I’m Just a Mom, Standing in Front of Her Daughter, Asking Her to Pee

Forget nannies or mannies or house cleaners, I’d like to go on record and declare the greatest luxury in my life would be to hire-out potty training.

With a second baby on the way, I feel immense pressure to potty train. I’m letting the fear of the “you’re crazy town for having two in diapers” comments get the best of me. Admitting it is the first step.

As we’ve begun on this potty training nightmare journey, I’ve come to realize exactly what mothers mean they say they’d rather have them potty trained before two, than talking before two. Being the parent of an early talker, I always thought the ability to communicate young trumps all with its glossy advantages of limited tantrums and frustrations due to lack of communication. However, over the past week, I think I’m changing my tune.

Of course, I don’t want a kid who will just learn to potty train before two, I want one who will do it themselves. They exist I hear. When I mention we’re potty training they seem to come out of the woodwork to regale me with stories of how they adorably trained themselves at 18 months and how their mothers didn’t do a thing. I don’t hate, I congratulate. But then I cry on the inside that I wasn’t dealt this luxurious self-potty training kid.

Before we started, I analyzed the readiness signs, did my research, purchased appropriate enticing character underwear, and forged ahead with a haphazard plan. I did not know what to expect as the toilet tales I heard ranged from success in the 3-day method, a naked weekend, or a horrifying 11 long, excruciating months. Please I prayed, don’t let that be my lot.

I think I read repeatably that “just roll with it” was the only acceptable mindset for potty training. As much as I want to be a “just roll with it” mother, a lot of times, I am not. I’ve said it before, I’m a serial worrier. It’s a frustrating characteristic, one I worry about. See what I did there?

I knew that it would take dedicated time at home and with a week as empty as I could make it, bribes in hand, and a smile on my naively optimistic face, we began.

Day One:

Accidents: A plethora

Mental State: Go on brush your shoulder off, totally expected it.

Day Two:

Accidents: Maybe one less accident than the day before

Mental State: Repeat after me, it’s only day two, it’s only day two. Eat your feelings.

Day Three:

Accidents: Increasing

Mental State: Getting a nervous twitch due to frustration that it’s not getting easier so we brave undies on an errand adventure because the walls are closing in.

Day Four, Five, Six and Seven:

Accidents: Everywhere

Mental State: Tears. Begin self-loathing over the nagging mom I’ve become who asks every nanosecond do you have to go to the bathroom? I may or may not have uttered the phrase, “potty training is my personal hell.”

Day Eight: Forgo potty training. Strap her in a diaper, head to the zoo, and say nothing about potty training while enjoying the best mom and daughter day in a week.

Mental State: Sleep blissfully with the weight of a thousand sumo wrestlers lifted from my shoulders.

Day Nine: Plan to forgo potty training again, diaper her up. Miracle of miracles she joyously tells me she has to go to the bathroom on her own accord and then she does. Repeats 4 times. No Accidents. We sing the hallelujah chorus over here and declare her a genius.

And here I sit, Day Ten, wondering do I dare to dream? Do I say it out loud, the word “progress”? Sometimes I think as a mom if I say something aloud (read: brag) my child humbles me by refusing an encore presentation. Sleep through the night? Who me? No that must have been some other baby you were bragging about. So I am not bragging.  Hear that universe? No bragging to see hear folks. Move along.

In the spirit of honesty, this potty training business plus pregnancy is a hormonal roller coaster that makes me crazier than any reality TV contestant. It’s all mental this potty training game. But it has reminded me as first-time novice parent that each time I encounter one of these parenting milestones, many aspects of parenthood are trial and error and frustration does little good. I always want to parent from a place of love and support. And perhaps, a little bribery.

For now, I’m holding my breath and hoping to soon give a full report of our toilet triumphs.

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  1. by Mrs. Ronso

    On October 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    The ability to hire-out potty training is a super great idea! Potty training has been one of the worst things about parenting so far.

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one. We have character undies at are house too and so far they aren’t working their magic…can’t a princess help a mother out? :)

  2. by Ashley F

    On October 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I would pay an arm and a leg to hire out potty training! My first was 4, second is currently 3 and refuses (princess underwear and all), and I have just accepted I will be changing and buying zillions of diapers for approximately the next three years, haha :)

  3. by ebony

    On October 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I DREADD potty training!!My son is 4 years old and I’m still potty training…i still put him in pull ups at night i’ve offically given up haha when he’s ready he’s ready. i would pay any amount for someone to potty train him and my 5 mth old daughter lol when she becomes of age.

  4. by amber

    On October 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Yay! that is awesome! Yes potty training can be tough, but I just keep telling myself that their little bodies have been trained to go in the diaper for at least a year and a half (or maybe 2 or 3 years) and so their body usually needs a little more time than a week to retrain it completely. This is why I was psyched when my daughter showed interest at age 18 months, and also what I kept telling myself when at age 19, 20, 21 months (you get the idea) she would still have accidents here and there. I also told myself – “so what, so she had an accident today, I still have saved myself __#___ of diaper changes in the past month – so I will gladly clean this mess up and throw in a load of laundry and move on.” :) Just a few thoughts to keep in mind just in case someone out there has to deal with those reoccurances after they thought they were done with it.

  5. by Bekka Besich

    On October 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    That is such a great mentality to keep when they have an accident. I like the perspective. Thanks for sharing!