I’m Freaked Out!

April 11, 2007    By: Kristen J @ 8:46 pm   Category: Life

The time has come to potty train my Grand Finale and I don’t feel I’m up to the task. You see, there is nothing that strikes more fear in my heart then potty training a kid. It’s too hard, all the excrement, I just don’t want anything to do with it.

I guess my patience for diapers is wearing out because I’m actually starting to think that going through the terror of potty training might be worth it in the end. That and my husband yelling, “It’s time to get this kid out of diapers!” more and more.

You would think that after potty training (p.t. from this point on) 3 children I would be an old pro. Nothing would be further from the truth. My oldest 3 were so different from each other in the area of p.t. that I feel more confused now then I did when I started.

My first learned the nuances and fine points of toileting in 2 days at age 2 1/2. I was certainly very smug when I was finished with her. I wondered what all of the fuss was about and I figured everyone else must have remedial children.

My second born, and one of the brightest people I know, took a full year to become accident free. It was a stressful 12 months, one which caused me to age about 20 years during the whole p.t. process.

My third was pretty typical. He was about 3 and he took about 2 months to get the process down to a science. I was expecting it to be much harder since everyone told me boys were so much more difficult to train than girls.

Now it’s time for my last. After 10 straight years of diaper changing I’m so ready to be done with the ol’ Pampers and Huggies that it hurts. I’m just not quite sure how to go about it. Every time I mention using the potty #4 screams and runs from the room making me wonder if she’s ready. Then tonight I go into her room to get her ready for bed and she’s insisting that she change her own diapers. That makes me think that she might be ready for the potty.

I’ve tried giving her little treats every time she goes potty but it hasn’t really worked. My oldest kids end up fighting over who gets to use the potty so they can get potty treats while my youngest sneaks in to the bathroom when she knows we are distracted and breaks through my candy security devices so she can gorge on the treats until they are gone.

Now I’m trying to gird up my loins and take fresh courage by reading the “Potty Training in Less Than a Day” book. I must say that I’m more nervous now than before I read the dang book. Can I actually find a day where I have nothing to do but focus on getting this kid trained? Do I even have a doll that wets itself?

The book also suggests buying a bunch of your child’s favorite drinks so they will have to pee a lot on the day you p.t. I’m frightened that it will be a “Day-long Accident Festival” at my house.

I guess I need some support here. Does the “Potty Training in Less Than a Day” method really work? I’ll do it if it’s the miracle the author’s claim it is. Does anyone else have any good ideas for me in this area?

Wait a minute! I think I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to leave the country for a week and tell Geoff that if he loves me deeply and truly he will have this kid trained by the time I get back. Works for me!


  1. I just started pting my youngest. I waited until she actually went pee in the toilet before I started. Until then, I just kept it low pressure. I encouraged her (but didn’t force) her to sit on the potty. So when she went through periods of time of not wanting to try, I just dropped it.
    So Friday it happened. She went pee. I put her in underwear. She goes in the potty as long as I take her. If I don’t, she pees her pants.

    Comment by JKS — April 11, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

  2. “I’m going to leave the country for a week and tell Geoff that if he loves me deeply and truly he will have this kid trained by the time I get back.”

    When our oldest was about two and a half we went away for the weekend and left him with my friend and her husband. When we got back he was potty trained!

    I was stunned. My friend simply told him that we forgot to pack diapers, directions on where and how to buy more, and any extra clothes… so he was just going to have to use the potty. I still can’t believe it worked.

    Comment by Sarah — April 11, 2007 @ 10:06 pm

  3. JKS- I’m trying to not pressure her. I know when that becomes a part of pting it gets stressful for all involved.

    Sarah- that is so cool. Um…what’s your friends address?

    Comment by kristen j — April 11, 2007 @ 11:26 pm

  4. I was working and my husband was home with the kids when the two oldest were potty trained. We did them both at the same time. Oldest was 3, second was 2. I had a Wednesday off. I read that book you mentioned. I spent the day making them drink juice and sitting them on the toilet.

    Then I went back to work and my husband had to handle it. It was summer; he let them run around outside and just hosed them off occasionally.

    I honestly don’t remember potty training our third.

    Our daughter, second child, was the hardest. I swear she enjoyed being wet. She’d wet herself all the time and not care. She was like a magnet for mud puddles, too.

    Comment by Susan M — April 12, 2007 @ 6:24 am

  5. I was very frustrated as well with potty training. When I was researching potty training a common theme seemed to be praise and positive reinforcement. I came across a website called http://www.pottytrainingrewards.com. We hung it in the kitchen and named the little boy on the front of the package, Bobby. My son could not wait to go to the potty so he could push the button, hear the praising message, and get his chocolate reward from, Bobby. It really got my son excited about using the potty himself and it was fun for him. Because he became so involved, potty training was easy. So give it a try.

    Comment by Karen — April 12, 2007 @ 6:31 am

  6. Good luck! I am having similar reservations about potty-training our fourth. Luckily, we still have about a year before it’s “time”.

    Comment by Jordan F. — April 12, 2007 @ 7:43 am

  7. Susan-I’m hoping that someday I too will not be able to remember potty training my last kid!

    Karen-I’m going to check that website out right now! I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes. I’ll pass on any secrets I may come across Jordan.

    Comment by kristen j — April 12, 2007 @ 8:15 am

  8. My mother started pting my son when he was 18 mths, while I was out of town. I kept the potty in the bathroom and he used it daily or weekly, for the next 2 years. He was 3 1/2 by the time he was really potty trained. I swear that’s a record.
    I learned the hard way that you can never MAKE a child use the potty. If it’s an issue of control, the parents lose everytime.
    The only thing that even kind of worked for me was the naked thing. Kids don’t enjoy urine running down their legs, so they’re more likely to use the bathroom. (I think we did naked for at least a week, but for some kids it only takes a day or two) and we went back to it during times of regression.
    Potty training sucks, I feel for you.
    best of luck, keep us updated on your progress.

    Comment by jessawhy — April 12, 2007 @ 9:13 pm

  9. Kristen, beyond the specifics of your situation (for which you’ve gotten some helpful advice) I think your observations underline the reality that every child is different. This brings great humility to those of us with more than one child, as we realize what we can influence and what they seem to bring with them.

    I can’t bear to listen to Dr. Laura on the radio, because she bullies and demeans parents on a regular basis. Her smugness comes from the self-assurance of a parent who had One Perfect Child, and thinks they know what it is all about.

    Lots of us had One Perfect Child, too. Then we had one or four or whatever more, and learned different things from every one.

    Comment by Naismith — April 13, 2007 @ 4:04 am

  10. I think it’s that they’re all so different that has me freaked out. I feel like there is this big unknown factor with each kid.

    I did order the product Karen recommended. It should get here on Saturday. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Comment by kristen j — April 13, 2007 @ 10:04 am

  11. I agree with jessawhy…naked, naked, naked. Pick a day…I usually clear a whole week where you can stay home and let her run around naked. Then tell her “if you pee in my house, you’ll get a spank” (or something less spank-like if you don’t like the spanking…worked for me) My oldest got one spank and he was done. I also withheld the character underpants till they pooped in the toilet.

    My experience has taught me that if you put underpants on the child before they successfully pee/poop in the toilet several times they just fall back on the underpants (Pull-Ups are worse since they actually feel as bulky) as diapers. The underpants act as “false security”. They feel something on and just forget that it’s not a diaper. Having nothing to catch it, running down their leg usually is a good reminder. I do use Pull-Ups at night though.

    I feel for people that train their kids too early. The child isn’t trained, the parent is trained to ask every 5 mins or to put the kid on the potty every 15 mins. That’s too much work for me. Too much to remember.

    I am right with you…Carson is ready to go, or is it I’m ready to go? I am tired of the smell (we shared some smell with you today!) Let’s try to have fun and know that this is the LAST time. Yaaaaahhhoooooo!! Call me to commiserate.

    Comment by Pam J — April 13, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

  12. Mine were all really different too.

    My first was pretty typical.

    My middle was actually truly amazing. She was just a little over two, I asked her if she wanted to go potty on the toilet like her sister, she said yes, we took off her diaper and that was that. She took care of it all herself. She never had an accident, she never even asked me to wipe her.

    My third, it was the naked thing that worked for him. He certainly wants to be nakiiid all the time. Some people don’t like to look at the penis all day, personally I don’t really care (although when he escapes the childproof (snort) house, it horrifies the neighbors). I also found that oversized t-shirts can work like a boy dress of sorts, then you get the advantages of nakedness without the penis being in constant view.

    But truly they’ve all been pretty easy, my brother had three easy ones, a daughter who it became a control issue thing with and she’s seven and still has lots of accidents and has had to do physical therapy and all kinds of crap because she wanted to hold it, forever.

    Comment by fMhLisa — April 16, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

  13. Ugh! I’ve had friends who’ve gone through having a kid who holds it too long and having to go through therapy. That sounds like a nightmare to me.

    I’ve decided to wait until school is out. That way I’m not running around so much and her siblings can help out. She’s also still fighting it a lot.

    Comment by kristen j — April 16, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

  14. There’s a great game at elmosworld.com that where Seasame Street characters practice recognizing the “feeling” they need to use the bathroom and interupting whatever activity they are doing to get to the bathroom. My 4 yr old now uses the language from the game, “Mommy, I have a feeling that I need to use the potty.” He expects me to stop what I’m doing and take him/wait for him, etc. It’s pretty impressive result from a computer game. I recommend it.

    Comment by Jessawhy — April 16, 2007 @ 9:29 pm

  15. my son is now 21months,so i have my task ahead of me. one day while we were at a friends house out of the blue he came 2 me & said “mama pee”. i was in so much in shock i quickly took off his pamper & placed him on the toilet & he did ‘pee’. i was so happy. unfortunately since then he has not asked to go.Am praying & hoping this process would not be a long one.I’ll be thinking of you.

    Comment by natasha — June 3, 2007 @ 1:44 pm