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She's Going to Interrupt My Boyfriend Wentworth Three Times

I'm almost afraid to admit it in writing, but as of late, the Toddler has been nothing short of a pleasure to be around. She's less than two weeks away from her second birthday, but yet she's been remarkably fun, entertaining, and totally lacking in hissy fits. I mean, sure, she's championing an experiment to try to find the exact breaking point for a parent's sleep deprivation, but other than that? She's been SO MUCH FUN!

Except (Ha! You knew that was coming, now didn't you?), this whole potty training thing is certainly going to be the final nail in my coffin. Many, many people before me have written nightmare stories of potty training, so I can't tell you anything new. It's just that Alexis has managed to find that magical breaking point for me and she's pushing! it! endlessly!

If I had a say in these things, the potty training would commence in approximately three months. It would consist of me taking a week off work and locking myself and the Toddler in the house 24 hours a day for those 7 days. Our whole lives would revolve around potty training. We would eat, drink, and sleep potty training. At the end she would either be trained, or I would be investigating Pampers in my size. But, of course, I do not have a say in these things, so Alexis has decided that she shall ask to go potty every 17.4 minutes and she shall do it now.

So fine, she asks to go potty and either Daddy or I takes her. She's all about the stripping portion of the festivities, she sits on the potty just fine, she tears off some toilet paper and throws it in the water, she flushes, she pulls up her own pants, and she washes her hands. What's missing? The actual act of pottying. Who needs that part when you can have all that ritualistic fun? Honest to goodness, this weekend she visited the restroom in three different stores at the mall, two restaurants, two different Targets, and made several trips to our two bathrooms at home. There was not one drop or nugget of actual pottying involved. This has been going on for nearly two weeks and NOTHING. She just likes all the fun things you do while you're in the bathroom.

Guess which part of potty training I was dreading the most. Go ahead, guess. Oh yeah, definitely the part where they need to go every 17.4 minutes. You see, I myself need to go every 26.2 minutes. I knew very well that her scheduled meetings with the throne would very rarely meet up with mine. So I fully expected to spend about 20 hours a day in the bathroom. But I had the obviously unrealistic expectation that there would be actual pottying involved. What in the world gave me the idea that people should go potty while sitting on the toilet? Crazy talk, I know.

Go ahead, tell me how much worse it's going to get. Cecily just told a great story about a urinal and Looky, Daddy! recently warned of the dangers of telling a potty-trained tot to go ahead and make use of the river. I want to hear what the rest of you have to say. And if you're kid just woke up one day and decided to be fully trained? Just shoosh. I can't be your friend for at least two weeks.

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Reader Comments (39)

I hated the potty training when it came to restaurants - up and down and back and forth to the bathroom - for the FUN of it. Even if they really had to go - it was so much easier to just let them sit there and do it in their diaper. That all takes some getting used to!

Hey - thanks for coming over and leaving the well wishes - I am fine - only need to remember about that bra thing the next time I ever have to call 911. Hope to see you tomorrow. Kellan

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKellan

Um, all I can say is I'm sorry, and Good Luck! Maybe if you run some water at the faucet? Or play a waterfall cd? A cheer maybe?
"Out with the poop, out with the pee!
Then mommy does a dance of glee!"
(you'd have to do a dance here - I'm sure that would help)
"Going potty is really fun!
Wash your hands, and then we're done!"
(I'm a freakin genius)

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen

We were doing great with the potty training for a little while there, but somehow we've regressed back to the point you're at. We go and we sit and we unroll the entire roll of toilet paper if mommy's not looking. We might, might, pee just a little. But probably not. BUT, we'll continue to sit there and REFUSE to moved for at least 15 minutes until mommy absolutely loses it. Most of the time she'll refuse to even go into the bathroom -- except for at the moment when you DON'T want her to go. THEN she wants to go. Good times. Good times.

You know I once had a daycare owner (NOT our current one) tell me that I needed to spank Bubba to get him to potty train. That he was just being "stubborn." He was 19 months old. Um. No.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMadame Queen

We did the lock ourselves in the house and did all things potty training for a week! It actually went well and we did the call daddy at work and tell him I peed on the potty thing - I even had a Ashlyn pee-peed on the potty song (oh yeah, I know your jealous!). But...the horror came when we went to the beach a little while later. I didn't want to put her back in diapers for the car trip and have her regress. We stopped often to have her go potty and of course, she still peed in her pants between stops! She told us she had to go, but smack in the middle of the highway - no where to stop (that inflatable potty might have come in handy!). But- to make it worse, oh yeah- #2! She went in her pants- it was SUCH a mess, I just threw the undies and clothes all out in the truck stop bathroom when we finally stopped! Try cleaning your kid up in a bathroom you don't even want YOUR feet to touch- gross!

The way I got Ashlyn to finally go- I put the little potty in front of the TV, played her favorite video and had her sit there until she went. It took some time, but it saved on the trips every 17.4 minutes ;)

Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it goes!!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I feel your pain, I do. UGH I HATE potty training. I think someone needs to make a potty training camp and for $1,000 you drop your toddler off for a week and pick them up completely potty trained day and night. I'd totally pay it! I'm trying to potty train Kennedy right now too... sort of. LOL *sigh* Good luck!!!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMommy to those Special Ks

I have nothing for you. But, I'm about to embark on the potty journey myself and I'm already dreading it.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKellie

Jen--You are a freakin' genius! That cheer? RAWKS!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBurgh Baby's Mom

Good luck! Aidan is still wearing pull-ups to bed, but luckily we haven't had any more poop explosions all over the bed lately. {crossing fingers}

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

Oh yeah . . . the smile in that picture? Because she wasn't wearing pants. Woohoo!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBurgh Baby's Mom

Happy has been pooping in the potty for a few months now. He decided himself that it would be a good idea. Thanks kid. But he refuses to pee in the potty. "no pee, no can do it". So there you go. Now what?

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKIDZMAMA

I am about to buy a potty. JOY!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica

Stop. You're scaring me. You're really SCARING me. We've yet to attempt it potty training and I'm already scared. Probably not good. :O

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMamaGeek

Dude, all of my kids were 3 1/2 years old when I begrudgingly trained them. Yes to the locked in the house thing and the bathroom every 17 minutes too. I loathed the thought of it so much that I waited until it was absolutely necessary. Like when the size 6 Pampers stopped fitting. I would gladly have paid large amounts of cash to anyone who was willing to take on this parenting duty for me.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTootsie Farklepants

so cute! perhaps you could install a small desk in the bathroom? start writing notes... mount a small tv. Anything to make life more comfortable for you?

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

The word shoosh gave me a SERIOUS case of the giggles (giggles that I had to shut my mouth for because Evie is actually asleep) for some reason.

Incidentally, I think what you are doing is what you should do. But what the heck do I know? Clearly NOTHING.

And thanks for the shout out. You're awesome and I feel really cool right now. :)

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCecily R

That is such a cute picture! I hated this stage too. My daughter had to visit the restroom of anyplace we would visit, and if it was a restaurant, right before my food would come, she would need to go to the bathroom and spend like an hour in there, singing and insisting she was not finished. I think all restrooms should have a lounge chair in them for mom, myself.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShellie

I know you'll hate to hear this, but what she's doing is totally normal. And my niece, who's nearly 3 and has been potty training the last 6 months (ack!) goes into EVERY potty in EVERY new place she goes. I think it's a girl thing. Don't we all do that?

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFlea

My toddler is potty trained but not poopy trained! (He will hold it until we put a diaper on him...and he will hold it! He once held it for three days!)Any suggestions for this problem?

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBia

The pre-potty training cuteness stage is why my boys are evenly spaced 2 1/2 years apart. They are so much fun and cute and so squeezable you think, "OMG, I need another one of these desirable creatures" and then...potty training. I did the set aside a week for only potty training with my first born. I unscheduled everything to stay home and just sit in the bathroom and...I went crazy after 6 hours and gave up. I just couldn't handle the stress! So good luck. I am looking at starting with my little bundle of cuteness soon...God help us both.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHRH

Well, I actually don't have too many horror stories. But I do recall making my poor boys sit on the potty for what seemed like an hour and my oldest would always say, "I so sad, mommy. I so sad." Poor little thing.
Good luck!

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

Potty training was rough on me, but Wallace handled it like a champ. He was almost three when we really started it.

He had a flirt with potty readiness at about your girl's age where we locked in the peeing (he got very good at peeing), but he wasn't really properly trained until this past September.

And he didn't stop having regular accidents until probably two months ago.

If your girl is ready, that's cool, but if you're having trouble before three years old it may be beneficial for both of you to say fuck it and go back to diapers.

Potty training took us a few months to figure out (and required a sticker chart). I know people who started when you are starting and they basically "potty trained" until three years old anyway.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKrissy

17.4 minutes? i thought it was more like, 17.4 seconds...around the clock!!!
lucky for me, i never did any of the potty training. my oldest son potty trained himself, when he 32 years old...actually, 4 1/2...he was a reluctant trainee...until, a bout with the stomach flu, he had it on both ends and...he didn't want to deal with it so, he decided, it was as good of time as any!!
then, my hubby potty trained my daughter when she was 3 and also,my youngest 3. so...i have no advice except, maybe hire my husband!!

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersuchsimplepleasures

Potty training sucks. We started at about 2.5 and the day before she turned 4 she trained herself. No amount of trying, bribing, forcing would work. It was all about her time frame. I'm so glad it's over :)

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Ah yes, loved potty training. Still got one to go eventually. My 3 year old potty trained about a year or so ago, and it was hell. He'd like to go when he was naked - that was it. Put clothes on him, he'd wet himself without a diaper on.

Lisa--And that is exactly why I will continue to contribute to Pampers' profitablity by buying craploads of diapers from them. There will be no walking around commando just yet.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBurgh Baby's Mom

I wish I had words of advice for you, but we are in the exact same boat! My personal favorite is the strip-down . . . why he has to be buck naked to pee (or, more often than not, to just sit on the potty and tell me over and over again that he has to pee) is beyond me. We spend more time getting undressed and re-dressed at this house. If the heat bill weren't already through the roof, I would just leave him a diaper all day long and save us both the hassle. But, of course, there is no fun in that.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDriving With the Brakes On

We aren't there yet, but just the other day Jen at Amazing Trips posted on potty training. You think it rough potty-training one? Imagine having triplets... She posted an extremely funny song/video, and I now get that song stuck in my ALL THE TIME:

Great, now it's in my head again, and I can't sing it out loud at work.

Good luck with the potty training!

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercaramama

Well, I'm so screwed as preschool for the 3 yo crowd requires we are set. And, we are nowhere near it.

Wanna see:

Oy, my daughter is just a few months older, and the potty training has been a challenge. We were down to 1 pullup a day with her 100% poop trained and 95% pee..then something happened. Like a switch one day..the potty became a royal nightmare, and she was scared to death of it! Now we're back to 6-7 pullups and depleted diaper fund :( At least she's still pooping least *sigh*

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSandy C.

I have no children and my animals all came house trained so I have nothing useful to contribute, sorry. I will be looking to you for advice should I ever manage to have a baby of my own...

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterALF


Okay I did this three times.

The ONLY thing that worked, was when I locked my child and I in the house for a week with them bare from the tummy down.

I put layers of towels down on the sofa and then we just spent a week working on it. I showed them where the potty was and believe it or not within a week it was done. No accidents, no I have to go every ten minutes in a restuarant and no night time problems either.

It was a VERy long week though.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne

It was easy for us - they both said "I'm done with diapers" one day. They were slightly older though so maybe that was why...


January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWonderful World of Weiners


January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBurgh Baby's Mom

hmmmmmm yeah, my girl was heading in that direction, and I put a stop to it. I told her, unless there was pottying involved we would not be just putting TP in the potty and flushing it.

That was 6 months ago, and since then....she has had ZERO interest in the potty. She just won't even go there. sigh....I may have screwed her up FOREVER!

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCorey~living and loving

well, I just read most of the comments here, and, I don't have anything to add. Potty training sucks. We started when Monkey was 3 months away from being 3 years old. Still working on it, although it is getting better. I'm going to wait until Bun actually turns 3 -- unless Monkey decides to train her earlier.


January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pen mama

We did the non-pottying potty training for a year. A. Year. He was just past his 3rd birthday when he was finally trained.
We even tried giving him 4 or 5 little juiceboxes while having him sit on the potty and watching "Cars" on the portable DVD player. That child did not pee one single drop! And that movie is two hours long. So I put a pull-up on him and within 5 minutes, the pull-up was dragging down to his knees because his bladder had let loose! That officially established his bladder control.
So a few weeks more of non-pottying potty-training, (including naked potty training, bribery potty training, and the all-inclusive naked bribery potty training), I got fed up and put Elmo underwear and shorts on him and sent him outside to play. Within a half-hour he was back walking all bow-legged complaining of "yucky Elmo". We did the same thing the following day. And when he went to school, we sent him in his underwear with tons of extra clothes and for the first 3 days he refused to go pee or poop AT ALL! I thought for sure we'd go to jail...but then my husband coaxed him into going pee in the potty at school and it's been downhill from there.
And we never had a potty chair in the car even though it's a good 30 min drive to/from daycare each day.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

oh, and um, he's not bedtime potty-trained quite yet. my poor boy sleeps like a dead child--you could drop a die-cast metal toy car on his head and he'll barely stir--really, it happened once while trying to pull all his toys out of his bed and the stinking thing hit his head and he barely moved! But anyways, yes, he sleeps so incredibly hard that I can't get him to wake up to pee one more time at night, so we just do pull-ups. I may have to resort to letting him wake up in a wet bed to get him wake up to pee at night, but I'm just not up for the laundry right now.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

I feel your pain. There is a reason we have a near 5-year old that still wears Huggies.

My biggest pet peeve was the "let's check out every potty in the tri-state area" bit. I got to the point where I threatened them. "I will gladly take you potty, but if you don't go while on that potty you'll be punished." That cut down on the trips drastically. Although this was after they were actually trained so it may hinder the actual training part. Hmmmm

January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I'm potty-training three girls right now (we are houseparents in a foster group home); The oldest (3 1/2) one has gotten it real well and pretty much keeps her bed dry. The next one (3) is a wreck and we've been trying for about six months. It becomes I "I'm telling Mommy Debbie I have to go potty 'cause I want her undivided attention". Even when I put panties on her, she doesn't care if she's wet or dirty. The youngest (2 1/2) has the concept down, but struggles with getting to the potty in time. We've had several start to pee/poop as we're pulling down her panties... but oh well - every kid is different!

January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

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