So it’s been a while since I first wrote about potty training. That’s mostly because we are still in the trenches and the trench is currently getting deeper and longer so forgive me while I waste your time complaining about my problems. I didn’t realize how much worse it could get. We are literally having arguments with an almost 3-year-old about how peeing on the couch is not okay. While I understand that arguing with a child is futile, it happens when you’re losing patience and you start to believe that you can rationalize with them. More and more I realize that toddlers are really just drunk frat boys, Chapter “Sigma Pi Pi”. They pee on your kitchen floor and act confused when you get upset, they insist that you reward them for any minor personal hygiene upkeep, they crap their pants at the most inconvenient times possible, and they are adamant that dark liquor must be mixed with coke on game day.
We thought we were off to a pretty average start with our daughter going long stretches without a diaper and showing that she could hold it. But then things took a turn. She would pee all over her chair during lunch or poop in her pants while watching a movie. Now I know that all the books say that this is normal and we should approach these situations calmly and try to defuse any stress, but it is really hard to find Zen when scrubbing feces out of your carpet. So our first plan of attack was to put a reward system in place. I have been adamant about not using food to get her to use the potty. I have an irrational fear that she will one day reward herself for making the JV basketball team with a whole box of Krispy Kremes when that is clearly a treat for someone who worked hard enough to get to Varsity. Anyway, I decided to go with stickers. I bought the really horrible ones that don’t actually stick to anything. They were working great for about a month until she lost interest and decided to resist all things potty. At this point daycare decided to get their skin in the game. They starting doing charts for the kids at school and mandatory potty breaks. Just when I thought we were off to the races, they have some teachers quit and shuffled classrooms. With those adjustments, we were told that they were going to be putting potty training in the class on hold. “Um what?” You don’t open someone up for surgery and then say you would like to take a break while they’re bleeding out!!!!!! After crying in front of the other kids and parents in the class, I pulled myself together and decided we would just forge ahead on our own because nothing makes you feel more like a parent than the constant reminder that you can fail at the simplest of tasks.
I updated our reward system. We were now going to have a tracking chart with fun squares to color and potty prizes (dollar bin). I introduced the chart to D and the concept of prizes and she was immediately successful . . .for about a week. At this point I decide to throw all structure out the window and stop fighting her to use the potty. I put her in pull ups and offer it to her from time to time and she goes occasionally. Long car rides are the worst. “I need to go potty” “Okay honey, thanks for telling me. Can you hold it or do we need to stop?” “No you hold it.” “I can’t hold it. Do you need to go potty now.” “Yeah. Can you hold it?” “Wait what? Okay no. Let me find somewhere to stop.”—We make it into the nastiest gas station bathroom you’ve ever seen and I line the toilet with toilet paper and manage for her not to touch anything—“No I don’t want to sit on the potty!!” “But that’s how you GO potty.” “No, I not!” “You said you needed to go potty so lets just try.” “No I don’t need to go potty.” “Please just sit and try.” “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I DON’T NEED TO GO POTTY!!” “Okay fine, but we aren’t stopping again.”—load back in car, get on highway, 3 minutes later—“Mommy, I need to go potty.” Make it stop.
So as it stands today, we just aren’t there yet. You can read this and feel better about your parenting abilities or know that you have a kindred spirit in the land of the forever diapers.