I've noticed that there are few things that make human beings feel more independent than the ability to take ourselves to the bathroom.
Yesterday at church, Ellie decided that she needed this form of independence, not just at home, but everywhere. So Chris and I, being the supportive and encouraging parents that we are, decided to let her try it out. She knew where the bathroom was, she promised us she'd wash her hands, and we knew there were other parents in the foyer who would respond to the shouting if she found she needed help. We'd do it for their kids. So Ellie walked slowly out of Sacrament meeting, with her arms reverently folded, only to return a minute later and announce in her "quiet voice" that she can't get on the potty by herself because it's too high. I'm really glad she wasn't half naked at this point.
So I went to help her. As soon as I lifted her onto the potty, she said, "Okay, Mom, you can go now." As I walked out of the stall, she asked me to lock it behind me. I told her it can only be locked from the inside, so how about I just stay here and hold it shut? Apparently not. She didn't like that idea at all, so she hopped down off the potty, locked the door, told me I could go, and then turned around to get back on the potty. Uh, oh.
So she unlocked the door for me, and I lifted her back on. Then, assuming (I know, I should know better by now) that we had reached an understanding, I went to stand outside the stall door and hold it shut for her.
"No, Mommy! You need to go back to Daddy and leave me alone! I'll just lock the door!" And back down off the potty she came. This was when I started banging my head against the wall.
We finally compromised: I held the door shut, but I stood far enough away that she couldn't see my shoes and therefore felt like she was alone. As soon as she was finished she sent me on my way. I laughed all the way back to my seat.
When she got back into the chapel, she announced to Chris, "I went potty all by myself!"