Wednesday, 9 July 2014

How potty training nearly broke me.

I am a teacher of teenagers. I have been for a decade. I have been called a "fat b*itch", I have had chairs chucked at me, tables flipped, I have broken up fights with gangs of vicious, hair pulling, girls. Yet I can truly say the most distressing and horrible thing ever? Was when I tried to potty train my girl last year. Yep. It very nearly totally and utterly broke me. In fact it has took me well over a year to recover enough to write this. And my aim? Is that you lovely potty training parents learn from the way I royally f*cked it all up.

Timing
You have to make sure the timing is right. I can promise you now. The dead of winter, with a tiny new born baby and a frankly rabid two year old? Is not the right time. Nope. No way. OK, OK this may seem common sense to you. But in my hormone crazed mind? This seemed the PERFECT time to try and potty train my child. I was an idiot. I'm not expert but I think probably summer, when they can crap all over your garden seems a much more sensible time.

Please note. This is not my daughter. This is Barbie.



Tell other people to "sod off"
"In my day children were potty trained by one!" Yes love and in your day people smoked 40 fags a day and drank gin whilst nine months preggers. It's no-ones business when you potty train your child. You don't tend to see any grown men walking around in nappies do you, so I imagine everyone gets the hang of it at some time. I caved into the social pressures and just tried to do it too early. That was daft. I wasn't ready and my girl at just two? Certainly wasn't. You have my permission to tell them to do one. Send any one who moans my way. And I shall have a stern word (and that word will be "nob").

Bribes
There is much discussion over bribes. I understand they can be seen as bad. But me? Love em. Yep. I am an educator of children and how the hell do you think we get them to do anything? I teach RE! To teens! No-one is going to want to do a whole project on Jesus unless there is some sort of incentive (bar religious people, and I am sure they would do a lovely project). We used charts - there are some fab ones online. Obvs we did the Disney Princess ones and I hit poundland for some reward stickers. I will say this. I did kinda lose track of what I was giving stickers for, which was a bit crap and confused everyone. I very clearly remember screaming at my poor husband "IT'S TWO FOR A POO TWO! DON'T GIVE HER TWO FOR A WEE! SHE ONLY GETS TWO FOR A WEE IF SHE WIPES HER BUM". Maybe have a chat with your partner and come up with a fool proof plan.

If at first you don't succeed..forget it for a bit
I spent months living in a house of actual crap. As I said it was winter. There was poo everywhere. I had a brand new tiny baby. I couldn't even face washing her pooey knickers so I (don't judge me) gasp chucked them! Yep if they were too poo filled they went in the bin. How bad is that? With hindsight I should have just forgot it for a bit. Stopped being too stubborn. In the grand scheme of my girls life (where she will live to be 103 after a successful career as an international popstar/scientist) two extra months in nappies? Nothing.

The 'pants' drawer looking a little thin on pants. Some may have been (were) chucked.

Potty Party!
Now this is where my tale takes a turn for the better. I went round to my lovely friend's house with another chum who also had two year old potty training toddlers (big up yourself Mel and Rach!). And we sat in the garden. The weather was warmer. We had three pottys out. They ran around naked and played in the paddling pool and you know what? They all went on the pottys. It seemed to have this magic effect. I did take the best piccy, but I am sure my future teenage girl does not want her bare arse on the internet. It was really brilliant and ever since then? She has been potty trained. Ta daaaaa!

So there we go. My tale of woe. I am sure most of you out there had a much better crack at it than me. I am sure most of you got it done very, very quickly and used your actual common sense. If you are reading this please heed my warnings and don't get yourself all wound up about it. It will happen. But like everything in the crazy world of toddlers. They are in charge. So let them do it in their own time...oh and buy LOTS of spare pants. I won't judge you if you chuck away the odd pair.

Come on, share your lovely potty training top tips! 
Help any parents who stumble across this succeed where I failed! 
Did you find it easy? Or hard?

Post Comment Love

65 comments:

  1. Sigh... I am potty training at the moment and the bribes are in full force! Except he expects a treat whenever he does a sodding wee! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has thrown pants away... I threw 2 out this week already. I'm exhausted and sick if discussing poo and wee. Oh and it's only been a week! God help me! x

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    1. It is so hard and no you chuck those cheapy pants away! Maybe that's why some of them are such poor quality? So we don't get angry when we throw them in the bin! xxx

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  2. Hehe love it. I left it till z was 3 and it took a good few weeks plus loads of tears from me because I'd stressed myself out before we'd even started. Even now he'll fogey and wet himself every so often but the nursery have been fantastic and said its normal for him to do that. I'm hoping he finally just gets it over summer.

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    1. Yeah summer is the best time. They just do it when they do it don't they? You can't rush a toddler! That's for sure!!! xxx

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  3. Completely agree with you. It's all about when they are ready. We had one false start (it was horrible and we both cried), waited a few months and then she was so ready that second time round it was easy. Lots of bribes (or "positive consequences" as I like to call them) and she even had a princess dress as a treat after a few days of being dry to help keep up the momentum. After a couple of weeks of being dry during the day, she then refused nappies at night. So proud of her.

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    1. Positive consequences! LOVE THAT! It's like tactical ignoring sounds like a really good thing! Wow on the night thing! That is fab! I have still not cracked it. Well I have. I mean my girl! ;) xxx

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  4. I'm glad this post had a happy ending! I can relate to so much but for us I think the time was right. LP was 2 and 2 months, Little Man was 6 months. Hubby had a month off work after an operation on his arm and it all kind of just worked. If it had been winter, with a newborn it would have been hell. I salute you for trying. PS, I love 'This is not my Daughter, this is Barbie' hahahaha! x

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    1. Glad you liked the piccy! For some reason it makes me laugh too. It is so good to have someone else around isn't it? To help out? Next time I will defo make the hub be off with me xxx

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  5. Great Post! We're about to commence this 2 weeks today, dreading it already. Wish me luck!

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  6. Oh, the potty training tales of hell I could share! Three MONTHS in, and we've cracked the wees but the poos are still everywhere. He's almost three but I still feel like we started too early. Either boys are a different kettle of fish or I'm just really crap at potty training! On the plus side, it's strengthened my determination not to potty train my second till he DOES IT HIMSELF.

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    1. Actually I am sure I heard somewhere that boys are harder for some reason? I do not know what this reason is though? Let's just say it is true xxx

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  7. Thanks for sharing this - not quite sure I am yet ready to face potty training my eldest, am waiting until she shows very definite signs of being ready for it but suspect I will be making a start at some point during the summer and will bear your tips in mind. I did laugh at the bit where you yelled at your husband for giving two stickers for a wee - I have definitely come out with similar things with mine! :-)

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    1. Oh yeah the hub gets a real tough time from me. Esp as I am a teacher so I am like super bossy. Poor Poor sod xxx

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  8. Oh I feel your pain! We started when S was 2 last Spring - too early! I was pregnant & worried about having 2 in nappies (& hormonal!)... Left it a month or 2 & tried again in summer, by which point she was going through a whole medical issue and we decided it was too much for her so we decided to abandon until after her brother had arrived (I'd read that a sibling's arrival is unsettling enough without suddenly whipping the nappies away lol!)... Long story short: we had 2 months with a 2yo & a newborn in nappies from the depths of Autumn and up to Christmas. The new year rolled around, girl was heading down almost 3, and she just cracked in one day. Bypassed potty and was straight on the toilet. The relief! Next hurdles? Being dry at night and then it'll be the boy's turn.

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    1. WOW! That's ace that it all happened so quickly! God my girl still poos every night. I think I should be worried about it but I seriously do not want to stress about that now! Shall pretend it's not happening xxx

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  9. This is so funny! Thankfully, I'm way past the potty training phase, but I can still remember its frustrations! I love the part where you described yelling at your husband about the stickers! I can see it so clearly :) #sharewithme

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    1. I know. The poor man. I really really shout like it matters what stickers she gets for what??? Ha ha ha xxx

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  10. I can relate to this! I was in the first trimester of my second pregnancy and hellbent on getting my eldest potty trained. My first failed attempt (thanks Gina Ford!) was the week after her 2nd birthday and resulted in me abandoning the mission at the end of day one due to eight 'accidents' and zilch in the potty! Two months later both hubby & I were off work so we tried and failed again. At that point I put the potties in the cupboard, her back in nappies and decided I'd crack it on mat leave. Just a few weeks after fail #2 she started asking for her potty and knickers and that was that. Still took a full month to properly crack it though.

    I'm in no hurry second and third time round! When the toddler is ready, she'll let me know. If it's closer to three then so be it...

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    1. Oh Gina Gina Gina. That lady! I am like her. But crap. And not rich! I am so not going to rush with my boy. I am going to be a whole lot more relaxed about the affair! xxx

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  11. Hilarious, partly because my girl is only 3-months-old and I'm a long way off even contemplating potty training. It's not something I relish the thought of doing, will remember your advice though. Great post! xx

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps

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    1. Yay! You have aggggggggggggggggges to wait! Enjoy it! xxx

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  12. So funny, I hated potty training everything you said is so right. It took a whole year with son 1 (until I screamed the house down after yet another accident), then with son 2 going ok until his eldest brother went to school and was replaced by a newborn. Then son 3, I couldn't be bothered and would have left it forever but if I wanted cheaper fees at his nursery when he was 3 (to go up to the next room) he would have to be out of nappies. So I let him get on with it, no stickers, no potty, no new exciting pants and he did it on his own as he had amazing bladder control. I wish someone would invent potty training camp where you send them away for the weekend with Gina Ford and she does it.

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    1. Oh god yes! Imagine that would be amazing. Here you go Gina. You deal with it. I would pay for that fo sure! I would go to a nice spa and let her sit in my kids shite all day. That's a plan xxx

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  13. The old man (a SAHD) is very much of the laid back "it'll happen when it happens" attitude and so far he's managed to get two children out of nappies with zero stess, so I believe him. Alfie didn't decide he wanted to stop using nappies until he was 3, Esme flirted with it at 6 months and basically decided for herself about 3 months ago, aged 2.

    I think it really helps to have a role model.

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    1. Defo - my boy has done everything quicker this time round. He walks, talks even uses a knife and fork a lot lot quicker. He even already picks up the old potty we have lying around. Bless him xxx

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  14. Love the sound of the potty party-my Mum is a big advocate of only training during the summer so kids can run around free to erm let it go outside (or something)! I was potty trained at night by 1 yet my eldest still needs night nappies at 4 and that's OK, they each take their own time. Loved this post x

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    1. Defo - each and every child is different. I am going to be much more relaxed with my boy as I know my girl got it eventually. I think with the first one everyone is always a little bit bonkers. It's natural isn't it? xxx

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  15. Oh my god I am literally dreading potty training....! So so scared! I have twins...eeeek (I know). This made me laugh a lot though (as usual!) x x

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    1. Oh it will be SO easy!!! (IT WILL NOT!) xxx

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  16. Another great post!! My 2 were completely opposite to each other. First was 2 yrs 1 month old. Followed good old gina ford and from the day we started we had no accidents. Night time was a different matter. She was nearly 5 when she was dry at night. Number 2 was totally different. Tried on and off for about a year from 2 and a bit to 3 and a bit. He just never got the timing right. He used the potty and toilet regularly but not enough to ditch the pull ups. Maybe made it 1 in 10 times. Then randomly a few weeks ago something just clicked and he did it all by himself with little involvement from us! So my advice is just do it when you think they are really ready and don't worry if you have to give up a couple of times and start again after a few weeks. :-)xx #PoCoLo

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    1. Good old Gina Ford! Yay glad your boy managed it by himself. Mine is 18mths so I shall try next summer I think? Then sack if off and do it over Crimbo when the hub is on hand to help out xxx

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  17. My recommendation would be don't leave it too late! All the laid-back advice about don't do it too early is fine, but you try potty training a stubborn 3 year old! We left my eldest until he was 3 and he was a nightmare. He was clever enough to refuse. I did my other two at 2 and they were a breeze - in fact my middle one actually took no training whatsoever.

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    1. Oh my god you are so right. If I tried to do it with my girl now she would be like NOOOOOOOOO and run away as she is a total Diva. I think my advice should read: do not do it at the same time as giving birth to a baby. That's proper crazy xxx

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  18. Love this post.....we have tried twice to potty train our 2.5 year old, stubborn as a mule, Poppy. Both times ended in tears for both of us. Still I am going to give the running naked in the garden (well not me too obviously) a go and see if we can crack the pee in a pot over the summer. Thanks for message of hope!

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    1. You should do it too, it might be fun! ;) x

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    2. Ha! You are going to think I am insane but I'm not rude but sometimes wouldn't it be ace just to be able to do that? However I do have a garden which can be accessed by both of my elderly neighbours. I'm not sure they would like it so much! ha ha ha xxx

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  19. I started way early too. Its not working then and I gave up and transferred my energy into some other things but its in the back of my head. I am so ashamed when my son started pre-school in nappies but what can I do? I then started one half term and what do you know he is ready and we did it in 2 days. There are some minor accidents after that but acceptable =) #PoCoLo

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    1. You should never be ashamed EVER of what you do as a Mum. You should always always do what makes you and your boy happy and see how well he did it in two days! My girl took months and months and months!!! xxx

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  20. Oh I remember those days so very well! I have had two really different experience's, with my oldest it seemed to take forever but my youngest was only two weeks and she was done! I did feel shamed to get on with it with my oldest as she was late (3) and still in nappies and a lot of nurseries wouldn't take her unless she was potty trained. It was a mixture of things, she had autism, which we didn't realise at the time, but I felt like such a bad mum! I remember my other half saying to me not to worry that if she was still in nappies when she was a teen then we should worry! Lovely to read your journey :) #sharewithme

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    1. Oh bless that you felt shame. I think we should stop with all this shame malarky and start telling people to sod off. Men are a bit better than that I think. Maybe as their friends would not think or say anything if their child was in nappies. My hubs mates wouldn't even think about it. I now try and think f*ck it but I still have the odd day where I get a bit paranoid! xxx

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  21. Oh I feel you girl I had the same scenario I just had Missy Moo and breastfeeding trying to potty train Buba and it was HELL the first time. It almost broke me too. I am not looking forward to it with Missy Moo either. I had to leave it for a few months as we got nowhere but the second time I have to say he was ready and caught on within a week. I was so relieved. I have blogs a few posts on potty training and tips you have a great round here too! So many parents fear and struggle through it so it's always great to share our experiences and tips that we found helpful. Don't worry no judging I chucked Buba's underwear lots! lol Thanks for linking up to Share With Me and for the continual linky support. Love your posts each week. #sharewithme

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    1. Hope you're having a super lovely time away bab. Potty training is hard and even when you seem to have everything all sorted as a Mum kids surprise you with making the simplest thing seem totally and utterly rock hard! See you same time this week! xxx

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  22. Oh this did make me chuckle. Give me 30 year 8's on keyboards anyday! My daughter, aged 23 months took it upon herself to reject nappies a week before I was booked in for Caesarian section... Husband only had a week off... She always tripped over the potty just as the baby had vommitted and the postman was knocking at the door... Magic.

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    1. Ha ha ha ha!!! LOVE THIS STORY!!!!!! Yes this was my life. The joy of a c section and two tiny children. Not xxx

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  23. It was hell for me too, I tried several times and all of them were too early - she's now 3 1/2 and happily potty trained (although pooing can still be an issue) I have definitely thrown away pants that I just can't face. The most common phrase in my house is "poo in the loo" and bribery with stickers. I totally agree, don't listen to others when they tell you they 'should' be trained by x age - do it when they are ready, because it won't work and everyone gets stressed

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    1. Exactly! It's stressful enough looking after little ones let alone everyone else banging on about it! xxx

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  24. Omg I'm starting again next week. Dreading it. Great post as always :)

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    1. OH THE DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! xxx

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  25. Fab post lovely and just what i needed right now. At 25 mths I don't believe Monkey is nearly ready, I know summer is the best time but I still don't think he is ready and don't want to rush it. Especially not with new baby on the way soon. Sounds hellish and I am in no fit state to do it at the mo, especially with him not being ready. Great post, I shall stick to my guns!! Xx #pocolo

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    1. Oh god no bab. Take it from someone who knows. Do it when you are ready and happy xxx

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  26. Honestly thought I had commented on this one. So so fab, but then by this point - you didn't need me to tell you that ;) xx #PoCoLo

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    1. Ha!!! You tweeted me with family moans. Hope you're feeling better lovely xxx

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  27. I am so glad I have found your blog!!! This post just made me giggle so much...I think maybe because its all so so true!!! I am potty training my daughter at the moment, cue alot of anti-bac wipes and me chasing after her with the potty! Such fun times :-) Cant wait to read more of your blogs!

    www.lauraevelynbee.co.uk

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    1. Ah glad you enjoyed it lovely!!! Oh the anti bac wipes and general washing of my hands constantly. That was a nightmare too with super dry skin xxx

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  28. Brilliant post. My son has just started using the potty at 3 and a half. We had been talking about it for around 6 months and every time he screamed at the thought. I really did think he was going to be the oldest kid at pre-school wearing nappies...and proud of it. He woke up one morning last week and wanted to use the potty and has done ever since...no training required! I kind of knew he would do it in his own time but I wasn't 100% sure that i was right to just wait for him to come round...thank god he did. His 21 month old sister loves to use the potty and we leave her nappy free often but she's not ready for big girl pants as she forgets and wee's herself.

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    1. Yay! I think I am going to do that with my boy this time round. I think he may be a bit quicker as he will follow his big sissy. I hope???! Fingers crossed xxx

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  29. Right on! I'm also a big believer in if at at first you don't succeed... try again later. There was a point where my son had started to cry, and I told him, "Let's try again next week, okay?" He felt better and wanted to keep trying but if he had kept crying that would've put an end to it right away. I always thought if they cry or are upset, that's your sign right there that they're not ready.

    We also did three days of bare bottom training. meaning he wore no diapers or undies for three days. Worked great, which means it wasn't perfect but he got it most of the time. Peeing was also easier than pooping, which took several more months before we were completely accident-free.

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    1. Yeah exactly. We shouldn't put too much pressure on ourselves should we? We should wait a bit and make sure everyone is all nice and calm and happy. Hooray for us! xxx

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  30. This is THE best post! I can see why you made it onto the front page! I have come out the other side now. Thankfully I am too stubborn to give in to peer pressure so waited til my little girl was ready and even then we both cried and gave up for a month. I have another couple of year until I have to go through it again and I may even wait til she is 3 as I cannot face it haha!! As you say, they all get there in the end (besides those one or two men who do indeed like wearing nappies ;-) )

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    1. Thanks lovely! Yes there is the odd nappy wearing man around. I am going to wait till my boy is read and he's only 18mths so thank the lord have a while to wait yet!!! xxx

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  31. Good luck lol just know they get it in the end lol. Happy monday from jollyjillys

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    1. Yay! Happy Monday (but it's Tuesday as I type this) to you too! xxx

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  32. Brilliant post! Summer potty training is the best!!

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  33. They'll do it when THEY'RE ready... and not before. And they all lived happily ever after(ish). The end! ;)

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