Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Potty Training Party!

We are a potty training household, once again!
I have to preface that statement by telling you a few things about myself.

#1 - I hate potty training.

#2 - Pull-ups are of the devil

#3 - People who have potty trained a child should be able to put that as a job skill on their resume.

#4 - Bribery is perfectly acceptable when potty training.

#5 - After doing this with three children (and countless other little people while working in childcare), I've developed a few theories and I just know you'd love to hear all about them (that's why you're reading my blog, right?)! One of those theories is that small children (like 18 months to 2 years) have a window of opportunity in which they are open and excited about using the toilet. Miss that window and you have to wait a while for it to open again, or you simply forge ahead with it and fight your child every step of the way.

With our first daughter, I missed that window by a couple of weeks. I was pregnant, busy and thought it didn't really matter when I potty trained her. We started with great intentions, only putting her in underwear. After we had gone through ALL the underwear (about 20 pairs) in a matter of hours, I thought to myself, "Pull-ups are a lovely invention! Why not save myself some frustration and laundry?" Oh. My. Gosh. That was a thought from the pit of hell that drug on the misery of potty training for nine horrible months. And I can't blame my poor child for it either. I was the one who kept switching her back and forth from underwear to a diaper that had stretchy sides and made a horrendous mess when filled with fecal matter. Ugh. I told my friend Becca I was losing my faith over potty training. Wasn't joking; I meant it. Every time I took my little girl potty, I fervently prayed, "Please Lord, let her poop in the potty!" When our time in the bathroom yielded no results, only to have her fill her pants about 5 minutes later, it was enough to seriously question the existence of God.

Second time around, I had heard about the "potty training in a day" method. I've never actually read the book, I just talked with several people who had used it, so some of my methods may not actually line up with the experts, mostly because I'm too cheap to buy the book. Essentially, you pick a day to start potty training, make a big deal with your child about how they are not wearing diapers any more and will now wear underwear. And then (here's the kicker) ... you NEVER go back. EVER. The only exception is that diapers are still acceptable during sleeping times until they start waking up dry, but I think that the die-hards still recommend underwear even then. So when our second daughter, Trina starting showing some of the signs of being interested and ready, we went for it. She was only about 17 months old and tiny for her age, so the panties barely stayed on her little bottom. The first few days we holed up in our house and had many more accidents than successes. But she was getting it! After the first 3 days, I would put plastic underwear over her panties if we had to go anywhere and carried a whole suitcase of extra clothes with us. Within a week and a half, she was pretty good in public and rarely had accidents.

I got a little cocky and stopped making her wear the plastic pants when we ran errands. One afternoon I had to go to the bank to make a quick deposit. There was a long line at the counter, so I took Trina potty before we got in line as a precaution. When it was my turn, the girls stood behind me, happily munching on their suckers that are prevalent at every banking institution. Suddenly, I hear Trina say, "Mommy? Poopy?" She had a terrified look on her face. Diarreha was running down her legs and pooling on the rug. The lobby instantly smelled like something had died...about 15 days earlier. I looked over at Asia, because she is very quick to gag when something smells bad. Sure enough, she was gagging and very near emptying the entire contents of her stomach on the same rug. I got her to a chair in the back of the lobby, and then turned to the teller. What's the diplomatic thing to say in that situation? I'm still not sure, because all I heard myself blurt out was, "Um...my daughter just pooped on your rug!" Nice. I figured I probably better find myself a new bank. The teller graciously said, "Just roll the rug up and put it in the corner. The cleaners will take it and clean it tonight."

Really? Wow! I quickly rolled up the rug, got my offensive smelling child cleaned up as much as possible, and skulked out of the bank, so embarrassed that I think I used the drive-thru for at least a month after that (come to think of it, I still avoid that teller). But then I got to thinking about how fortunate that whole incident turned out to be. If it would have happened somewhere else, like my mini-van, I couldn't have just rolled up the mess and sent it to the cleaners, could I?

All those rambling stories are to tell you that we are now potty training child #3, and I did the same thing with Moses that I did with Trina. The only difference is that this time, I was introduced to thick, training underwear by my sister-in-law, Jen. This underwear is thick enough that it keeps accidents from puddling all over the floor, which is a huge plus and eliminates alot of frustration on my part. Moses is doing fantastic, and after about 5 days, he started telling me every time he needs to use the potty. I feel like celebrating with everyone!

How you doing, Heidi?

Fabulous! My son just pooped in the potty!

Nice...that's really... nice.

If you're not a parent, you probably won't quite appreciate the magnitude of this event, but if you are a mom or dad I have no doubt that you are celebrating with me in this huge milestone. If you hear whooping and hollering from the direction of Wyoming, you'll know why... :)


  1. Love it, Heidi! And, BTW, I totally agree with you about pull ups!

  2. LOL - I still laugh when you tell the 'poopy bank' story!! I'm sure it wasn't as funny to live as it is to hear you tell tho!! And way to go Baboo!!! Now you can be an authority on whether boys are easier to potty train than girls. BTW which are easier?

  3. Oh my goodness. So many things to say about this post.
    1. I totally LOLed. Twice.
    2. I'm behind your rules 100%. ESPECIALLY 3 AND 4.
    3. I can't believe I've never heard that story before! You brave, brave woman! You actually went out in public with children again after that!
    4. That story has such a happy ending -- someone else cleaned up the mess! How fabulous is that? It's like spending hours cooking dinner with multiple dishes, pans, and tools, only to discover that the dish totally flopped. BUT -- your husband says he'll clean the kitchen up for you! :)

  4. Mom, based on my experience, boys are way easier, even though I did think that Trina was a breeze at the time. I know some people would disagree with me, though, like your oldest daughter, Christy!

  5. Sorry Heidi, but I discovered that I couldn't live without pullups after about a week of constant poopy pants. I am humble enough to admit that's why I can't handle cloth diapers either. Wuss or not, everything else on your list I have to say a big AMEN to. Especially bribery. The Bible says whoever uses a bribe will prosper!

  6. We are in the midst of potty training and I have been trying everything you mentioned!!! Kids #1 and #2 in our family potty trained in 1 day, no accidents....EVER. They both just decided they wanted to use the potty right around 2 3/4 years and that was it. I didn't need to bribe, read books, zip. Child #3...not so. We have been pottying for 3 weeks now. She will go potty EVERY single time I put her on. But if I don't put her on once and hour...she'll have an accident. UGH!!!!!!! Tried no diaper, she peed all over the floor, twice. Did a pull-up...she peed in it. Back to diapers, and so far dry today, but again only b/c I put her on the potty every hour!!!! The joys of potty training!

  7. wow that is a GREAT story! it always in encouraging to read about other parents embarrassing moments.Good stuff to keep in mind when my boy is a little older..soo not looking forward to potty training!