Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Tao of E's Potty Training

When he was about 15 months old, E started showing some curiosity as to what Daddy and I were doing in the bathroom, so we decided that since he was still a bit young we wouldn't "formally" start training him until he was 2. Around that time we went out browsing for the perfect potty chair for our little man. We put a lot of thought into the potty itself, not wanting it to be too busy, or else he'd only want to play with it, not do the doo, if you will.  But we also didn't want it to be too boring. So we chose one that we felt was juts right. Not too many frills, but enough dazzle to make it fun. At first, he was slightly terrified of the thing, then he began dragging it around the house, using it to watch T.V. and even sitting on it in the bathroom with us, but hes till wasn't quite ready to take the plunge.

 We went out searching for books as well, looking for any possible edge on this whole potty training thing, determined that the 3 of us were going to nail toilet training in record time. The kid loves to read and I spoil him rotten with literature (the best and only kind of spoiling a child should get IMHO!) We were pretty choosy about his books too. Some talked down to the child, telling them that we wee-wee and make poopies on the potty. No, no, no....we don't wee-wee or make poopies, we pee and poop. I could only find 2 books that weren't really ridiculous. Or were not made for girls. And he was really into the books, we used them as tools at the potty, reading them and showing him examples, and also leaving them by the potty for him to check out while he's sitting and trying to do his thing. At first he seemed to be pretty much on board. At first...

For a while E was regularly sitting on the potty and going pee, when we put him on the potty anyhow.  He never took the initiative, but we figured it was part of the learning process, having never done this before. Then we upped the anty, and made a huge potty chart including multiple kinds of reward stickers for various behaviors, (small stickers for sitting on the potty, big stickers for peeing, and a huge fanfare with confetti and balloons for a poop) **kidding on that last part! Little man seemed to be cool with this as well, but still, it was us pushing him to sit on the potty, us asking him if he wanted to earn a sticker, ect.

Pretty soon we started trying a different method, not getting the immediate results we wanted. We put the kid in big boy undies and put him on the pot every few mins.  This resulted in a lot of pee and poop messes. The boy could have cared less if he was sitting in his own piss and shit, he just kept on playing.  Several people, including my mom, told me that boys were just harder to potty train. But at this point it was getting exhausting! Not long after the underwear trick, he started refusing. Refusing to wear the underwear, refusing to sit on the potty, nothing. We hit a wall. Since he enjoyed being naked, we would just leave him Peter Pants-less, figuring, maybe being naked would prompt him to go sit on the potty.  That was short lived as the mess left behind was, as I'm sure you can imagine, horrible.

So here we are approaching the child's 3rd b-day and potty training was pretty much at a stand still.  Every once and a while the exhausted potty training duo (the Hub and I ) would bribe the boy to pee on the potty with candy, the boy's favorite thing, and something that is pretty much forbidden in casa West. But those attempts never got very far, so we quit. Obviously, he just wasn't ready. We will wait until after his 3rd birthday and try again.





He just turned 3 last month, for those readers who are a tid bit behind, and we have just recently resumed potty training. And guess what... We are getting the same results as before. We skipped all the other bull shit and went straight to bribing the little non-conformist right off the bat. And so far, I've had to throw away a pair of pants because senor pooped in them and decided he didn't like that and tried to remove the poop himself (being a parent is soooo glamorous isn't it?) We have been at it for...3 days and I AM READY TO QUIT! There have been more tears shed in the last 3 days than all the other attempts at potty training total, most of them mine. I'm guessing that we won't be sending him off to Harvard in pull-ups but damn! This potty training business is certainly not for the weak at heart! I've truly spent a fortune on pull ups and and really ready to say the hell with it, but we live with my sister, and while I know she's not keeping the carpet, I'm pretty sure she doesn't want her nephew pissing and shitting all over it.

So I guess the moral of this tale is...HELP! Anyone have any pointers, advice, words of wisdom, encouragement, or horror stories (preferably with a happy ending) to share with me? Because this momma is throwing the towel in on potty training!!!!


  1. I don't know what to tell you, mom, being that I've never potty trained a tot. but most moms I babysat for seemed pretty patient with the whole thing. seems every kid is different and they'll go at their own pace, mom and dad be damned. I know you bought books for E, but did you buy books for you? maybe that would help, you know? so you don't get as stressed. I've also heard that kids get more eager to use the potty when hanging with other tots who are potty trained. peer pressure and all.


  2. I've never had my own babies but I've nannied & potty trained. For one of the boys I used to keep a container of cheerios by the toilet & told him every time he had to pee, he was allowed to put a cheerio in the toilet and try to make it sink. He loved the idea would run into the bathroom every few minutes to try to see if he had to pee just so he could sink the cheerio boat. He actually ended up training himself to pee in the toilet.

    I was a bit of a bitch when it came to pooping; when I felt he was old enough I told him that if he was big enough to poop in his pants he was big enough to wash them out himself.

    After having to get that grossness all over his own hands a few times he learned very quickly it's far easier to run to the toilet and take care of business there.

    A friend of mine had issues with her son not pooping in the toilet so she told him if he didn't learn to use the toilet like a big boy he would have to share the litter box with their cat; not too long after that he was toilet friendly.

  3. I love both your ideas! And you don't have kids! Sometimes it just takes a little outside perspective! Thank you much :D

  4. Bbhahahha...share the litter box, that's a new one! Dear Bitter, hang in there hun, I know it doesn't seem like it now, but this too shall pass. When it was potty training time for my little boy, I headed to the dollar store and bought all kinds of lil toys and put them in a basket in the bathroom. Every time he went in the potty, he got to pick one....it's like friggin Christmas every time they go! I hope this helps, and good luck

  5. I know of the cherrio thing too. Put the cherrios in the toilet and give the little boys something to aim for.

    I'll tell you the story my mom told me when she potty trained my brother. Now he would pee in the toilet just fine, but he wouldn't poop. He would sit on the toilet and hold it in. His pediatrician explained to my mom that kids at that age are scared. That they feel when they poop they are losing part of themselves. My mom has never really understood that, but he suggested using glycerin suppositories. I know what you're thinking. Whaaaaat? But it makes it impossible for them to hold it in, it just slides right on out. After a couple times of that, my brother was fine and went on to live a normal bathroom using life. I suggested this to a friend and it worked perfectly for her boy too. Looks like I may try it too when/if my son gives me problems.

    Now I don't have any suggestions about getting him to sit on the toilet unfortunately. At that all I can say is conquer one thing at a time. let him get comfortable with sitting, then peeing then pooping. Don't get frustrated though, he will figure it out.