Toddler WIN, Parenting FAIL: A Lesson in Potty Training

One accident at Preschool playground, one at the playground after preschool and yet another tonight at home. Discouraging to say the least. He doesn’t seem to mind at all.

We spent the entire weekend potty training Bubba. I’ve been told by many parents that you have to devote an entire weekend (it takes four days), preferably with both parents around and hands on, to potty training a child. So we did. And just when we thought all hope was lost in three loads of laundry, a hundred Clorox wipes and countless, COUNTLESS, eleventy billion trips to the bathroom, I am beyond proud to announce that Bubba is just about there!

It wasn’t something we had even planned on doing. It just happened. Like I said earlier that we were working on being diaper free by three, we weren’t really going to push it if he didn’t seem remotely ready. Some days he was more interested than others: One day he would use the potty three to four times, other days he wouldn’t use it at all. We tried the incentive charts, using smiley face stickers and the promise of a toy of his choice if he accumulated enough. That worked for about, oh, 3 days. We tried M&M’s and treat bags with little plastic toys. Those also worked for roughly 3 days. After the three days he would just forget about the treats and either go in his pants or ignore our pleas for him to use the potty entirely. This time took persistence and heavier ammo.

Let me preface this next bit by saying that I am the anti-candy parent. I don’t think children should have candy at all, or at least in strict moderation, and for the first year and a half I really stuck to my guns. Then last year I put some organic jelly beans in Bubba’s Easter eggs and put a few pouches of organic gummy bears in his stocking. Why organic? Sugar is sugar, right? I don’t know. It makes me feel better about letting him have candy at all. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

This past weekend all of my morality shot to you-know-where in a hand basket. We promised him an entire (organic-WHAT?!) lollipop for every time he used the potty by himself. Well what do you know. The kid is all about instant gratification and I can’t blame him one single bit because he got it from his momma. His well meaning yet hyper-hypocritical mother who personally devoured his, her husband’s and her OWN entire Halloween stash. It was terribly painful to unwrap no less than FIVE suckers in one day. (I’ll have you know that I brushed his teeth after every one! Guilt shmilt), but I’ll tell you the child is no longer in diapers after the third day. I bought one of those Potette Plus potty’s for when we are on the go, and I set it up at the park today for him to use at his leisure. He used it on his own while I was on the opposite side of the playground wrangling Birdie. The sense of accomplishment and pride was pouring from every single crevice. He asked for a lollipop and he got one on the ride home. The way I figure, he is developing a lifelong habit and the candy most certainly will NOT continue to be a part of our routine. Bubba is still wearing a Pull-Up diaper at night because this is still so new, but he woke up this morning with it being dry.

Friday evening through Monday evening, Bubba was strictly (except for sleeping time) wearing big boy underwear, mostly at his request. We basically did not leave the apartment that entire time, and we did, literally, go through at least three loads of laundry. That’s at least $20 in our apartment-dwelling world. There was a lot of crying, screaming and frustration throughout the ordeal, but once Bubba started refusing the diaper we knew it that this was it. I am feeling very guilty about giving him all the candy that we did -I even bought him sparkle marshmallows, the HORROR- but I won’t let it continue and will find an alternative, sugar free route for the upcoming week or two. The true test will be tomorrow in preschool, where the majority of his classmates are still in diapers. I’ll let him choose between diapers and underwear, but I’m pretty confident he’s over the diapers at this point. Nice work, little man. We are SO proud of you. I can hardly believe it!

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