Before I moved to Asia and learned the local language, I remember someone telling me how fun it was to find interesting phrases that express ideas in the new language with delicate politeness. For me, the local language word for "bathroom" is one of those. It literally means "wash hands room" and is the more polite alternative to another local language phrase which literally means "get on the toilet." I just think it's nicer to use the more polite phrase!
That being said, that phrase accurately expresses some of this culture's habit of washing hands, especially in public places before you sit down to eat. Many restaurants have their hand-washing sinks separate from their bathrooms, since more people just want to wash their hands before eating. When we first arrived here almost 7 years ago, we spent a lot of time the first few weeks with a young college student. He took us all around town and we ate many meals together, and at every one, as soon as we had found a seat, we all got up and went to wash our hands. Part of this is because the environment here is just dirty. If you've taken public transportation, been out shopping, or whatever, trust me, your hands are dirty. Our family habit upon arriving home from anywhere is: 1. shoes off and in the "shoe closet" (a small cupboard near our front door), 2. Go to the bathroom and 3. Wash your hands with soap!
To finally get to the point of this post, Christin's progress in the "wash hands room" has been quite remarkable! I think I had extremely low expectations since it took Chloe more than a year to be fully trained...she did great with daytime dryness but naptimes and nighttime were harder for her. Also, whenever the family routine was disrupted significantly (there were many significant disruptions that year including several long trips, a new baby in the family, and a move to a different apartment) Chloe seemed to regress a little. So it's been a wonderful blessing to me that Christin has learned so quickly!
All that to say, Christin seems to do fine if we're out and about, if we're at someone else's home, and even at night. She was dry through the night very soon after starting training. PTL! I am so thankful for this blessing from the Lord since I had no idea when we started how it would go for her. It certainly helps that she has two older sisters and sees them use the wash-hands-room everyday. She is also quite verbal and so can tell us quickly if she needs help to use the bathroom.
Isn't that picture of Christin just too cute? It may be one of those that comes back to embarrass her when she's older, but right now I sure am proud of her for being such a big girl! She doesn't need the potty seat or anything anymore, just sometimes uses a stool to get up and down. Big girl Christin! Way to go!
PS Does anyone know why my paragraphs won't break? It seems to have something to do with the picture, (like when I add them picture it messes up the formatting) but the paragraph breaks are visible in the non-preview form, but when I preview it they disappear! Argh!