Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Misadventures of potty training

Today seemed like a good day to potty train my son. The birds were chirping happily outside, everyone was in a good mood, my coffee tasted unusually good.

All the signs pointed to it being the right time: my toddler not wanting me to change his diaper; him trying to assert his independence with so many things lately; him being almost 27 months; us having reached a reasonable level of communication; me being sick of changing fifteen diapers per day.

But. As the morning progressed, it became clear that my wonderful idea was actually a crap idea that was not going to work.

This is the series of events.

Monday night: I have good intentions of reading my potty training book of choice cover to cover. What happens instead is, I skim over it at 11 p.m. barely able to keep my eyes open.

Tuesday: realizing I probably should have read the damn book, I attempt to cajole my toddler to the potty with an array of positive words and encouraging sounds. His response is to ignore me and refuse to go near the potty.

The potty sits untouched.

Tuesday afternoon: Feeling defeated, I console myself by raiding the snacks purchased earlier for potty training purposes and tell myself I will try again tomorrow.

Tuesday night: I really read the book (at least the essential bits anyway).

Wednesday morning: I am prepared for action and armed with all the necessary props, treats and underwear. Success is surely imminent. Unfortunately I don't have a peeing doll, like the book suggests, so I make my own version by attaching a squirty bottle to the back of a stuffed bunny.

Impressed? Matthew was not.

10 a.m: Matthew watches my little bunny-using-potty demonstration with complete disdain and proceeds to rip the bottle from the bunny and squirt water all over the bathroom floor.

10:15 a.m: We discuss the idea that big boys don't need diapers, they need big boy pants. And by discuss, I mean, I explain this idea and he continues to squirt water all over the floor.

10:30 a.m: About an hour is spent learning to take underwear on and off, getting up and down from the potty, and sitting on the potty eating chocolates, reading books.

11 a.m: Matthew struts around in his new underwear, with me following him asking, every three minutes, "are you wet or dry?", which he ignores, instead asking me "where my truck?".

Some time later: Several accidents are had with no warnings or reactions, despite my efforts.

Some time later: I contemplate how much easier this would be with only one child to look after.

3 p.m: With not an ounce of luck, I realize Matthew is NOT ready for potty training and put away underwear and all potty training thingies.

And breathe.

There you have it. The end of potty training for now. I can tell it's not the right time. I have a feeling we'll try again in a few months and it will happen easily, when the time is right for him.
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mitch1066 said...

love the image of the bunny with the bottle :)
I think we stress about this too much.He'll do it when he's ready.Do you really want to have to map out where every public washroom is anyway?Take him somewhere fun today and enjoy the fact he has diapers on so theres no rushing to a dirty public toilet:)

wherewiller said...


We had to let this one go for a LONG time. A very resistant trainer.

Mwa said...

We only did it at thirty months, and then only because his nursery school required it. It's just too much stress if they're not ready.

Nick the neighbour said...

Well you are brave. With the tantrums and night sleep issues I thought you were mad, MAD I tell you, to even attempt this at this point. Clearly you love a challenge. I think you read the que's correctly! put away the potty and avoid the aggravation for a couple of more months!

One thing I have learned from potty training 2 have to be ready as much as they have to be!

cartside said...

Very funny. Brightened up my own potty training day no end. We've tried one 4 day weekend with no luck. Now it's 2 weeks later and day 1 of 4.

Success so far: loves sitting on loo and potty, wiping her bum, doesn't do a thing in it. Upset when she gets wet. Usually asks for nappies when she's had enough of this game.

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

Sounds about right!! I gave up on my daughter - taking a break and starting up again in a bit. I'm not too worried about it to be honest, although everyone else seems to be. WHATEVER!

Bear and Bones Mama said...

My boy will be 3 this December, and isn't interested yet. His brother trained a 3 years 2 months. Just try to remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be faint, but it is there. My friends boy who is exactly the same age as my 2 year old has gone 6 days with big boy pants on now, and it's awesome! Yesterday I said to my son, "Jesse, Andrew is a big boy and goes pee pee and poo poo in the potty! He wears big boy undies! Don't you want to be like Andrew?" To which he replied, with a look of death straight at me, "Hate you." Um, not one of my best mommy moments (and dang the older kids for teaching him those words). So, uh, yeah. I think I'll let it be for awhile longer.

Mom Mayhem says: said...

Yes! -I am impressed with your peeing bunny =D
But really potty training is hard! I originally planned on my son to be potty trained at 2 yrs. old -Ha! But,finally at 3 1/2 he's doing good! Next step getting rid of the night-time pull-ups-Ugh. At least your trying and agree it can be good to take a break and try again -Good Luck!

James (SeattleDad) said...

Come on now, how old is that book? 30 years? There must be something more up to date that will have a miricle in it-that you can then pass off to me. LOL.

And, I'm sure he is well aware that 'Max' doesn't pee from a bottle strapped to his back. Dad needs to do some demonstration here.

Anyway, sorry it went so poorly the first time out. I am sure it will get better (for all of us) soon enough.

Maternal Tales said...

Oh darling. Hilarious. I will never tire of hearing potty training stories. Just love your photos - I was impressed by Bunny even if Matthew wasn't! But try not to worry too much - he's still young in my opinion. The later you leave it the easier it is. With my youngest it seemed to take forever. But I think when we first tried she just wasn't ready. One day she just got it. Yes we had accidents, but she understood. And it made my earlier attempts seem like a waste of time. He'll get there in the end xx

Mammatalk said...

You crack me up!

Just hearing the word "potty training" causes my blood pressure to go up. My just turned two year old is just not having it!

Loukia said...

Oh my, you are hilarious! I loved the pictures... especially of (is that Ruby?) the bunny on the potty! Haha!
Okay, so yes, relax... no worries and no rush with the potty training! I bought a big piece of cardboard paper (like, poster sized) and stickers, and made a little table - Pee on the toilet, poo on the toilet, wash hands, wears underwear - everytime he did those things, he got a sticker. For some reason, THIS WORKED!!!! However I did not do this until my son had just turned 3 years old. I didn't even bother before that. NOW his younger brother who is only 19 months pees on the potty once a day, at least. Every time he sees his older brother in the bathroom, he runs in, too. He's even pooed on the toliet before! He copies everything his older brother does... but I'm too tired right now to potty train him for real!!

Sparkless said...

You should try pointing out what daddy wears. That daddy doesn't wear diapers may be more an incentive than what big boys wear.

Once you stop trying he'll probably decide he wants to try soon.

Love the bunny! LOL!!

SnafflesMummy said...

I cant believe he was not impressed with the weeing bunny, i was!
I have lost count of the number of times we have tried potty training recently and failed! Am totally giving up now until he is ready and even then i think its time daddy had a day of trying!

Loving your blog. Check out my post for a Great Read Award x

My Educational Journey said...

OK, this made me laugh, did you get the bottle on the bunny idea out of the book, or dream it up. I think that dad might have a role to play here.....

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

I always thought that if you 'train' the right way, that kids will get it. So untrue. We started thinking about potty training at just over 2, and my daughter wasn't out of diapers until 3 1/2. She just wasn't ready.
We're starting to think about it for our 2 y/o and I'm TOTALLY going to make an Elmo doll with a squirt bottle! If nothing else, for the comic value!