Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Potty Training

The potties are still sitting in the same place... unused.

A common theme I've had in my head since the girls were born is: "Stupid people do this all of the time -- how hard can it be?" Um, pretty freaking hard. I think dumb people maybe don't dwell on the fact they could single-handedly ruin their children's lives by making one innocent but well-intentioned mis-step. Not letting them cry it out so they become troubled sleepers for the rest of their lives (thanks Dr. Weissbluth!) or letting them cry it out and growing up with a lifelong acute sense of abandonment (thanks Dr. Sears!). See, dumb people probably didn't read those books. Making homemade organic baby food or letting Gerber do its goddamn job as the baby food-making experts. See, dumb people (and very very smart people) probably just bought some freakin' jar food and called it a day. Forcing the potty training issue shortly after age 2 or letting them decide around 3 that it's embarrassing to crap your own pants. See, dumb people (and maybe really smart people?) probably just let them crap their pants.

The last issue is where I am right now. Santa was kind enough to bring two pink, musical potties* (that also turn into step stools!) to our home for which he garnered some burnt chocolate chip cookies in return. The girls tore off the bows, yelled "Potty!" and demanded I take their diapers off immediately. "Really?" I muttered to myself. "It can't be this easy..." And it wasn't.

They sat there, bare-butted, pretending to go potty and then demanded I put their diapers back on and have never sat on them again. They always announce when they have to go at which time I gently suggest they go sit on the potty. In response they basically tell me in toddler-speak to go f#$% myself.

Along with their potties they received two potty-themed books about creepy-looking little girls named Hannah and Ashley who have learned to go on the potty which we read every night. The OCD twin even sits on the book pretending she is sitting on Ashley's potty. She tried to jump into the book the other night because dumb-ass Dora did that on a recent episode. My point here is I'm having about as much luck getting them potty trained (in real life, not pretending to in books) as I am getting them to drink milk out of a cup.

I have SEVEN months to get this accomplished because the pre-school we BETTER GET INTO requires the kids be potty trained. I don't like deadlines. Deadlines make me nervous. Especially deadlines that if not met might seem to suggest I am a failure as a mother.

*If potties that light up and burst into song when excrement hits the bottom don't cause a generation of shy bowel syndrome sufferers, I don't know what will.


  1. They are old enough to start training. Try letting them go naked when potty training. Sure, you'll have more accidents, but its better than having them think there is always something there to catch their poop.

    I don't know about the musical potties. Maybe there is a way to turn off the music if the potties themselves are comfortable. Make a schedule and sit them on the potty every 30 min to an hour for 2-5 minutes each time. Then keep a journal to keep track so you know how often and what times of the day they go.

    If the potties fit in your bathroom, that's better since you can run the water (which sounds funny but does work) and trains them to go into the bathroom to use the potty.

    Keep a few books next to the potties since they are going to be there for a few minutes. Give them something to amuse them.

    Good Luck!

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  3. i meant to push preview and i pressed post comment. i had to review my comment. well, here's a re-write:
    do your girls go to the bathroom with you? i know it seems weird, but most kids learn by example. it took us a year and a half to get our son potty trained. my sister's daughter was trained in 2 days. every kid is different. my son has an independent attitude and prefers to learn things on his own. in summertime, we would let him out in the backyard bottomless to do #1. he enjoyed being free. he got so comfortable he started to drop trou in anyone's yard to make #1. when he made a #2 we had to stop the outside training. when daddy had to use the restroom to pee, our son would go with him and go right afterwards. he would get praise for this. we he did #2 on his own, we would reward him with praise and jump up and down. bribing him with candy never worked since he gets candy all the time. a great potty book is "Everyone Poops." good luck and take care.

  4. My daughter is 3-1/2 and still refuses to go #2 on the potty. She waits until she has to go, finds a pull-up, puts it on and goes.

    Yes, I tried taking the pull-up away. She found an old swim diaper. I don't want to know what will happen if I take the swim diapers away.

    Think of it this way - if they never potty train, you won't have to worry about them dating. There's a plus.

  5. OMG, I am right there with you. My 2 1/2 yo has NO interest in peeing or anything else on the potty, even though her BFF is almost completely potty trained (AND 4 months younger than her).

    Mr. Bee and I have decided to take the dumb people approach and just hope that she decides to stop shitting herself by her 7th birthday. I mean, the girl didn't walk until she was 19 months, so I'm kind of used to being a parental failure. ;)

  6. When I first looked at this picture I thought those potties were ENORMOUS. And then I realized that is the chair rail and not the ceiling.

    Did I mention I am on cold medicine?

  7. use treats!

    that's it...good luck

  8. "I think dumb people maybe don't dwell on the fact they could single-handedly ruin their children's lives by making one innocent but well-intentioned mis-step."

    I can't agree with this statement more. In fact, I think I will be quoting you at playdates, family get-togethers, and anywhere else I can say this (and give credit to you, of course)!

    As for potty training, buying princess underwear to match her princess action figures worked for us. That and stickers. And since I took the pull up off and there were lots of accidents, I used a lot of baking soda and vinegar that week.

    Don't worry about the deadline. A lot can happen 6 months!!

  9. Some ideas I used to potty train my twins: (boy girl)

    In the beginning, just to get them to sit on the potty for a while, I gave them a lollipop that they got to suck on while on the potty only. If they got up from the potty, they had to hand the lollipop over. Then, I would turn on a cartoon, and let them eat the lollipop while watching tv. What you want to happen, is you want them to almost forget they're on the potty, and go pee or poop in it while engrossed in tv and lollipops. This gets you the first and VERY important opportunities to go ape-shit crazy happy when they pee or poop in the potty.

    Then, when they started eating too many lollipops and watching too much tv, I bought "potty toys". Toys that they can only play with while sitting on the potty. For us, it was a little $5 Dora video game (And a Diego one). It's for ages 4+, and mine couldn't really score points on it, but it held their interest for a while and it was something they could play while sitting. We also got a pair of viewfinders from Jewel for them. They loved those! But, they are only allowed to play with these toys while on the potty.

    When I first kept the diapers off them for full days, I put them in these Gerber padded underwear. http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/Potty-Training-Pants.html

    They will NOT contain the accident, but they will make them aware of what's happening. And they will contain it just enough that you can use a paper towel for clean up instead of a mop.
    Bonus: My kids are fully potty trained, yet I still use these because it seems like it keeps their little butts warmer in the winter! And they're just like regular underwear, just a little more cotton padding.

    Lastly, this is the best thing ever and all the moms I know use it and love it.

    Just know, there WILL be accidents. Even in public. (Ours were at the mall, Babies R Us, and my sisters house) No one gets away from potty accidents. It's like death and taxes.

    Good luck to you. Can't wait to read about how they do in preschool, mine are starting this fall, too...

  10. I knew it was time when my son would stop doing whatever he was doing to pee in his diaper. I explained to him that he was going pee pee and everyone does it. Babies do it in their diaper and grown ups and bigger kids use the potty. I second the gerber undies. They don't contain the mess, they need to feel the mess to make the connection, but my son was comfortable using those and then got his thomas undies once he was successful. One thing that really helped my 2.5 year old son was setting a timer. Instead of constantly annoying him asking if he needed to use the potty, I explained when he hears the beep, it's time to sit on the potty and try to go peepee. The timer would ding and he's run to the potty. Warm weather and lots of time outside helps too, not so easy in Chicago this time of year. Good luck!