My dear Claire,
You are 22 months old! We celebrated your 22nd month by potty training you. You are such a big girl now. It's amazing how that one milestone can make you seem so much older. In this letter, I'll explain to you how I potty trained you so that when you have children of your own, you'll know how you were trained. Maybe there will be some fancy method by the time you have children and my way will seem silly. All I did was stop putting you in diapers, except for when you were sleeping. You went straight to "big girl panties" and I never used pull-ups (which, in case you don't know, are like diapers that you pull on and off.) I would take you every 15 min or so the first day and I expected accidents. The only way you can learn to control the sensation is to know what an accident feels like. The first day you had 5 accidents.
When you had a success, I would reward you with either chapstick or lotion because you love both of those things. To encourage you so stay seated on the toilet, we'd sing songs or read a book. The second day you had about 10 accidents. It was very hard because I'd put you on the toilet and you wouldn't do anything and then I'd let you up and you'd go on the floor! I can promise you those first 2 days of potty training have been the most frustrating days I've had so far as a mother. I knew that you didn't know how to do it and that's why I was training you but it still was hard. Around 3:00 the second day you got it. It finally made since and you have been accident free for over a week now. I've left you with other people in the church nursery, bible study and the gym and you've been fine each time. You tell me when you need to go and it's just so great now. You are still in a diaper at night and I'll just wait until you are staying dry before I take away that diaper. I trained your sister in the same way and her experience was identical to yours. I'll be interested to see if training a boy is harder. I've heard it is so we will see.
This may have seemed like a strange letter this month but I feel like I should pass on information to you that will be helpful to you when you're a mother. I pray, Lord willing, that you'll be able to ask my advice when your in the midst of training your children, but here is the help I have to give you while it's fresh on my mind.
I hope we can one day read these letters together. It will be interesting for me to see what I was thinking. I'm sure I'll think I was so inexperienced. But no matter but much I learn going forward, one thing that will never change is my love for you. I wish I could explain how I love you. I wish you could feel they way I feel and know how my heart actually aches with love for you. If you are holding a baby of your own, know that the love you have for you child is what I have for you. No matter how old we become, you are my daughter and you are my baby. And now you are such a big girl.
All of my love,