Cati ran (she doesn't walk anywhere) to the bathroom, shut the door (too bad she doesn't respect our need for privacy), peed on her toilet, apparently wiped herself with her hand, and then went up to Alex to show him her wet hand. Seeing that her hand was wet, Alex smelled her hand and said, "her hand smells like pee." I jumped into action and went to the bathroom to check her toilet. Sure enough, there was pee on the toilet. Only a little made it into the actual bowl and the seat and outside of the toilet were wet, but the point is that sat on the toilet to pee.
I was so proud! I was smiling and praising Cati with words and kisses. I was so impressed that she actually got what the toilet seat was there for and was able to make the connection the same day we brought the toilet seat home. I was literally beaming and spent the rest of the night in a fantastic mood.
Then this morning, just for fun, I tried leaving Cati without a diaper. We went to the family room to have breakfast and Cati peed on herself. She was so confused! I kept telling her to tell me if she had to pee but she was so distracted by playing that I think she forgot about the toilet and didn't realize she didn't have a diaper on. We came upstairs (where our bathroom is) after that and I left her bottom naked until we got dressed for the day. As soon as she saw the toilet she went for it and even brought in a few toys to keep her company in the bathroom.
Then she did the next impressive thing: she pooped next to the toilet! I know it might seem silly to be impressed by that, but I have read that some kids have issues with pooping in the toilet so I took it as a good sign that she was at least able to poop next to the toilet.
My goal in buying the toilet was just getting Cati used to having it around. I had no expectations of her doing anything and approached this as a fun experiment. I refuse to push Cati to do something she's not developmentally ready for, but because she was showing signs I thought it was a good idea to get a toilet so that she could begin making the association. I was so happy and thrilled when she peed in the toilet by herself (mentally and physically) because it was validation: I am reading my daughter right! I do understand her!
I don't even care if she is potty trained now or in six months. She is the leader with this and everything will move at her pace. However, I will encourage her since she is so interested in the bathroom (just like I would encourage her with dance classes since she loves music and dancing so much) and I will continue praising her whenever she uses the toilet. At the end of the day, I'm just proud that I was able to read her cues effectively enough to lead her to a new place in development. Go me!
Update: I just checked the toilet and Cati peed in the actual bowl! She must have done it after I gave her a bath and let her roam around while I got her things together. (1) I feel bad because I didn't praise her and (2) I feel bad because she didn't wash her hands before going to sleep!