pee pee in the toilet!” I said so excited. Lily was beaming from ear to ear all proud of herself.

“High five Lil!” Jamie says.

And that was it. After that, Jamie just took over and had Lily tortured about going to the toilet. He has been brilliant with her and asks her all the time if she needs to go and Lily actually just tells him yes or no and doesn’t get one bit annoyed or frustrated.

We are now on day seven and Lily is doing fantastic. Yes, she still has odd wee accidents but she tells me straight away while making her way to the toilet. I’m so proud of her.

Last night while I was getting the kids ready for bed, I went into the drawer to get Lily’s dummy and noticed it was damaged. I threw it in the bin and lifted another to check. She only had two dummies left and both were in good condition but it got me thinking that maybe it was also time for the dodo fairy to make a visit? I have no intention of buying any more dummies and I didn’t want to get the stage where it was bedtime and I didn’t have a dummy for her before she understood what was going on. 

So, this morning after I got Lily dressed, I told her all about the dodo fairy…

“Okay Lil, so now that you’re getting a big girl, we need to get your dodos into a bag and leave them on the fire place for the dodo fairy.” I said.

“What’s the dodo fairy Mummy?” asks Lily.

“She’s a special fairy that flies down the chimney and takes your old dodos away for all the new babies that need dodos. Do you want to put them in the bag for the new babies?” I asked.

“Yes mummy.” Lily replied and puts the dummies into the bag and walks over to the fireplace. “She’s like Santa!” 

“Yeah, but sometimes she can fly down during the day as well so you need to keep watching and checking. If your dodo bag disappears, then she’s been and Lily’s now a big girl.” I told her.

Lily and Jamie are looking at me in amazement. After about ten minutes or so of not wanting to take their eyes off the fireplace, the kids naturally get distracted and go off and play. After lunch, I hear a ruckus through in the living room and then Jamie races through to Lily and I in the kitchen.

“Lily! Mummy! The dodo fairies’ been! Quick!” Jamie roars.

Lily bolts off her chair and goes to check.

“Oooh mummy look, it’s gone!” Says Lily all excited.

“Oh wow Lily! She must have thought you’re a big girl now.” I said.

This just happened this morning so we’ll see how bedtime goes tonight. If Lily is anything like Jamie was, then she’ll ask for a dodo once and when I tell her the story again, she’ll just nod and go to sleep. Will I get away with it that easy twice? 

I have a feeling I may need a visit from the wine fairy at the end of the week! 

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