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MORE Potty Training

Amazon has 6,526 results for potty training. If you cut it back to books, 2,662, and books geared toward the parent part of the equation? 103. Many of them have buzz words like “no cry“, one day!, or, better still, LESS THAN A DAY, three days!, 7 simple steps, stress-free. If nothing else, potty training is a perfect example of how every child is completely different. I am very sure a great many children teach themselves to use the potty, learn in three days (or less than), respond well to stickers and incentives, and prefer to move right to the big toilet armed with a stool and and insert ring. I’m also sure that there are plenty of kids who don’t do these things and plenty of girls who don’t train at light speed compared to their male counterparts. And, since this is one of those critical skills, parents are meant to remain serene, a paragon of unflappable encouragement and peace.

This is the hardest thing I’ve done as a parent. I would have loved to have heard, “Potty training is hard. It might not happen in three days. It might not happen when you offer an M&M or a sticker or a hug. It might not happen in three weeks. Or three months. It just might not. And by the way, putting actual pee in the potty might terrify her. It might.”

I think my expectations were askew. I really thought this was something manageable. Something that my kid could figure out or, at least, be persuaded to accept. It’s hard not to be flabbergasted. She’s been doing single digit addition since she could talk. Sunday she said, “I put one more drop in Mama! Two and one drop is three drops!” That’s right, not only did she add the two drops from earlier to her one new drop, she has the bladder control to place precisely one drop in the potty and then calmly walk down the hall into my bedroom and drop a gallon onto the rug.

We have rolled up most of the rugs.

I can only imagine this is how folks who had trouble getting their kids to sleep feel. There are so many sleep training methods, one of them should work and yet, since your kid isn’t like every other kid, it doesn’t. Not quite. Today is the 4th day she will be in panties from start to finish and we left her at school wailing. In fact, she started carrying on when she stepped out the front door and I wouldn’t stick my head in the back of the car as she commanded while she teetered, bawling, on the edge of the cement steps. Potty training and a new school are sending her over the edge and she’s taking me with her.


Also hard, feeling not at all pregnant this month despite still having every possibility. I’m waiting on the results of yesterday’s progesterone test and wondering if there’s anything worth doing if it is low. Why check? At any rate, I’ll know on Sunday for certain.


7 Responses

  1. gah. that sounds ridiculously hard. She will get this eventually! Not when she’s 16, right?

    To commiserate, I have a funny story (not advice, because everyone gives advice and after awhile I know it’s just too. much.) from when Thing One was training… she had been peeing for awhile in the potty but wouldn’t go number two. Would. not. Instead, she would hold it and ask for a diaper. And hold it and hold it and hold it. So, geniuses that we were, we decided that her holding it was the problem- that if she couldn’t hold it, and we wouldn’t give her a dipe, then she would be forced to go in the potty. So we gave her apple juice. Lots and lots of apple juice, all day long. And when the time came, she came RACING into the room demanding a diaper and hollering that she had to poop. We got all excited and started talking in happy upbeat voices about using the potty like a big girl this time. Got up to take her hand to lead her to The Golden Throne… and that was precisely when she shat. All over the floor. So much for our plan.

    And that is my story… but now she’s all grown up and using the toilet! Amazing. RR will get there, hang in there mamas.

  2. Ugh! Potty training hell, I feel your pain! We are dealing with it as well… They will get it, one day. Soon? Right? Sigh

  3. She’ll do it when she’s ready. lol Maya couldn’t go through the night for the loooooongest time. We tried charts, withholding liquids for hours before bed, saying no more pull-ups. Nothing worked. She didn’t care if she wet her bed. Finally one night she said, “Myley wears panties to bed and I’m older. So tonight I’ll wear panties to bed.” And that was it. Damn kid.

  4. My local moms group swears by this program… Good luck- I feel for you!


  5. You can pay her back in your old age. Oh how she will loathe changing your adult diapers and cleaning up your messes day after day after day. And oh how you will chortle.

    Good luck, hang in there; puberty’s bound to be a breeze after this!

  6. I have nothing but commiseration. Our now 9 year old took years. Years. We were always like, “but you are the most BRILLIANT child we know! You can recite science facts for hours! You can read! You ask us to challenge you with math problems! Why can you not GO TO THE POTTY?” Just so you don’t feel like y’all are the only parents whose kid prefers to wet their drawers. Because so many of us have been there! Patience from me to you.

  7. Potty training is hard. Intelligence of child has noticing to do with it. (Indeed, it might be more challenging for an intelligent child…)

    We stupidly tried to potty train C1 at 18 months. Introduced things slowly, took breaks when we were frustrated. He was 3 years old and we had to cancel his preschool slot because he wasn’t potty trained. He finally decided he’d had enough of the diapers at 3.25, but then he wouldn’t poop in the potty, and he wouldn’t wear diapers anymore, either. At least that phase only lasted a couple of weeks. Not like C2.

    C2 did train early by comparison, right around 2 years old. It was easier for him, having a big brother to follow. Then at 3, he began to have mini-accidents nearly every day. From skid marks to full underpants #2 accidents Every Day. For months. Oh, we talked to the doctor about it, a couple of times. They figured he’s just too busy playing to pay attention to when he needed to go. Stool softeners did not help. (He has a very active imagination and gets deep into his play world.) Finally, at age 3.75, we think he’s over it. Perhaps.

    Potty training is horribly frustrating, and your child knows she has the ability to drive you CRAZY. And, being 3 years old, it’s a wonderful new thing to drive your momma CRAZY! If there is anything I have learned from the horrible-ness that is potty-training, it’s that you need to cultivate a deep well of “I don’t give a damn.” Kid pees through their 5th pair of underwear that morning? “Too bad, sweetie. Try to get to the potty next time. Put your wet underpants in the laundry, clean up your mess, and go get yourself new clothes. Then, you can help do laundry.” Both my children had tantrums over getting themselves dressed after an accident, so I spent a long time waiting for them to complete all the steps, and cut out any fun activities on our schedule to make up lost time. Putting naked, tantrumming child in their bed to calm down occasionally helped.

    To cultivate my well of “I don’t give a damn,” I read Buddhist books. Some people like yoga, I have trouble making time for it. Podcasts are great too, with headphones to block out the tantrums. But whatever happened, I had to NOT CARE about the accidents. When I got mad, shouted, slammed doors, or huffed around, the accidents became more frequent and the children became gleeful they were affecting me.

    Good luck. I dearly hope RR’s difficulties don’t last much longer. Preschool/daycare could be a really good thing, seeing all the other kids using the potty. Btw, it might be a long time before she’s dry at night. C1 is 6 and needs the pull-ups most nights. C2 has been dry at night since 3.25. I can’t blame C1 though, I was a bed-wetter until 7 or 8.

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