Flashback: Potty Training

So, I’ve been having a blast writing for Portland Moms Blog (check out my latest post about whether or not I let my daughter be a princess), but it does seem that I do not have the bandwidth to write for my own blog at the same time.  So, please forgive the silence on this site and also enjoy this re-run.  It is from 7 years ago, so maybe some of you missed it.  This is the diary of my very first time ever potty-training a toddler, and I happened to be 38 weeks pregnant at the time.  SUCH FUN!  I want to give a big shout out to all of you toddler mamas.  It’s a special kind of crazytown, that season.  You WILL survive. I promise.

I WILL SURVIVE: POTTY TRAINING D-DAY

June 2008

6:50 am. The subject wakes up in a good mood. Excellent sign. Go straight to the bathroom, take off diaper and PJ’s; sit on 06-12 003potty. Success! Continue the routine introduced last night: sit on potty for a minute = one sticker on the chart. Produce visible matter in potty = one peanut M’n M. So the child has a piece of chocolate to start his breakfast. Small sacrifice in nutrition for lifetime of social toileting appropriateness. Put on “big boy underwear” with great excitement and flair. Dramatic tones about the seriousness of losing the diaper in exchange for these. Set the timer for 20 minutes, at which time subject has to try again.

7:20 am. Timer goes off, we head down the hall. Success again! Hoorah! Can’t believe how well this is going. Wash hands, undies back on, sticker and candy. Subject as excited as trainer. Set time again.

7:28 am. Subject claims he needs to go again. Trainer suspicious. In bathroom, subject claims that 1/8 tsp of fluid in the toddler pot is human pee. Trainer thinks is it residue of tap water left over from last rinse. Subject strongly requests/demands sticker and candy. Trainer agrees to sticker but no candy. Decide to set the timer for 30 minutes this time, as subject is obviously gaining master control over bodily functions, clearly due to brilliance of trainer. Trainer even decides to squeeze in a quick shower.

8:21 am. Shower over, trainer sifts through the three remaining maternity outfits that still fit and gets dressed while subject happily plays on the computer in same room. About to brush hair when struck with Odor. Quickly knocked out of autopilot mode and brought back into the reality of D-DAY and the task at hand; beginning to think she could possibly have gotten a little over confident.

8:22 am. CRAP. Substantial set back in the form of large quantity of loose stools, which subject clearly does not have under muscle control. Trainer looses calm, cool and collected mode for several minutes. Must triage the damage and prioritize most demanding clean up necessary. Subject says, “Change my diaper.” Trainer explains (again) that underpants are NOT a diaper, and convinces self to resist the temptation to GET a diaper and/or use the changing table, reasoning that we must convey to subject that diapers are a thing of the past. But this is new territory for trainer. Have not had to clean up messy poop from big boy unders. Have not actually had child’s poop on fingers in about 2 years. Have never had poop on bathroom floor or computer chair. Instantly regret trying to wash BB unders in bathroom sink—drain not big enough, and just seems extra gross, so toss them in bathtub to clean later. Go through about 20 wipes trying to get sticky feces from subject’s bottom and legs and toilet seat.

06-12 005Finally, trainer gets situation under control. All hands are washed, new undies. As suggested by “Potty Whisperer” on the Today Show (no joke) trainer has subject help clean up the spot on the computer chair, telling him gently that this is what has to happen when we have an accident, and that it is his responsibility to help with the clean up. Mental note to trainer self: feed subject more bananas, rice and toast. Less grapes and strawberries. At least during these few crucial days. Also, timer goes back to 20 minute increments.

8:50, 9:15, 9:45 and 10:30 am. Timer goes off, subject has successful drainage each time, even though it is only about a tablespoon or less of liquid. But underpants are dry. Hands washed, undies back on, sticker and candy provided. Feeling back on track. Try to encourage more drinking.  (For the subject, that is.  Trainer also tempted to drink a different type of liquid, but remembers that intoxicated parenting is frowned upon in most circles.)

9:45 am. Wonderful surprise! Grandpa Tompkins stops by, bringing the special lovey we left at Gma and Gpa’s house yesterday. This generous gesture saves subject and trainer (and spouse) from another rough night (and surely nap) of separation anxiety from said item. Morale continues to lift in both training participants.

10:58 am. 2 minutes before the timer goes off, subject informs trainer that he needs to pee. Improvement! Hesitant excitement and hope that subject will be allowed into preschool someday.

11:13 am. Call from subject’s bedroom: “MOM! I have a problem!” Trainer runs in. Subject has had small (liquid) accident in BB unders. Quickly clean up, sit on toddler pot again, and both parties help clean up small mess on carpet. However, this accident is followed by two quick successes of subject voluntarily acknowledging need for potty and producing pee. Sticker chart looks overly full, but trainer suspicion does not outweigh determination to persevere!

First I was afraid.
I was petrified.
Kept thinking I could live without you diaper-fied.
Now we’ve spent so many hours, singing you the potty song,
And I grew strong.
And we’ve learned how to get along.

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