All parents have a Potty Training Story so allow me to add mine to the mix. That way, if you are perusing the internet, late one night because you are desperate for validation and understanding, perhaps you will come across my blog and know YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Potty Training has got to be one of the most feared and dreaded rites of passage that parents will get the pleasure of enduring. I assume that once you have passed the threshold, you will emerge pee-stained and poop-smudged, but victorious. You have slain the beast! The mammoth that blocked your way to that time-honored badge of parenthood has now been defeated. You are a champion among us mere mortals.
I have held no such honor.
In the Beginning
My naivety at the beginning was laughable. Potty training would be a breeze! After all, everyone has to go through it at some point, right? I read all the books, searched the internet and I thought that I would come through the dark abyss faster than most parents.
"I've got this," I would think to myself.
My daughter was exhibiting all of the tell tale signs.
She would grab her diaper after she had urinated or defecated and say, "potty!" Check!
She was uncomfortable in a wet diaper if she wore it too long. Check!
She could take off her own pants and her own diaper. Check!
She showed an interest in the potty. Check!
The only check that eluded me was the staying dry at night. But we could just potty train her during the day and she could still wear her diaper at night. So, that was an unnecessary check.
Approaching the Beast
We had so many well-intentioned talks. We bought her some panties, explained what the potty was for, showed her how to use it, let her sit on it at night before she went to bed and when she woke up in the morning she would sit on it. This was going to be a piece of cake!
Things started out smoothly. The first day, only one accident! She went to the potty every time. We applauded her, cheered for her and gave her a treat. She was ecstatic. We were ecstatic. Our wallets that finance her diapers were ecstatic.
The second day the potty training had a couple of setbacks. More accidents, but nothing we couldn't overcome.
Maybe We Weren’t So Smart After All
The third day, things took a turn for the worse. She was acting like she had to go potty and of course, the doorbell rings at this exact moment. I left Siena in the living room with the potty and go answer the door. I signed for a package and went back to find Siena standing in the middle of the living room saying, "Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Uh-oh!"
She hadn't ever said uh-oh before when she had an accident. I followed her line of sight and gasped. A BIG GIANT POOP LOG was on our living room carpet! So many questions rushed through my mind. How had something that size even fit inside of her? How did she manage to poop in the middle of the room like that? What words do I use to explain that this is not okay without it sounding like she had gotten in trouble.
The Mania Continues
The next day, another poop fiasco. This time the poop was in her bedroom and my husband was the lucky one to find the present bestowed upon us by the potty training gods.
A third poop visitor came in the subsequent days. Okay, this wasn't working. She didn't like pooping on the potty. We knew when she had to poop, but she wouldn't sit on the potty. Instead she would go off somewhere else and poop on the floor. Was the floor a superior receptacle for catching poop?
Change of Tactics
We tried a lot of things to adjust our potty training regimen.
We put a diaper on her after the poop as a form of consequence. She didn't care.
We had her wear panties to at least try to catch the poop. This resulted in more pee pee accidents.
We quit rewarding her for pee pee in the potty and encouraged the poop more. Indifference.
We tried pull ups. She didn't love the pull-ups and forgot to take them off to go potty.
The Toddler will Adapt Too
Our potty training antics were not lost on our daughter. She started changing her tactics too. I'm still not sure if it was an effort to try and become better at potty training or if it was to stunt the progress so she could keep being a baby. Regardless, we were at a loss after the new developments.
This may get to be TMI. You might have to shield your sensitive eyes if the poop talk is too much for you. One of my other tactics was to show her the poop in the toilet so she could see, "Look, poo poo goes in the potty!"
At this point, she was back in diapers unless she decided she wanted to go potty. And since she could strip down and take off her diaper (and she did on many occasions, even without trying to use the potty) it worked some of the time. We were exasperated and so we had almost given up hope, but we still continued to teach her about the potty.
She clearly had an interest after all.
The Straw that Broke the Camels Back
Every time she would poop, she started squatting and going, "potty, potty, potty".
I said to my husband that maybe she was ready now because she was recognizing when she needed to poop.
Then she ran off to the bathroom. I didn't want to follow her too closely, because she seemed to like to poop in private...I should have followed her immediately.
I finally followed her to the bathroom. To my dismay, she had taken all of her clothes off, thrown her poopy diaper inside of the big potty and sat on the little potty (covering it in feces), peed and was now unrolling all of the toilet paper to try and clean herself.
It took me a good 15 minutes to get everything cleaned up.
Beating a Dead Horse
My husband was once watching the kids while I was off doing something productive, but really just provided me an excuse to get out of the house. He apparently fell asleep on the couch while watching Siena.
During his slumber, the unthinkable had happened. He awoke to Siena placing a dirty diaper on top of him and a poopy bum to catch before she sat on something. After cleaning her up, his new quest was to find the poop that had fallen out of the discarded diaper somewhere in the house.
He must have been successful, because I have not found any other poops.
The potty training had pretty much come to a halt. We didn't bring it up. If she wanted to do it, fine. We would indulge her whim begrudgingly.
Then, one morning, I had a couple of ladies from my church in my house. We were chatting in the living room and suddenly Siena runs off, shouting, "potty!"
Oh well, if she comes back naked, I'll put some clothes on her.
We kept chatting and then I realized that Siena had still not come back yet. I heard her clanking around in the potty and suddenly felt a bowling ball drop into my stomach.... it was happening again.
I ran to the bathroom and her poop and diaper were still on the floor at least but her bum and potty were both covered in smeared poop.
I quickly cleaned everything up while my poor guests tried to help. One of these ladies had also just seen me cleaning up one of my sons blowouts in her own home. She literally has been witness to me cleaning poop off of both of my naked children. Oh, the things she must think.
Then, I washed my hands, put Siena's diaper and clothes back on and we got back to visiting.
The Consequences of My Actions
After the ladies left, I put Siena down for her nap. When she woke up, she suddenly had Pink Eye! What the freak?! We had just spent the last month and a half sick with colds, flu, pink eye, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, every sickness that this winter had felt the need to inflict upon us and now she was sick again.
Bowling ball drop. I had forgotten to wash her hands. I didn't know she had probably tried to pick up her poop and throw it in the potty like she had done the last time.
The End of Potty Training
That was it. We're done! No more potty training. I refuse to do it. My daughter will wear diapers for the rest of her life. My son will never have a chance to experience what underwear feels like.
Ever since that day, the potty has been locked under the sink. Perhaps I will forget one day and my daughter will be able to coerce me to pull it out again, but for now, our potty training days are over. And we will not be lured to the battlefield again. The beast has slain us and we will play dead for as long as possible.
Share Your Own!
Have a crazy potty training story? Please share in the comments below so the rest of us can feel a little bit better about our own defeating stories.
For another potty training horror story, check out this lady's fun blog: