The Potty Marathon


There were times when I thought the toilet was going to be my undoing.

As an object, it’s pretty mundane. It is important, certainly – at least for those who value indoor plumbing – but pretty innocuous none-the-less. That is, until the milestone of potty training arrives. I have decided that I don’t want to do this again. They Baby can wear diapers until he is in college. More than one day over the past year and a half that inanimate piece of porcelain has defeated me.

Yes… you did read that right. It has been a year and a half since we started this adventure. The Boy was not quite two when he first showed an interest in peeing somewhere other than his diaper, so we pulled out the potty and it has been a fixture in our bathroom ever since. I now hate the potty and can’t wait for it to be banished to the store room. The day when we sell it or, if I have to do this again any time soon, fling it wildly out the window, I think I will have to celebrate a glass, or a bottle, of wine.

I hesitate to get too excited, or even say too much because I fear jinxing our success, but I believe we are finally making headway. The potty chart (the newest in the long list of incentive programs) is more than half full meaning he will have gone 14 whole days with no accidents. He will be able to go shopping for his new toy and I hope this whole mess will be behind me. The toy he wants is expensive but at this point I think I’d buy him a car if I didn’t have to deal with that potty again.

I have learned a few things along the way:

1. The Boy is smarter than I give him credit for. I know I’ve said this before but he has been playing me since day one and he’s so subtle about it that it took me months to figure out he was doing it.

2. Tantrums are louder in the bathroom… especially if they are Mommy’s or Daddy’s. All that shiny tile magnifies both screams and sobs.

3. The size and shape of the poop are, in fact, incentives to make more. It’s a boy thing – it took Daddy to figure this one out. If it’s a really big poop or if it coils like a snake, he’ll try to beat his own record.

4. Cloth diapers, while still my preferred diapering choice for both financial and environmental reasons, are not particularly helpful when it comes to potty training. A boy who has been used to wearing a wet cloth diaper isn’t all that uncomfortable if he pees his pants.

5. No power on earth can make The Boy do something he doesn’t want or need to do. All my friends took their child to the bathroom every hour during their training efforts, The Boy would pitch a tantrum if I tried to take him when he didn’t think he needed to.

The Baby is now showing interest in using the potty. He wants to be ‘big’ like his brother. I think I’ll curl into the fetal position and hope it goes away.

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2 Responses to The Potty Marathon

  1. Marybeth says:

    Don’t feel bad, although it took me 2 days with one child, it took almost 3 years with another! Isn’t Potty Training fun!!!

  2. Divawrites says:

    My daughter turned 4 in February. She was trained for pee last summer…until summer camp ended and she had a sustained hissy fit and regressed. After a couple of doctors’ appts to make sure there’s nothing biological wrong, we started again…She is now trained for poop.When she pees on the floor-so does the cat. We’ve tried stickers, we’ve tried praise, we’ve tried taking her every hour, we’ve tried making her clean her own pants, we’ve tried fancy, big girl Dora underwear…we are now paying her every time she goes pee in the potty. It’s all about the right motivation. Money for her piggy bank seems to be working when all else has failed. Good thing-she starts kindergarten in September and the pullups don’t really fit anymore.

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