The Toilet Learning Chronicals – Part One

Shortly after he turned 2 we bought my oldest son, Sharkboy, a potty chair and a seat for the big toilet. I know a lot of parents rush into the toilet learning process excited and eager to get started and tell everyone how amazing their kid is but I wanted to kind of wade in, like you would into a too cold pool and then maybe go back up and hang out on the beach for awhile, apply more sunscreen… pardon me, I’m daydreaming about summer a lot lately.

I sat him on the potty for a few minutes a few times a day. I don’t remember how long it took before he finally peed, but we did all the things I had done for his older sisters. We called Daddy at work and took a picture (of him on the potty, not his creation) and made a big production about how amazing he is. Apparantly he thought that was all there was to it, we had accomplished the big goal and now he didn’t have to sit there. Ever again. I have read 84,000 articles about not pushing your child to potty train so I used that as an excuse to quit for awhile. I didn’t sit him on the potty again until he asked and then he didn’t want to get up. It took about 15 minutes and a lot of “tuck your penis back in” but he did pee and in an unprecedented move on my part I offered a “potty treat” as a reward.

If you came here for potty training advice then you are probably realizing about now that you need to head back to Google and try again. I have no idea what I’m doing. Yes, I taught preschool, but only to older kids that were already (supposedly) trained. I have two teenage daughters, but honestly, they didn’t need trained. My oldest asked to sit on the “toyt” when she was 13 months old and she peed on it, too. I didn’t bother putting her in underwear until she was 2 and she almost never had an accident. It was almost as easy with her sister. I bought her cute panties and said, “don’t get these wet.”

(If you’re still here and you still want advice I will tell you this: Change your child often. Let them get used to being dry and liking the way a clean bottom feels.  That’s it. Four kids and a childcare career and my advice boils down to common sense.)

But I digress, we’re talking about Sharkboy and his obsession with chocolate. Potty treats made sitting on the potty a worthwhile adventure and when he discovered he could pretend his penis was a firehose we were in business. He now pees on the potty frequently throughout the day even though we ran out of potty treats months ago. He tells me he has to pee and then does so almost immediately. He can usually hold it for a minute or two if he has to wait. These seem like positive steps towards diaper freedom. We’ve had a few setbacks, like the time he pulled down his own pants and got started without me without mentioning his diaper was poopy or the day he dumped his pee on the floor instead of in the toilet… twice, but ya know, everything washes.

The thing is, the kid doesn’t want to wear underwear. We have underwear with diggers on it (his favorite), Finn McMissile, Yo Gabba Gabba, everything he loves, but he wants his diapers. In his defense, some of his diapers are pretty awesome. We use cloth so he has diapers with fire trucks and construction vehicles and even the plain ones are blue and green. This might be why I’m not in a hurry. It’s not costing me any extra money. The diapers are already paid for and I still have to do the baby’s diaper laundry so it’s not extra work, either.

I’m also not rushing because once he is in underwear full time we have a new obstacle when we go outside. Outside time is extremely important to me with 5 kids here. It is also complicated. I have two non-walking infants, two toddlers and a 4 year old. Just getting out the door is an excersize in creativity and safety procedures.  The four year old, Monster Princess (MP, lovingly named by her own mother, I’m not being mean) can hold it longer than a newly toilet learned two year old. Once Sharkboy is in underwear I will live in fear of the potty request. There is no quick way to transport 5 kids into the house so one can pee.

Sharkboy turned 2 and a half on Saturday so I had every intention of him toilet learning today. He was going to wear underwear and I would set the timer and he was going to stay dry and… right after his first morning pee he declared, “I can’t want underwear today.” That was that. I put on the diaper and scrapped the timer idea. He still stayed dry right up until nap when we couldn’t get his diaper off in time and he peed and pooped in it and then proceeded to put it in the wet bag before I could rinse it and then sprayed me with the diaper sprayer while I tried to retrieve it without anything gross happening. Between that and changing 5 poopy diapers before nap today I am not only ready to quit potty training, I’m considering just walking out of the house and heading to the bar down the street. (Disclaimer for the parents of children in my care, I’M KIDDING. I swear.)

I feel like we have come too far not to go all the way now. So, what’s the deal? Why am I still hanging out in the shallow end? One of us needs to dive in soon. What would YOU do? Leave me a comment and stay tuned for the next adventure in Sharkboy’s Toilet Learning Chronicle.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maura
    May 13, 2012 @ 21:01:52

    Baden finally is 100% potty trained. I was so frustrated with him a few months ago I was going to ask for your advice, glad to know you are as clueless about potty training a boy as I am.


    • razfabulous
      May 14, 2012 @ 11:46:57

      I have a lot of great ideas but non of them are worth a squat if the kid isn’t ready yet. I’m not sure we ever actually “train” them. We just socialize them to understand peeing your pants is uncomfortable and uncouth and they do the rest.


  2. Angie
    May 26, 2012 @ 11:46:47

    Maybe this is a bit trashy, but we let the boys pee outside. Love your blog!


  3. Trackback: Sharkboy’s Potty Training Chronicles – Part 2 – Who Has A What « Naptime Is For Drinking

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