*Mommy disclaimer: I believe potty training stories fall into the realm of “things other people don’t want to hear about unless they are going through it or just did”. Other things that potentially fall into this category: fishing stories, golf game reports, fantasy football records and yes, this is going to be controversial here, but birth stories *gasp*.
But if you are in the process of potty training or have thought of potty training in the future, this may or may not be helpful information. But it could scare you really badly and bring you to my thought that we should all just say no to potty training!
My Potty Training Journey as a Mom
About 3 years ago the following scene happened in an Ultrasound room at a local hospital:
US Tech: So, you have two boys, huh?
Me and my husband: uh, huh.
US Tech: *pointing to screen* Do you see that right there?
Me: Oh Lord…I have to potty train THREE BOYS?
Let me clarify that I was excited about having another boy because realistically, I have all the stuff and I am getting into the groove of this, but the horror that is potty training overwhelmed me at that moment and has come back to haunt me now. I figure that God sent me this last boy to potty train to entertain Himself. I can hear the heavenly mocking laughter now.
Let’s have a potty training review–
BOY #1: I read ever article, book, pamphlet, Internet advice and watched the Dr. Phil potty train in one day show. I got all the stuff recommended. I started just after Ryan turned 2 in hopes that he would be potty trained by the time his brother was born. I followed the Dr. Phil plan to the letter. Throwing massive pee parties complete with favors and noise makers. By day three I was a huddled mass on the bathroom floor yearning to be free. Free from the hell of potty training. Free from the restraints of living in the bathroom. Free from the FAILURE. I made an executive decision to stop the hemorrhaging. We discontinued the potty training. Didn’t mention it until well after the baby was born. Didn’t do anything else until Ryan was 3. Didn’t do anything but write a scathing email to Dr. Phil.
BOY #1 Round Two: Ryan has always been smart. Too smart. He has always been conniving. Too conniving. Waiting to potty train a child until after 3 who is smart and conniving is a recipe for disaster. Overall, it was easier to get him to go on the potty and complete the necessary tasks, BUT then the bargaining began. He started holding his poop and pee hostage for ever escalating demands. “I will go pee on the potty if you give me this”. “I will go poop on the potty if you will give me that”. Lord help me. I made an executive decision to stop all rewards and then suffered the consequences. But finally well after mommy exhaustion had set in, BOY #1 was FINALLY potty trained *insert angel choir singing here*.
BOY #2: I can sometimes learn from my mistakes. I didn’t even think potty training with Boy #2 until age 3. I set aside 2 weeks to vegetate on the bathroom floor and we began. Boy #2 is a very different soul from his older brother. Boy #2 has no interest in rewards or winning. Boy #2 lives in a different world. I often describe Reid as being “on island time”. So, for 2 straight weeks of me obsessing about the potty, Reid did not go on the potty. Not. one. time. Then on day 10 he suddenly went pee while standing and afterward never had an accident. The switch had been flipped. Hallelujah, except for one tiny issue: poop. Yes, my dear island boy hadn’t pooped on the potty. Not. one. time. He stood to pee and then would go poop in his underwear. This went on and on for NINE MONTHS. Nine months. Nine months. Yep, you read that correctly, nine months. Then he decided to poop on the potty and hasn’t had an accident. Boy #2 was FINALLY potty trained *insert angel choir singing here*.
BOY #3: My crazy baby turned 2 in December. He believes he is 5 and because he follows his brothers around all day is a bit advanced in some areas. He has shunned all things baby for awhile and now is shunning the diaper. He is obsessed with the potty. When we are out shopping he will ask to go to the potty. I politely tell him that he isn’t potty trained and I am not going into a disgusting public restroom with him for that purpose until he is. He is showing ALL the signs of potty readiness. ALL THE SIGNS. Yet, I do nothing. Don’t get me wrong, if we are HOME and he wants to go potty, I oblige. BUT I am not doing anything extra to encourage it. WHY? Because I am tired. Because I am terrified. Because I hear heavenly mocking in my head. Because I am lazy. Because I know my life will never be the same once we start. Because, because, because…
What would happen if I just said no to potty training?
Would that be so wrong?
UPDATE: I believe my Just Say No to Potty Training Method will be the wave of the future. I just kept telling #3 no until he insisted. And then I said no again. He begged! He pleaded. He kept at it and finally convinced me to potty train him. We started one morning at around 7 am. He was fully potty trained by 7:15. The key was HE was in charge and HE was motivated.
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