Potty training is back on the table. After a period of no interest in the potty, Chloë is now willing--eager, even--to sit there. I attribute a lot of it to the Little People book (it's "Welcome to Our Town," not "My Town") and other entertainments, and some to our "you sit on the potty while we get the bath ready" policy.
Now that she's been on it a few times, she's used it, more or less by accident, and we've been lavish with our praise and applause, and she likes that a lot. When she stands up, we check the bowl together. If there's nothing there, I (or Eric) say "Nope, you didn't go. That's okay. Let's get a new diaper on you," and go about our business. If there is something there, I (or Eric) will say "Look! You went in the potty! Yay Chloë!" and so on. Then we'll give her a wipe, which she loves, though half the time she tries to wipe the potty rather than herself. Then we put the contents of the potty bowl into the toilet and flush, which she also loves because it produces bubbles. (I'm starting to wonder if by "bubbles" she actually means "water." More research is needed.) Then we say "Yay" again, and at this point Chloë is smiling and happy and clapping for herself.
We're hoping that this is the right approach, and kind of wondering how to get her to take the next step of telling us when she needs to go. We've told her a few times that when she needs to go, or has gone, she should please say so, but that's hard to do, and "potty" sounds like "body" (she has a Body Book that she loves to look at) and similar to "baby," and "pee" can be pee or peas or please or sometimes pig or bee, so it's not exactly a failsafe system right now.
But she may be figuring it out herself. We went to a friend's birthday party Saturday, and while Chloë was sitting beside me "helping" me play a game, she suddenly pointed to her diaper and said urgently, "Pee. Pee!" I said, "Do you need to use the potty?" and she nodded. Unfortunately our friends didn't have a potty seat and it totally didn't occur to us to bring ours, and by that time it was way too late (I'm pretty sure she was saying "I'm going pee" not "I need to go pee") so I just changed her diaper and thanked her for telling me. She did the same thing a couple of times yesterday, and once we were in time to catch at least part of the process in the potty, which made us both happy.
We went to IKEA yesterday as well, and among the dozen things we got for her--now we know how people run up credit card debt; it was so easy to walk through the store saying "Chloë would like that! Look at that! We should get it for Chloë!"--was a small portable potty, for downstairs and trips. It doesn't look nearly as comfortable as her nice one in the bathroom, but her cousin used the exact same model without any trouble, so we're hoping it will do. Even if not, I think we're getting somewhere. Yay Chloë!