Potty Training is Sh*tty

I have a 3 year old. And if it wasn’t for the fact that my 3 year old is 47 pounds and that – since I’m a SAHM, and a zero budget – a $40 box of diapers lasts only 2 weeks, I would keep her in diapers. I would rather put her into Depends than deal with the insanity which is potty training.

I have 3 kids. I have never been out of work and now – going on my second year of not working – I am learning how much work the preschools actually did for my older 2. I thought it was simple. A simple process. There are complexities that you just don’t anticipate.¬†

Like toilet friendships. You don’t know this, but toddlers have feelings towards toilets. At first, I was trying to use one of those toilet seat covers that are made for little butts. It’s nice, cushy, and has Bob the Builder on it. She loved it and would pretend to sit on it while I use the toilet. I had decided my approach would be to just take her every hour until she understands the process. First time, I sit the cover on the toilet, I take off her diaper, I pick her up (all without issue), and lower her down on the toilet. That’s when the shit hit the fan. She started SCREAMING and crying and doing the sob/talk/breathing thing, “Ma – ma! No – toi – let. Very – scary!”


I searched and searched for a toddler toilet that actually looked like a fricken toilet. I wanted to make sure she understood it was a toilet and not a toy. I found a great one at Target that was this little white smiling toilet that makes flushy sounds with the little handle. It even had big blue eyes and encouraging phrases it says. I spent like $30 on this toilet – on this smiling plastic tub for my kid to pee and shit in.

I get it home and introduce her to it with excitement and joy. She was SO EXCITED! I put it in the bathroom across from the big toilet and she was happy! She sat there while I used the big toilet pretending to pee. I was elated! The hour time came and I took her into the bathroom, took off her diaper, picked her up to put her on her toilet… that’s when she FREAKED! “MAMA I NO PEE ON MY FRIEND!”

I have made a miscalculation somewhere. As I looked at her stunned while holding my little angel still in my arms, she peed on me.

Back I went to Target. I found one that was real simple, green, in the shape of a frog. It was $20 but not as ‘friendly’ as the other one. I brought it home and she was so not into it, kept calling it a crocodile and said it was out to bite her butt.

And before you ask: Yes, there were plenty more times where I was peed on.

My dear friend has a 3 year old little boy. She got his trained in like no time. She called and said she wanted to come by with a gift for my little one. I get the baby all stoked that her BFF was coming over with a gift for her. My friend and her boy come over with a wrapped heavy present. My daughter tore into that like it was holding her last breath. It was the toddler toilet my friend used. She thought maybe we could try it out. It’s a basic little thing but it looks more like the ring that we already had (this one was Mickey Mouse). And the top folds down to become a step to get to the big toilet when it’s time.

I sat it on the floor and – I shit you not – she used it right away. WHAT?? It wasn’t an instant transition but it was the first real progress we had! NO MORE URINE ON MAMA! Yeah right.

A couple weeks go by and she it not wearing diapers at all except for naps and at night. BOOM just like that. A couple more weeks go by and as of today, she doesn’t wear diapers at all. I have to drag around that Mickey Mouse toilet everywhere and stop at every bathroom, but no more diapers! Our next hurdle: pooping.

I don’t understand why pooping isn’t associated with peeing relating to where to do it. The holes are close together, you would think there would be a connection made there but alas, there is not. So everyday – mid-morning – I will be washing dishes and a little body will come STREAKING across the kitchen, screaming, “POOP MAMA! I GOTTA POOP!” She will tear though the back door and poop on the porch.

Then she comes in to get me to clean it up. Some people have a pooper scooper for their animals, I have one for my toddler. When I ask why she poops outside instead of in her toilet, she gives me a variety of reasons depending on the time of day. “I like the grass on my butt.” “Toilets are for pee pee mama.” “I poop where the cat does.” At the beginning she would tell me, “MAMA I need a diaper! I gotta poop!” and I would plop her butt into a diaper and she would poop. I thought, “Great! Once I stop buying the diapers then I can just tell her, “Sorry honey, no diapers for my big girl!” and that will be that.


Now she poops in the yard.

Man, can this kid find a loop hole or what??? If I had to find the silver lining, she does tell me when she does it and will help guide me on how to properly clean it up.

One other block that we have was the initial transition to panties. Remember the poop issue? Well, at the ¬†beginning of the ‘no diaper’ era, I would put her in panties. She didn’t really understand that panties aren’t diapers so many a panty have been scarred with the pooping problem. Those 3 days she had diarrhea have created a mental damage that my therapist says she can’t assist with.

Something that really helped was the pee pee dance and the i did it dance. On an episode of Teen Titans GO! they go into the pee pee dance and my kid LOVED it! So when she’s peeing, I do the dance to make her think I have to go too. She thinks it’s hilarious. Then when she’s done, we do the ‘i did it’ dance and sing the Dory song from Finding Nemo: “We did it, we did it, oh yeah yeah yeah. No eating here tonight. No eating here tonight. no no no eating here tonight, you’re on a diet!” She loves it. Keeps her happy in the same room where she had a conniption over peeing on her friend, the toilet.

What I’ve learned about potty training is 1. find a nice but non-friend toddler toilet. 2. taking them every hour totally works 3. pee and shit happens. Keeping the toddler relaxed and happy is key. Being mean to a kid about poop/pee will only associate bad feelings to the process, causing delays in getting them trained. 4. create feelings of accomplishment with a type of reward. Keep the good feelings going and it makes them want to do it more and more.

Keep on keeping on, my friends.


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Project Mama

Just me.

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