Potty training take,umm, ten

March 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

They say a watched pot never boils. Apparently the same goes for Liam: a watched boy doesn’t pee in the potty. At the grocery store today he avidly pointed to some little bouncy balls on a display, “Mommy, I want those.” Usually I don’t buy toys for him at the store (that’s James’ domain), but if I do, we tell him that it’ll go in his prize basket. So when we got home, into the basket it went, and Liam immediately wanted to earn it. The only way he earns prizes is by either earning 10 stickers on his chart or by actually going in the potty. Seeing as how he still needed nine stickers for a prize, potty it was! But I had groceries to unpack, so instead of entertaining him on the potty like I usually do, I explained I had to put groceries away before they spoiled, so he was going to have to entertain himself. He wasn’t wild about the idea, but he seemed to accept my excuse. I busied myself downstairs, and he dutifully sat away. He got up a couple of times, but after about half an hour, he called me upstairs to inspect the puddle on the floor in front of the potty. Yeah, we’re still working on aim. But he still got a prize for the effort!

One of the more tedious chores of potty training, aside from the messes, is having to entertain him while he sits. And sits. And sits. So I’m hoping I can invent some excuses why I can’t sit there with him, and perhaps without the distraction, he’ll be able to go. I read online about a mom who trained her kid in a day by pouring warm water over his little man parts every time he sat to pee. The first couple of times it worked like a charm! But the novelty and effectiveness of that wore off for us on day two. A mom I met at the playground recommended a tactic she used on her 3 1/2 year old son – hiding all of the diapers and pull ups and claiming we were out. It’s getting to the point where he’s proven he can do it, but he’s being stubborn. Another mom recommended I let him run around naked for a couple of days, which might help him connect the feeling of having to go with having to run to the potty. That’s something he doesn’t seem to get yet. My sister says to not sweat it. She tried everything to potty train Evie over the course of a year or more, and then Evie just woke up one day and wanted to do it. 

I have to be honest, part of Liam’s problem is me. We spend a lot of time out and about – on long bike rides or walks, at the Y, at Disney – and having him in a pull-up seems a lot more convenient to me than risking accidents and constantly hunting for bathrooms. I know it’s for his own good, and in the long run I’ll be thankful not to have to change poopy diapers, but I’m really dreading being tied to the house for however long this takes. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but not if I actually have to stay at home. We get outside every day for my own sanity, even if it’s just to the park in our subdivision. I suppose that Liam can always go behind a tree or something, so that’s one consolation. But I dread the inevitable accidents, the mad dashes to public restrooms that I’m sure he’ll balk at, and the possible back-sliding if we end up moving to a new house during all of this. My mom always told me potty training was THE WORST part of motherhood, and I’m starting to believe her.


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  1. Ok, this is a BAD mama story. ONE of my kids was hard to train, not saying which one (wink, wink). After months of frustration, a friend asked me if I spanked her when she wet her pants. I’m sure I looked horrified & told her absolutely not. She said, well you might give that a try. I spanked her once & she never wet her pants again. However, she hasn’t talked to me in 2 years & hates my guts. Wonder if there is a correlation? Just remember, he WILL pee in the potty before he gets married.

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