Dealing with a miss is much easier if you're prepared for it. For me that means having everything I need almost within arm's reach.
So, what do I need? Well, not much, actually.
A big stack of well washed, extremely absorbent muslins.
Mine almost suck the moisture out of my hands.
Our carpets came with the house when we bought it so I don't know very much about them. They are short pile and I think they've got some wool in them because wee sits on top for a few seconds before soaking in. I seize that window of opportunity to get a muslin mop-up going.
Muslins literally suck the moisture out of the carpet.
I usually use one folded into 8 as my first soaker and then put a fresh one (again folded to a practical size) over the damp patch, tread on it a few times and then leave it for a bit.
For poo misses on the carpet (gah!!) I start with the loo roll and muslins then have to cordon off the area and go to the garage to get the poo clean-up kit (washing up bowl, scourer / sponge thing, 1001 squirty stuff). Fortunately these were few and far between for us.
Once in a while (OK, once a year) I have a carpet cleaner man come round and clean our playroom carpet.
It costs me £20, it takes him 20 minutes and the carpet almost sparkles.
I have a wash basket in one of the kitchen cupboards (under the sink). This is my equivalent of a nappy bucket, I suppose.
Anything wet goes straight in.
Anything soiled gets thoroughly rinsed and then goes in. For badly soiled items most of the rinsing is done in the toilet (we don't use any in-cistern cleaning products, so a flushing loo is a useful and forceful supply of clean water).
Damp things often come back out again to mop up later misses from the stone floor.
Bibs and clothes with food all down the front also go in this basket.
When I put a wash on (once every two or three days), the downstairs wash basket goes in first and then the load gets topped up from the upstairs wash basket. I treat it as a standard clothes wash and run it at 40°C.
I'm afraid that's going to happen every few months.
Step back. Don't offer too frequently because your child will get annoyed.
Look for a new cue or fall back on timing for a while (or in our case, forever).
Pottying all over the place? Then something else is going on.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that catches are what pottying is all about - and if you're reading this without having ever tried it you'll definitely be asking yourself how on earth it could be about anything else.
But those who have had a go will know that the path to independence is not a smooth, dry one. It's rather bumpy, with twists and turns and doubling back and puddles on all the uphill sections. If you're wondering if you're even headed in the right direction, then...
...Remember Your Communication!
Keep up the chat from your end and keep an open mind to what your child is trying to say to you (especially as they get older and really are trying to communicate rather than responding in a consistent way to sensations within their bodies).
If you think you see a signal, but can't do anything about it - say so:
'Sorry, I can't help you while I'm driving. If you want to do a wee you can go in your nappy and I'll get you dry pants in a minute.'
If you don't see any signals, but see the wee midway through (because your child has a bare bum or just trousers), it's almost the same thing:
Make the cue sound if you're using one. 'That was [is] a wee. In your trousers. It's better to do your wee on the potty because that way you can stay dry. Come over and sit down and see if there's anything left to come...'
There are so many factors in the 'why so many misses' list above. It looks like a short list but if you think about how often your child falls into one of those categories your pottying can be all over the place for a lot of the time...
But if you can keep up the chat then you're definitely on the right road - don't doubt yourself.
I've known mums who thought they never caught anything, but then their 17 month old suddenly started to use the potty all by themselves. It will all work out in the end, and you'll have learned all sorts of things along the way.
It was all going so well!
And then it all went to pot...
Some days will generate more washing than others.
Create your own personal cheat sheet.
I'll guide you through your options as if you were at one of my workshops.