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A Week in Potty Training


One morning I woke up to find that Tyler had a cold. We had to cancel our plans for the day. That same day I found we were running low on diapers. A third discovery was made, a small stash of M&Ms leftover from Christmas. It was this trifecta that ushered us into potty training. I heard tell of a training method in which the child goes without diapers or pants. Sounded reasonable. Decided to go with it. So without much thought or planning, we entered potty training. I decided to try it for 1 week. 1 M&M for potty and 2 for poopoo (pardon my workplace jargon).

*This is not meant to be a guide. Think of it more as a warning, cry for help, or simple documentation of facts for those who come after. Should you choose to attempt any of the methods I mentioned, it's completely at your own risk. Remember, any time you remove the diaper from an untrained child, it's at your own risk. This is not a pretty tale. You may want to avert your eyes now. Proceed with caution. You've been warned.

Day 1: Completely accident free until exactly 6:30pm. He then climbed on top of a table, dangled his bottom over the edge, and let nature take over. We thought to question his reasoning, but he seemed just as mystified and appalled as we were. We hugged our tearful boy and told him it was totally normal and to be expected (lies). A toy we hate was defiled in the process and so met it's end. For this we were grateful. The first sacrifice to potty training.

Day 2: Began with big boy underwear. One day of full frontal is more than enough. On Day 1 I began to fear for the lives of my future grandchildren. He is used to a significant amount of under padding and I felt he was more reckless than he should have been. It's apparently a self-correcting system, but I felt a little barrier would be good. I also hoped the thought of soiling his new race car undies would be a deterrent. Day 2 was covered and accident free, aside from nap time. He did wet the bed. Not clear to me if you diaper a child in training during sleep but tomorrow I am going with....yes.

Day 3: Although diapered during nap time, no accident. Go figure. Successful restaurant outing with no accidents. Rio (our dog), not to be left out, peed on the floor. (Where did that one come from?) One potty accident happened while on the toilet. Although, I question the term 'accident' here. Add 'aim' to the list of things to be learned. He was quite amused by my reaction to the fountain he created. I was not amused.

Day 4: Proudly went on the floor and came to tell me about it. He knew I wanted him to tell me if he needed to go. He was so happy to tell me all about it. Key word to teach Riley: before. One pair of race car undies brutalized beyond recovery. Another sacrifice to potty training.

Day 5: Outing with daddy. Wore diapers. After 4 days of training, he has yet to mention to me or his dad the need to go to the bathroom. I faithfully take him about every hour. I am starting to feel like the one in training. Wondering if he is ready for this. Wondering if I am ready for this. Starting to question why I want him potty trained. It's like living with a time bomb. I know it will go off; I am trying to guess when. Just tell me when you need to go! Is 2 children in diapers really so bad? Once you enter the land of potty training, is there an emergency exit? Can you take a break and start up again later? long as it's before kindergarten? I have started eating the M&Ms. Must go to the store.

Day 6: Grande Finale. And so it ends. A day early.

I took Riley in for a bathroom check. He claimed to have no business in there. He went back to playing and within 3mins I noticed a smell. Finding it wasn't Tyler and knowing full well it wasn't me, that leaves Riley. Catching it early on means I was able to roll his business out of his poor race car undies and into the toilet.

This brought on a lot of cheering from Riley. "Look, my poopoo in toilet!" He thanked me and threw his arms around my neck. Why the gratitude? I really didn't know. Until...

"My poopoo in toilet, I get special treat." My son found a potty training loop hole! I actually admire him for it.

Alas, time to reveal the fine print. The print that says there can be no extra stops for the poopoo on the journey to the toilet.

"Uhhhh, no. The poopoo must come out of your bottom and go straight into the toilet to get a special treat."

He looked at me like I was running some sort of a scam. To be honest, I wondered if I was. Didn't I say that if his poopoo was in the toilet, he would get a special treat? This is getting complicated.

"I want a special treat! My poopoo in toilet! My big poopoo in toilet!" Anger was replacing his former gratitude.

"I can't give you a special treat, but I can give you a timeout. Do you need a timeout?"

(Mommy wouldn't mind a timeout, if anyone's offering.)

"Hmmm. Ummm no, I can't wike that, but I wike cookies."

Game Over. We will not be going for a day 7. This experimental (dry?) run is over. And by the way, we did end up eating cookies in celebration of our first real attempt at potty training.

Take Aways:

1. For successfull potty training to occur you need two cooperating participants. The Pooper and the Poopee. (No, that's not right. Well, something like that.) My son is not yet a willing participant. He isn't aware of the signals his body is sending. Or if he is, he isn't sharing. This will take a little more time, I think. We will continue to practice potty training, but I have no expectations of him...yet. I will just keep giving him chances to go.

2. The terms of the agreement must be decided and agreed upon prior to commencing training. In other words, I should have had a better plan in mind. Next time a stretch of 'stuck at home' time occurs, I want to have a clear plan. The leader should appear to know what they are doing.

3. Potty training and assembly line diapering are both hard. The grass isn't greener, yet. There's no need to push this...yet. Eventually, we will have to completely cross this bridge. For now, it is enough that we have stood on the bridge and marveled at the water and debris swirling beneath us.

To be continued...

Thanks for reading.

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