Potty Training…In the Trenches

I’m not going to mince words – Potty Training is Hell.  Forget about war and bedtime, hell is a stubborn two year old learning to use the potty.

We’re at day five of “Operation Do or Die Potty Training”.  Days one and two were really, really great – we’d plop him on his super cool Disney themed potty, he’d do his business, we’d pull up his Disney themed big boy underwear, and give him a Disney themed sticker.  Clearly no potty training would ever get done without the Disney Empire.

 Day Three – SB (small boy) pooped on the potty!  Dancing, lots of high fives, applause, singing and celebration ensued!  A new remote controlled jeep was purchased and SB was thrilled with himself.  So what if he insists on taking off ALL of his clothes to use the potty?  Whatever works.  Piece of cake, I thought – we’ll be done in a week.

Day Four – SB pooped AND peed in his DTBBU (Disney themed big boy underwear) because he didn’t want to stop playing with his damned remote controlled jeep and take a potty break.  I was whining about this to a friend and she pointed out that no one really wants to stop having fun for a potty break.  Point taken.  And not to be too graphic, but cleaning up little boy underwear is not high on my list of fun things to do.  Let’s just say that underwear Buzz and Woody were not amused.

Day Five – today – SB went off to school with five extra pairs of DTBBU’s, and three pairs of spare shorts.  So far I haven’t gotten any phone calls, but it’s only 11:00.  The teacher seemed on the ball and listened politely to my rambling on how to do this (apparently SB’s not the first kid in day care to go through this…), so I’m keeping everything crossed that all goes well.  I did go and buy ten more pairs of underwear just in case.

And just to add to the fun, we now have a little Disney themed potty in the middle of our living room.  Our new decorating style is Early American Outhouse.  Classy. 

And I won’t even get started on the laundry. 

How long does this take?  Weeks?  Months?  Will he be applying for his Driver’s License in diapers?  Aside from crate training and hot dog treats as one of my snarky dog trainer friends suggested, any tips from potty training survivors out there? 


The Night We Met Small Boy

Now that we’ve started potty training and SB (small boy) is slowly becoming a Disney themed underwear kind of guy, I’ve been thinking about how it all began (well, we know how it all began, I mean the Big Delivery Day).

Maybe it was because I had a scheduled C-Section, but the logistics of his birth pretty much amounted to making sure someone could take care of the dog and wondering what a nursing gown was.  Of course we poured over the pregnancy books before he was born, “look, he’s the size of a bean, a raisin, a Volkswagen, etc”, but the coming out part?  Not so much.  Once again, denial ruled supreme.

The night my water broke (a week early), BB (my husband, or Big Boy) was sleeping in the other room – he claimed my snoring was so loud that it sounded like a freight train was barreling through our bedroom.  Hmmph.  That’s the thing about pregnancy – I really gave up any semblance of dignity early on (I wore silver Birkenstocks to work, for God’s sake), and by the time I was due I frankly didn’t care about anything except weighing less than BB when SB was born.  I also cared A LOT about chocolate covered raisins, but that’s a story for another day.

I was so clueless that when my water broke that I’d thought I’d wet the bed.  I sat there like an idiot, and then I realized what happened when the first contraction hit.  And here’s the crazy part – I got totally calm.  For the four of you who actually read my blog, you’ll note that calmness isn’t usually my strongest point.  I woke up BB (who, by the way, was doing some pretty impressive snoring too), we loaded up my overnight bag and away we went.

The rest of it was pretty standard stuff – the C-Section, the overwhelming awe and love and bunnies and sunshine and rainbows upon meeting SB, lots of crying and then we were in our room with a tiny baby and no Owners Manual.

The nurses at our hospital were angels – truly.  No one laughed that I actually packed a book in my overnight bag.  And no one said anything when I kept clicking the little painkiller thing to get more drugs – I felt like Keith Richards in a nursing gown.

And now we’ll fast-forward two and a half years later.  It’s Saturday night, and instead of going out and whooping the night away, we stayed in and whooped that SB pooped in the potty.  The times, they are a-changing…

How did your big D-Day go?  Were you prepared?  Did you bring any reading material?  And does anyone really know what a nursing gown is?

Quitting Cold Turkey

At the rate we’re going, SB (small boy) will be around 37 by the time he’s potty trained.  He’s almost three now and the pressure is enormous – like if he’s not wearing underwear soon I’m going to be fired.  I can hear it now, “I’m sorry mama, but it’s just not working out.  I’m going to have to let you go”. 

 To add to my angst, all the kids on our street are either in the process or have been potty trained already, and it’s really starting to get on my nerves.  No one likes a show off, especially a show off in big kid underwear. 

Of course we’re the slackers – I was just starting to feel proud that he can take his pants off without falling down most of the time (just like me), but now the potty training cloud of shame is looming over our heads.

 When we get back from visiting family next week, we’re going cold turkey.  Sure, I’m all full of spunk and bravado now, but we’ll see who breaks first.  We’re going to try the “big boy underwear all the time” approach, rather than the “naked all the time” approach, because frankly – who the hell wants to clean that up?  Since I haven’t gotten around to putting in the cement floor with the drain/hose yet, I’d rather not have to deal with the naked thing.  Not going there.

There’s so much advice out there – the good, the bad, and the truly stupid.  Have him drink a lot of liquids, eat salty foods (I don’t get that one at all), pop him on to the potty every hour, use reverse psychology, pull ups, schlep around little mini potty’s, AARRRGHHH! 

Clearly having him stand in the cat box until he figures this out would be frowned upon, right?  And I’m not sure the authorities would like me putting him out in the yard with the dog…We’ve tried leading by example, but it’s a little unsettling to have the door fly open with SB offering me a sticker.  Although he is very proud of me for using the potty, so at least I’m doing something right.  Maybe he’ll only put me on probation instead of firing me?

So my plan for next week is to psych him up, screw the charts and stickers and just go for it.  I have promised him a HUGE toy if he figures this thing out, but again – at the rate we’re going, I’m not sure what kind of toy to buy a newly potty trained 37 year old. 

 Any advice?  Bring it on, we can use it – the good, the bad and the truly stupid…help me keep my job please!