Wednesday, August 25, 2010

potty training blues

me: "so i have a GREAT idea to help you use the potty."

him: "what is it, mommy?"

me: "well, i can give you a sticker every time you go on the potty, and then at the end of EVERY week, we can go to the store and get a new toy!"

(at this point, i'm smiling stupidly from ear to ear, thinking i surely have thought of the irresistible plan.)

him: "well....umm....mommy, i have plenty of toys, so no."

i could just see the wheels turning. he didn't just want to say "no" with no reason. because when that happens he knows that it's straight to the potty.

at this point, i have tried candy, toys, stickers, snacks, tv time while on the potty, praise, aiming at cheerios in the potty (that was today and held his interest only in terms of "oh! they are drowning! we need to rescue them!"), threats to take away his paci (yes, don't judge, if i haven't potty trained, do you really expect me to have conquered the paci?), threats to not let him wear pants at all (and for some reason, which his future wife will be grateful for but which is a thorn in my side right now, he can't stand being naked).

it's exhausting. i do not bat an eyelash when i say that i think potty training is the hardest parenting job there is between the ages of 0 and 8 (because my oldest is 8, and i don't pretend to know how hard it will be when we enter the teen years).

i have brainstormed with other mom friends. mostly they just shake their head in sympathy.

in a few months, i will get through this, but i will not ever look back and say, "oh, that wasn't so bad."

because it totally is.


Pixie said...

Just listened to a podcast on Planet Money today where an economist talked about "policy incentives" in terms of potty training his children. Specifically gaming the system: He set his older daughter up with rewards when she helped the youngest to go to the toilet. She had him hopped on water so he was going every 20 minutes & they were both getting rewards every 20 minutes. This option could either work for you or backfire into sibling warfare.

Good luck. I'm right there with you.

Amy said...

:( So I am assuming that the other two weren't this hard? Is there anything you tried with them that you haven't with Rhys?

Carin said...


I can't say, that has been my problem. That was easy for me. Now keeping my little one in her own bed, figure that one out. She is 4 1/2 and I have slept all through the night about 60 days out of her 4 1/2 years of life. But I will say, and I talked to some other mom's, have him go outside if you have a backyard. He can drop his drawers where he wants. Please don't judge me, it worked, and both girls were potty trained at 3. I also did the potty dance every time. I "Potty danced" on the way to the potty, while they pottied and after they pottied. We announced it to everyone and everyone cheered. Kailyn still announces to everyone that she is going potty at 4 1/2. I guess she thinks it is still the greatest thing she can do. I hope by first grade she at least says it a little quieter.

I belong to a mom's group and one women struggles also and her daughter is 4 1/2. They just said to let it go. The more they struggle with it the more the child becomes strong willed and does the opposite of what the parents want.

Elise Abrams Miller said...

ooh. the dreaded potty. Hamish was well over 4 by the time he pooped on the toilet. He had to have his own awakening to finally go, i.e., pooped his pants in the car. He was on Miralax too for holding it in. It was an excruciating time. ALl of us constipated in one way or another. I say let him go however he's comfortable and he WILL use the potty, probably sooner than you think. I think Carin's last paragraph is true. He's got his own plan and it doesn't look like you're going to be able to force his ways. Let us know what happens!

Mom Taxi Julie said...

Blog jumping so I'm not sure how old your little guy is but what worked best for us was to just get rid of the diapers and pull ups. They don't generally like to be wet and have poo on them! It sucks cleaning up messes and you can't really go anywhere but it doesn't usually last long before they get it.