Monday, October 8, 2012

The Dreaded Potty Training Post

Eventually, all mom bloggers reach a point wherein they have no choice but to write a post about the intimate details of their child's toilet training. (I anticipate a real boom in the psychiatric field in about 20 years due to this. Therapists, you're welcome.)

Thankfully, this will not be that post. I am not a mother who will take pictures of her child's first poo in the potty (because, sadly, that's a thing), nor am I someone who really enjoys reading Once Upon a Potty and having to say ridiculous words like wee-wee. (If I were braver and I could trust that LO wouldn't embarrass me in front of the president someday, I'd just have him say the words most of us use for bodily functions. Piss and shit sound so much more honest.) No, potty training is yet another area of motherhood wherein I do not exactly throw myself fully-armored into the breach.

So, to that end, I have been giving LO very light encouragement and nothing else. He sits on the potty every night before his bath.

Progress has been somewhat lackadaisical. Some might even describe his progress as imperceptible.

However he has apparently successfully used the toilet at school. (As J put it when I mentioned this to him, "Why are LO's teachers better parents than we are?")

The real problem has been the habit that LO picked up on one of his first encounters with the strange LO-sized seat. On that fateful night, the young man joyfully sat on the potty and tried to do his duty. Since aim is something that can stymie men 15 times his age, the young man can be forgiven for missing the potty completely and covering the seat in used apple juice.

Calmly, I grabbed some toilet paper, mopped up the seat puddle, threw the tp in the actual toilet, and tried to interest LO in his ablutions. No dice. The young man was entranced by the ballet of magical toilet paper clean up, and needed to take an active role himself. He grabbed a few squares of Charmin, wiped off the now-completely-dry potty seat, and threw it in the toilet. I didn't try to stop him until he reached for his next unnecessary piece of tp. Putting the bathroom tissue up out of his reach, I placed him in the bath.

It should come as no surprise to veteran parents that the child calmly peed the moment his feet touched the water in the bath.

Were this a single night's events, it would hardly be worth mentioning. (Of course I'm lying. It was hilarious, so I would have blogged about it anyway.) But the rub of this story comes from the fact that that first night seems to have spawned a habit in the young man's mind.

Yes, each night LO has a seat on the potty. He often will be so excited to sit that he'll neglect to remove trousers and diaper prior to sitting. Of course, this bothers him not at all, since mere nanoseconds after sitting, the child will spring up again and reach for the tp. We seem to have broken him of the habit of unnecessarily wiping down the seat with his unnecessary toilet paper, but he still is thrilled beyond measure at the prospect of throwing his toilet paper treasure in the toilet. Generally he gets two handfuls in the porcelain goddess before I'm able to get the roll away from him. (Although one night he just started reaching for other things to deposit in the john, and managed to throw in a sample wall tile that was minding its own business on the window sill.)

Once I have successfully removed all throwable objects from the young man's reach, I invite him to have another (properly clothed, or rather, unclothed) seat on the potty--and we both look at each other wondering what the other wants. Finally, I decide that our exercise in futility has gone on long enough for the evening, and I get my little man into the tub.

Where he promptly pees.

I know I am neither the first nor the last mother to wonder if her child will ever use the facilities. And he is, after all, only 2. But I kind of worry about a young man who is so mixed up that he thinks a potty is for cleaning and a bathtub is for peeing.


  1. lol, right now I need advice on puppy potty training!

  2. I feel your pain. My son didn't get the hang of using the potty until the summer before kindergarten. I truly thought I'd have the only kid who wouldn't be allowed to go to school because he literally bonded with his own waste. *eyeroll*

  3. My daughter was 4 and her little friend 5 when they trained together all those years ago. Our focus was mornings and through out the day.

    The kids shared a bathroom, one on the kiddie pot and another on the big one. They would sit and talk like little old people it was hilarious.

    It is amazing how normal seeming we turn out as adults when our parents know so many crazy secrets of the way we grew up.

  4. Courage, patience and humor wins all.. OL will learn great!