Potty Talk

8 Sep

I’ve spent the past 6+ months talking up the potty to BigHugs.  We even purchased some fancy shmancy Dora and Curious George pannies.  (Yes, I know it’s “panties”, but they’re “pannies” at our house.)  The one time I tried to actually put her on her little potty, she screamed.  She was fine until her bare bum hit the cold plastic and then it was all over.  That was probably five months ago now.  Ever since then, whenever we would say, “BigHugs, do you want to try going potty on the toilet?” her response was always, “No, thank you.”  At least she was polite about it.

As her third birthday approached, we thought we’d use the big girl angle.  “You’re going to be three, BigHugs, and you’ll be a big girl.  Will you be ready to use the potty when you’re three?”  At first she balked at the idea and offered her usual “No, thank you”, but after a few weeks she gradually seemed to be coming around.  We even heard an occasional “When I’m three I’m going to be a big girl and sleep in my own bed and go potty on the toilet.”

Well, three has come and gone, my friends, and all is quiet on the porcelain front.  She absolutely refuses to even entertain the idea.  We don’t even get the no thank you’s anymore—now it’s, “Stop talking to me.”  Or rather, “Stop talking to me!!!”

The other day I thought we had a breakthrough.  BigHugs had been complaining about a sore bum.  I explained to her that it was because of the diapers, and once she started going potty on the toilet she wouldn’t have that problem anymore.  I dared ask, “Are you ready to go potty on the toilet now?”  She responded with a heavy sigh, “Ohhh-kay.  Sure.”  Huh?  What was that?  Well, at that point it was bedtime, so I thought we’d give her chair a spin in the morning.  Puh-haw!  By morning we were back to, “Stop talking to me.”  Minus the exclamation points, though, so that was nice.

Here’s a conversation we had 30 seconds ago.

Me:  What do you think about the potty, BigHugs?

BigHugs:  Give me a kiss.

Me:  Do you want to go potty on the toilet?

BigHugs:  No.

Me:  Why not?

BigHugs, running from the room:  Because.  Voice fading in the distance. I’m going to bed!

Having done the whole potty training thing three times already, I have a little bit of experience with this.  I have long ago come to the conclusion that you can not force a child to go potty on the toilet.  Sure, you can try, but for me it was a road to nowhere.  Or a road to pain and frustration and an inordinate number of pee pee pants and floors.  When I allowed my children to decide they were “ready”, it was a much more pleasant experience.  With my first two this was around three years old, one a little before and one barely after.  With Goose it took a little longer (surprise, surprise), but she was potty trained before three and a half.  So I suppose BigHugs still falls in the normal range for my offspring.

I’m just ready to be done with the diapers.  So very ready.  And by all accounts, so is BigHugs—she wants her diaper changed almost immediately at even the slightest hint of moisture, she retires to a private room and shuts the door when she needs to take care of business, and waits until we get home to do so—except for the whole refusing to sit on the potty thing.  I’ve tried bribery.  With toys.  With candy.  With money.  She didn’t bite.  I’m afraid I find myself at the mercy of a three year old.  Again.  Sigh.

Do you have any potty success stories to share?  Sorry, Madhousewife, feel free to make an off-topic comment.

As I’ve been writing this, I keep hearing “Potty talk.  I see your potty talk.  You make my potty talk when you’re next to me.”

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, I’m babysitting tomorrow morning for another diaper wearing almost three year old.  I can’t remember the last time I babysat a child in diapers.  I just hope her daily constitution does not take place between the hours of 9 am to noon.  I have always had the hardest time with other people’s children’s diaper deeds.  I mean, as a mother, at some point you stop dry-heaving when taking care of your child’s fanny fallout, but other people’s children are a whole different animal.  It’s almost other-worldly—like they’re a different species or something.  Is it just me?  I don’t know what it is, but I’m not sure I’m up for it tomorrow.  *shudder*shudder*  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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14 Responses to “Potty Talk”

  1. cheryl September 8, 2008 at 6:17 am #

    No advice. By the time #4 is ready, I think I’ll be back to square one. What works for one rarely works for the other. Dang it.

    But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you today so you won’t have to be changing alien diapers!

  2. Amanda D September 8, 2008 at 7:52 am #

    We’re starting again with our youngest today. I’m hopin’ and a prayin’ cause I’m sick of diapers too! Good luck!

  3. Alison Wonderland September 8, 2008 at 8:00 am #

    I hate diapers but I might hate potty training more. (And I’ve never really had a hard one.) But I love kids that take care of their own business so apparently it’s a necessary evil.

  4. Susan M September 8, 2008 at 10:06 am #

    I actually don’t really remember potty training my kids very well. The first two were a year apart, and we did them at the same time. Nathaniel was three and Catherine was two. I spent my day off with them in the bathroom, having them drink lots of juice and then giving them m&ms if they peed in the toilet. Then I went back to work and let Daniel handle the rest. It was summer; he let them play outside all day and just hosed them off every once in awhile.

    Neither of them were talking yet.

  5. Leslie September 8, 2008 at 10:48 am #

    I think “potty training success” just happens. I totally agree with you. When they make the decision that they are ready…they will just do it. Sorry I don’t have anything helpful to say…but I’ll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you! 😉

  6. Boquinha September 8, 2008 at 12:12 pm #

    I’m a big fan of waiting until they’re around 4. I’m totally serious. Then it takes like a day to do it. No battle. No fuss. And you’re mentally prepped for it, so you don’t feel frustrated that they’re 3 and in diapers because you’re all relaxed and thinking, “Yeah, we potty train around age 4.” Easy! 😛 (Good luck).

  7. madhousewife September 8, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    What about my five-year-old??? [weeping/wailing/gnashing of teeth]

    I’m sorry, I can’t participate on this thread. I’m between psychotropic meds and my condition is fragile.

  8. bythelbs September 8, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    Sorry Mad, I know! I mean I don’t know, but I sympathize.

  9. flip flop mama September 8, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    No it’s totally not you. Other people’s “fanny fallout” as you say is naaa-asty!

    Good luck! Boogers sounds like BigHugs. “No thank you.” She was NOT interested for the longest time. M&M’s her favorite candy didn’t even do the trick.

    What eventually worked was I told her for a month that once the diapers are gone there aren’t any more. It seemed to work but like you I tried on and off for about 6 months. She was finally ready.

  10. kamillivanilli September 8, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    Oh, I so hope that alien child doesn’t poop for you. There is NOTHING worse than someone else’s stinky diaper. I can’t tell you how many times I have dry-heaved over other kids’ crap! And inevitably, they are children who could use a little fiber, if you know what I’m saying. TMI? Anyhow…good luck…and glad you had a nice weekend!

  11. bythelbs September 8, 2008 at 5:00 pm #

    Cheryl—You’re right. They’re all different. The one common thing I’ve found among my three who have potty trained so far is that it only worked when they wanted to do it.

    Amanda—Good luck with your second attempt!

    Alison—One of the many necessary evils associated with parenting, I’m afraid. And mine have all been a breeze once they decided they wanted to—completely trained start to finish in under a week. It’s the months of just talking about it ahead of time that kill me.

    Susan—Do you think doing the two at once made it easier? Like they inspired each other? Or was it just the m&m’s? I like that hose idea.

    Leslie—Thanks! For agreeing with me 😉 and for the crossing of all digits.

    Boquinha—I think that’s the right frame of mind then if it happens earlier it’s just a bonus!

    Mad—Again, sorry!

    Flip—I’m firmly against potty training for several months. I may talk about it for several months, but I’m just not up for several months of accidents. If they’re still having regular accidents 5 months after they’re “potty trained” they’re just not potty trained. I think you’re right—it’s when they’re finally ready.

    kamilli—Good news, our little visitor managed to last the whole two hours without leaving me any gifts. Thank heavens! I was sweatin’ it for awhile because when her mom dropped her off she warned me it had been over a day and a half and she was overdue. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has issues with this.

  12. Julie September 8, 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    I’m apparently very late in reading/commenting. But I just have to say that I totally heave at other childrens’ crap. I can think of very little that is more disgusting than that.

    And Chloe was “not potty trained” for almost a year and a half. It was awful. And then when she got to be about 4 1/2 (so like, last month…), she was ready and was fine. But I cleaned up/threw away a lot of pottyfull/poopyfull panties in the meantime. I highly recommend the “go to Hawaii and come back to a potty trained almost 3 year old” method. It’s excellent.

  13. bythelbs September 8, 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    Wow, Julie. That is awful. I’m digging that Hawaii idea, though. Was that what happened with your second? Lucky!

  14. flip flop mama September 9, 2008 at 6:57 pm #

    Oh no, I didn’t potty train her for 6 months!! Heaven’s no! I tried once and figured out she wasn’t ready and then gauged her readiness for the next 6 months giving her opportunities to use the potty like you did. I totally agree with you–that is NOT the way to potty train. Once there were no diapers and we started it took a week and a half…

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