17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tell me there is an end in sight...

I am in the midst of potty training over here. Knee deep in the glorious poop and pee of it all. And there is no end in sight. I am not exaggerating - I really don't think my darling 3 year old is going to get it.

A brief history:

DS showed interest in the aforementioned potty at 18 months. I was 8 months prego at the time with DD and was not as interested in working with him on the potty, so we didn't push it. Fast forward to age 2 1/2 where he was now showing great interest and even ability. Heck, there were days when I proudly proclaimed to my girlfriends that he was potty training himself. Clearly, I am a moron and got that one ALL wrong. DS is now 3 years and 1 month and we are STILL no closer.

I read my books. I checked in with potty training veterens. I gently guided, never pushing, gave lots of encouragement and enough Hershey treats to warrant stock in the stupid company. We read books on the matter, discussed bodily functions in full detail, watched together with glee as streams of pee made their way into the bowl.

Having seen minimal progress, once DS hit 3 I decided to go a more hard core. Having known my son now for 3 years, I know his personality and what makes him tick, makes him jump to attention. He is a cold turkey kid, a shock-him-into it kid. He's like me in that way - kind of an all or nothing breed. So we threw away the diapers and graduated into pull-ups full time, bought some underwear and talked about becoming a big boy in great detail. I started using an egg timer, every 25 minutes sitting on the potty, blah blah blah. "The poop is sad in your diaper, it wants to live in the potty". Seriously, you name it and I think we've done it. And its not working.

The thing is, he does GET it. Stick that kid on the pot and he's good to go, poops and pees no problem. He just keeps a stockpile of that same stuff in reserves for his pull up. He's an equal opportunity pee-er/pooper.

My 3 year old is a very verbal, articulate little boy. He stood in front of me today during "potty time" and refused to sit on the toilet stating in a clear, steady voice, "Mom, I can't go potty because I'm too little. Too little mom."

Is he right? Am I wrong? Are my methods completely off the wall?

I knelt in front of my little boy and said that he is a big boy now and come Sunday we are throwing away all of the pull ups and he will wear big boy underwear. Which means I'll have to bring out the camping tarps to drape over carpet and furniture because I just don't know if he'll...comply.

He's a smart kid, but I haven't been able to crack his code, so to speak, on the potty training.

So am I wrong, is he right, is it both? Or should I just accept that I will be changing diapers and going through pull ups like water for the rest of my life?


  • I have NO idea who is right. But I do know my oldest son, now 4, didn't get it until I tossed the pull-ups and put him is big-boy undies full time. And it was a drag. Tarps might be necessary. But he hated being wet, something he could avoid with the paper undies, and he got it.

    Good luck!!
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 3/15/2006 10:21:00 PM  

  • My 3 year old would bring me a diaper whenever he wet. He had used the potty a few times before (also starting at 18 months) and totally knew what he was doing. It was simply easier to have me do it for him. I told him he couldn't start (pre)school in diapers, bought cool underpants, made a chart with stickers, gave him treats, AND got the peeing doll to help him out. Yes, I actually got desperate enough to combine EVERY training technique known to man. I got lucky and it worked. I guess you've got to find your child's motivation and stick with it!!Good Luck!

    P.S. I also had bottles of carpet pre-treater stashed all over the house :)
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 3/16/2006 12:33:00 AM  

  • My sister-in-law was at her wit's end with her second son. My wife had him trained in two days. The secret? The old carrot and stick. Whenever he had an accident, she took a Nintendo game away from him. When he made it to the toilet, he got the game back. He learned quickly as his game library shrunk.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3/16/2006 05:31:00 AM  

  • My son was very stubborn about the whole potty training thing. He could do it, but he didn't like to take the time to get up and go to the bathroom when he was in the middle of playing with his toys. I was getting really tired of cleaning up the messes when he was "lazy," so finally I told him that if he didn't have the time or energy to get up and go to the bathroom when he needed to, then I didn't have the time or energy to clean up after him and he would have to do it himself. Well, he didn't believe me. Five minute after the threat, he had an "accident." I handed him the cleaning supplies and said "get to work kiddo." That was the last time he did that.
    posted by Blogger FluffyChicky at 3/16/2006 06:13:00 AM  

  • People's biggest advice to me was don't start too early. It sounds like your son is/was ready, so I don't know if this will help. I didn't potty train ds until 3 1/2 and it only took 2 days. Oooh. I'm not jealous--you are in a tough spot because he seems to get it, but not. You've been really positive (which is the best), maybe now after all that the "take a video game away" approach will be what does it. Best of luck!! I'm in the middle of potty training my little girl--ain't it fun!!
    posted by Blogger Katie at 3/16/2006 08:02:00 AM  

  • There's an end in sight. It sort of ends when they are on the phone and eating you out of house and home and you have to drive them to all their teenage stuff until they get their license and they hate you, but they need you desperately.

    I said having Sarah as a teenager was like having a Siamese twin who hates you.

    It's going to get worse. is what I'm saying ;)
    posted by Blogger annegb at 3/16/2006 08:17:00 AM  

  • I have to agree with your very last-ditch attempt --NO diapers, NEVER going back, and being consistant about it.

    #1 was almost 3 when I started training her. I did the above thing and within a week, she was finished.

    #2 I wasn't so dilligent with. We started and stopped 4 times. Finally, I did what I had done with #1 --NO diapers, NEVER going back, and being consistant. Within one week it was done.

    It's like anything with parenting, really. Weaning from the breast, the bottle, the binky, the baby blanket, a sippy cup, etc. etc. You live with hell for a short amount of time (comparitively) and then you have years of "bliss" (comparitively). Potty training just happens to be the hardest one. :)
    Good luck! I hope it's successful this time...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 3/16/2006 09:23:00 AM  

  • I have to admit that I became desperate to potty train my ds because I would soon have another baby. I tried the doll method (Dr.Phil), the juice method, and nothing worked. He was ready, but it was more of a control issue. I didn't think it was too much to ask because he was already three, so I bribed him. I bought a leapster (a learning video game) and used it as a reward if he went potty. It worked. I also gave up the pull ups because he was way too excited about having buzz light year on his buns. Good Luck!
    posted by Blogger Tri Mama at 3/16/2006 09:56:00 AM  

  • I have to admit that as scared as I was about cold turkey, it did work in the end. I was really overwhelmed by it though, so I started at 1 hour a day wearing panties, usually in the afternoon when I wasn't out running errands. I added time every day. This helped both of us to ease into it. I remember one of the first days Pukey was sitting in HER kitchen cupboard (where I keep her toys so that she doesn't destroy my pots or eat soap) and she said: Mom, it's raining. I ran in and said: No honey, that is tinkle that came from your bum. WHAT a revelation that was for her! It also helped when she saw Michelle's DD do it in our potty. Nothing like a little competition to get ya goin'.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/16/2006 10:38:00 AM  

  • We did our two oldest cold turkey, at the same time. My son was 3 and my daughter was 2. It was summer, and I figured they could play outside most of the day. My husband was Mr. Mom at the time. I got them started on my day off with the drink-juice-in-the-bathroom-all-day-and-give-them-candy-when-they-tinkle-in-the-toilet routine. Then I went to work and my husband had to figure it out. I think he mostly hosed them off out in the yard.

    Anyway I've always thought cold turkey was best. Pull Ups never seemed like a good idea to me. Even though my daughter LOVED being wet and had no qualms about peeing her pants all the time. (She probably wasn't quite ready to be potty trained, but we wanted to get it over with for both of them.)

    I honestly don't remember potty training my youngest (he's 11 now), and I was home with him then, so it would've been me doing it.
    posted by Anonymous Susan M at 3/17/2006 07:15:00 AM  

  • Chloe-

    Step away from the daiper/pull-up.

    After potty training 2 kids (one wasn't even mine) I say cold turkey is the best way. Kids hate being wet and sticky down there. It is really bad for the first 3-4 days and then something clicks. Just be patient and try not to get mad. It is as Hey Jenny-

    How are you doing? I seems like we never talk anymore. There for awhile I couldn't go a day without dialing your number. I hope you are doing great.

    I am sending the picture they keep asking for in the newsletter. They say they really want one, but never who to email it to. So I picked you. (lucky!)

    Talk to you soon,

    Abbyfor them as it is for you.
    Throw down a tarp as Tracy suggested, and mentally prepare for a bad week. I think potty training is almost as much about Mom readiness as it is toddler readiness. Once you start you should never go back.
    Good Luck!!
    posted by Blogger Abby at 3/17/2006 10:18:00 AM  

  • Pull ups are the WORST potty training invention ever!!! I think I've met 2 people that they actually worked for. Why, why, why would you put a diaper on a kid you are trying to get out of a diaper? I swear it took MONTHS longer to potty train my 1st because of that awful invention. We went cold turkey for #2 and it took days. I think we should all unite and sue the pull-up people for lost time!!
    posted by Anonymous mimi at 3/17/2006 12:06:00 PM  

  • You know, I have to agree with all of you regarding the futility of pull-ups - they really DON'T make sense, do they?!

    I've been counting down the days with DS - Sunday is the day for underwear. His best friend Allie (who is the same age and just potty trained) came over this morning and I swear they spent most of their time in the bathroom examining the stuff that was coming out of themselves. I didn't intervene - I figured it would only help the situation.

    Thanks everyone for the support - I'll report back after Sunday with our progress (or potentially lack thereof...)
    posted by Blogger chloe at 3/17/2006 01:32:00 PM  

  • None of the advice above is working for my 3yo daughter. Nothing. Cold-turkey to underpants means I am scrubbing poop out of underpants. She'll just pee in 'em, change 'em, load 'em in the hamper and move on. Taking away her beloved dolls and dress-up clothes does nothing. Sticker charts, candy and encouragement do nothing. Holding off on preschool does nothing. She doesn't care, has never once put any product in the toilet.

    According to my mother, I PTed myself at 18 months. With my first two, it's been an endless struggle. I hate this part of motherhood.
    posted by Blogger ubercyl at 3/22/2006 08:25:00 AM  

  • Whoa...that is tough. Maybe check out Dr. Phil....(besides potty training in a day) and see if he has any advice
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/22/2006 08:29:00 AM  

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