“I have to go poopy!” My almost-three-year-old announces as she gives me the “poopy look,” that serious face that means I am going to push because this poop is coming and I can’t hold it anymore.
“Oh no!” I shout, grabbing her, and carrying her, as I run to the nearest potty. I place her on, but poop is everywhere–on the side of the seat, on both of our hands, on the marble on the floor. What a terrible stinky mess.
I put her down. “It’s okay. It’s okay. Let me wipe you down.” I clean her up with baby wipes, not sure of where to start, and get a bath started.
This is a snapshot of potty training hell.
I just went through potty training my almost three-year-old. OMFG. To express the anguish properly, I could only use acronyms because it was that bad—too bad to form actual full-fledged words.
I am pregnant, and if I knew what a (literal) sh!t show this potty training thing would be, I am not sure I would have had the baby bug. I am not exaggerating: it has been a week — one of those weeks where I start questioning everything.
Will my daughter have a diaper in college? Probably, and a WubbaNub as her roommate.
Is she trying to torture me? Definitely.
Advice: There is way too little of this out there, at least in the Google-sphere. I couldn’t find anything that was extremely useful.
So I compiled a short list of things I would suggest doing for a first-time potty training mommy, a survival guide of sorts.
Every mom needs a pee-spiration friend.
What is this exactly? A mom friend who has been through this potty training business and knows how hard it can be. She is your mom potty inspiration and encourages you to keep going because she knows how horrible it can be, but has also made it to the other side where her kid is actually using the potty full time.
I don’t know what I’d do without this person.
She was my lifeline that I would unload on and she could relate. We would exchange funny horror stories, while I was on the verge of insanity. I almost gave up after the first weekend was a wash, my daughter made what seemed to be no progress, but she encouraged me to keep going and to stay strong.
Because of her constant support, here we are on the other side too.
Don’t feel bad if you have to resort to bribery.
I was one of those moms who started the process off with the attitude, “I am not going to bribe my kid, especially with food.” I am in recovery from an eating disorder, so I am not particularly eager to give food to reward good behavior or as praise, because I don’t want my children to associate food with approval, soothing, and love.
Well, I am usually good about this, until this week.
With my daughter not caring about peeing all over herself and the house, I had to resort to desperate measures. I ended up giving her five m&m’s with each time she successfully peed on the potty. She upped my original two to five (she’s a good negotiator), and my desperation agreed.
Oh, and my almost-three-year-old had a full face of makeup too. Yep.
The phone timer will be your new best friend.
We used the timer on my phone, every ten to fifteen minutes and it was the only thing my daughter listened to. It was as if she believed the potty police would come and put her in time out if she wasn’t trying to pee on the potty when that timer went off.
If I wanted to prompt her myself, my pleas were ignored, but if the timer went off, she knew it was go time and would literally jump up and run. Also, the best thing is mama can make that timer go off whenever she wants (insert evil laughter— mwahaha).
Make sure you have an outlet the week you decide to take the plunge.
It would be best if you went into each day with a good attitude and a lot of patience. Make sure you have something to look forward to at night that will clear your mind and help you feel refreshed for the next day.
Potty training is a frustrating process, and you are going to need some you time to decompress. I wrote, watched a lot of bad reality television, and if I weren’t pregnant, I would have had a glass of wine (or ten).
Go shopping with your trainee for big girl or big boy undies.
My girl loves wearing her Princess undies, and Poppy Troll undies. She loved picking them out and lining them up in her drawer. It made her motivated to want to stay in them and not want to go back to diapers.
Don’t Do Potty Training
For your own sanity keep your child in diapers for the rest of his or her life.
In all seriousness, if you are headed down the path of potty training and undies, I know you will be great.
Moms, after this milestone, I am now 100% sure we have super powers because this one is a doozy. But once we get there, there is a big positive, besides claiming our superhuman status, an official adios to dirty diapers!