Potty Training Is So Not Awesome

Let me first start by saying that anyone feeling like it is their place on the planet to tell me how they potty trained their kid in a day better step off real quick. If I found life that easy, I wouldn’t have started a blog to rant about it in. If there is a simple way to do something and then a ridiculously hard – bordering on impossible – way to do something, I’ll be in that second camp, attempting to cut down a tree with a trout. If you gotta get all soapbox-y, just share my blog as an example of how perfect you must be finding some poor frazzled mom’s life as a hugely entertaining “what not to do”.

Regardless. We are potty training, and I’m happy to report that there has been some success.

Yes! I’ve done thirty loads of laundry in three days. Yes! The couch will never be the same. Yes! Certain favorite editions of my comic books have lost their lives due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time… But all in all, we are surviving – dare I say thriving! No, I don’t dare. Sorry to get your hopes up.

I’ve been trying to get the whole potty training off the ground for months, but it always seemed like there was some big life event that I was afraid of getting derailed by (read: excuse). Trips, visits, school, more trips. It just never seemed like we staying in the same place long enough to get a routine going. Then we got accepted into summer camp. Summer camp – the words melt like hot butter on my tongue when faced with the scorching realization that when school ends the teachers don’t just show up at my house to entertain The Maderroo all summer. Yeah, not sure what I thought would happen there, but taking 8 weeks off from work isn’t really an option…

Summer camp (don’t you just love those words? They truly make me smile inside. Even my toes wiggle. It is only two mornings a week, but HELL, I”LL TAKE IT) begins a week and a half after school ends, and she has to be potty trained to go. So here we are almost mid week of Potty Bootcamp…. I bought her 20 pairs of Minnie Mouse undies. I want this. I’m motivated. I’m locked and loaded. But is she?

I had bought a little grey and white child’s potty and had it sitting on the bathroom floor and I thought we could get into a rhythm of using the potty together. The problem with that was the dog. He doesn’t leave my side, so trying to use the potty myself, plus orchestrate her learning with a Great Dane supervising the scene in a tiny bathroom wasn’t working.

So I moved the potty to the living room floor where we had more space and she could still be part of the action. Still no real interest. Then I took her potty chair and completely blinged it out- stickers, a tiara across the back of the seat – the works – and started calling it a “Princess Potty”. Better… but still not perfect. Began the bribes. 3 gummy bears for pee, 6 gummy bears for poops. Haven’t had a successful 6-Bear Event yet, but the 3 bears are going well! So we get the three bears and do a little Maddi is awesome dance.  Life is good. Still using the pull ups for naps and overnight, but we are getting closer!

Finding a few tips for other sub-par-potty-training parents:

  • Leave the bribe out in plain sight, it reminds them that all they have to do to get the reward is to use the potty. (Seriously, in the past month I’ve typed or spoken the word ‘potty’ enough for like a whole tribe of people to never have to say it their whole lives)
  • Buy undies with one graphic in the front as opposed to an all over pattern. When you fling them at the kid in frustration that you are off to do yet another load of laundry, they find it easier to know which end is up when pulling them on themselves as they automatically put the design facing front.
  • Do whatever it takes. I typically buy unisex baby/toddler items whenever possible so that I can pass them on to whomever needs them, but in this case it was a total mistake. If I had known that the style of potty would make a difference, I would have gladly paid the kajillion dollars for the Disney Minnie mouse one that plays music, makes breakfast and notifies the press when she succeeds.

So, I’ll probably be posting again with the results of the whole Mommy vs. The Princess Potty rumble next week. Fingers crossed :)


One Comment Add yours

  1. I have SO been there! Let me just tell you that I was pretty sure Quinn would be attending Kindergarten in pull ups. I tried cheerios in the toilet for him to play target practice, food coloring in the water, lots and lots of bribes, but the kid is very independent (as we’ve come to learn) and works at his own pace. He DID start kindergarten in undies though and never had an accident once he finally trained. Then there was Cassidy. At 3, she woke up one morning, put on her princess panties, and that was that… until about 6 months later when Kayleen came to stay with us for the summer. She completely reverted and had frequent daytime accidents ALL THE WAY THROUGH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! Apparently she gets this from her dad, who wet his pants until he was 13. Oy vey! Let me tell ya, after sleeping through the night and potty training, NOTHING will be quite that frustrating… that is until the teenage years, which make the toddler years look like heaven LOL. Still, we have our kids and they are gorgeous and smart and loving and really, what more could we ask for…

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