It’s that time parents of young children dream about – potty training! The end of diapers (for one) is so close. All I can think about is no more smelly surprises when I get random hugs from the boy. We’ll be down to spending a small fortune on diapers for just the twins.
Except, it’s not going quite like I thought it would. This whole experience is nothing like what all the books and internet “experts” said it would be like. So here’s my very unofficial guide. This is what no one tells you about potty training.
Don’t wait around forever for your kid to be “ready.”
That’s what all the books say to do. Wait until he’s ready. Introduce him gently to the potty. Let him play on it and sit on it. Talk about it. Don’t push it.This is what has taken us so long. We’ve talked about going potty. Asked him if he wants to go pee on the potty. Talked about not wearing diapers any more. Threw in incentives and rewards. Told him he was a big boy now. Nope. Nothing. Nada.
We started joking that there really were kids in college that wore diapers and he would be one of them. We joked that kids like him were the real reason for adult diapers. We were convinced that he’d never want to go sit on the stinking potty.
He’s three. His automatic response for anything is “no.” So one day we just ditched the diapers and let him run around in his real underwear. I think he had one accident, maybe two, but that’s it. As soon as we quit covering his butt, he parked it on the potty.
You’re going to spend a lot of time in the bathroom, so you might as well get comfy.
The first few days of potty training, we literally just hung out in the bathroom. He was going commando or wearing only underwear. I didn’t want to clean up pee all over the house, and he needed to be close to the potty. We watched movies on the iPad. I brought in a pillow to sit on. We even moved his little play table and chairs in there so he could sit down and build with his legos. Make it extra fun and have a picnic in the bathroom! Thank goodness we had enough room in there for all that!
Your kid may stop pooping for a few days.
He totally understood that pee goes in the potty. He figured that one out very quickly. Convincing him to poop in there is a completely different matter. If he couldn’t poop in his diaper or pull-up, he didn’t want to poop at all. Just enjoy the silver lining of having one less stinky butt to wipe. Eventually, the poop will come out. Just cross your fingers that it’ll be in the potty.
You’ll feel like a 50s dad.
Remember way back when women would go into labor and the men would wait outside? You’ll feel like that. Pacing up and down the hall, waiting anxiously for the glorious moment when the bundle of joy finally comes out. Only this time instead of a baby, it’s poop. And yes, when it arrives you’ll feel just as proud as that new dad! Feel free to have that cigar – this is something to celebrate! Just don’t take pictures of it and post it on social media. No one wants to see that.
You’re going to need a lot of wine.
I think all the potty training experts are too politically correct to tell you this, but I will. You will need a lot of wine, so just stock up now. Learning to use the potty can be stressful for a little guy, and we all know how kids deal with stress – meltdown city. Not pooping for a few days would make anyone cranky. Plus, you can’t get anything done because every five minutes you’re running to the bathroom with the little one yelling “I want to poop!” It might be a little stressful for everyone, momma, so just have that glass of wine. It’s potty training, there’s no judgement.
You’re going to need a break.
As a potty training momma, you might not want to go anywhere for a bit. It’s hard enough convincing your little one to go at home where he’s comfortable, much less out in public in a strange place. And in the beginning he’ll be so unpredictable as far as time between the “I need to pee” announcement and the actual peeing.
What does this mean for you? You’re grounded, momma. Stock up on some goods (i.e. wine and chocolate), and prepare to be homebound for a bit. However, all this might start to wear on you. It’s all kids all the time. Call in reinforcements and get out of dodge. You don’t have to leave the house if you don’t want to (I’m pretty sure you will), but just take a break.
In all the parenting books I’ve read, and all the online guides and blog posts, no one mentioned any of this. So I’m here to help you prepare. We’re all moms, and we’re all in this together. Let’s help each other figure this out. What did you experience that no one told you to expect?