(if you found your way here because you are frustrated and worn out trying to potty train your child – welcome. i understand. i promise it will get better. honest.)
My boys are finally past the potty training stage, but there was a time when I wondered just how many years of my life would be spent trying to get them fully trained.
We started when Watty was about 18 months old. It was his idea. He woke up one morning and tried to stand at the potty like his daddy did.
Since he was a little short, he sprayed the side of the toilet instead of actually making it INTO the potty.
(if you’re keeping score, gogo was two months old at the time. sigh.)
And, since little brothers like to try to emulate what big brothers do, GoGo started trying when he was about 18 months old as well.
Neither of them finished until they were almost four.
That was four straight years of potty training one or both kids.
My very least favorite stage was called “find the poo.”
(this isn’t going to be easy. i have to tell the whole story tastefully, without salty language. work with me, ok?)
It was a game.
My kids played both roles equally well, but it typically went something like this.
GoGo: Momeeeeee… Watty no diaper.
I’d spin around and spot the hind-quarters of a naked child streaking out of the room. By the time I found Watty, he’d have a diaper back on and be struggling to pull on his pants.
About that time, GoGo would wander into the room with us.
GoGo: Momeeeee…. Watty stinks like POOOOOO!!!!
GoGo would then run shrieking out of the room, holding his nose and making fake gagging sounds. Watty would try to chase him, but would fall down because he tripped over the pants that were only partially “installed.”
After I finished soothing the boo boo, cleaning the soiled child, dressing the child, and getting the boys playing peacefully again, I’d sit down to catch my breath.
That’s when it hit me.
Where was the OTHER diaper? The one that had caught most of the poop before getting removed?
Me: Watty, where’s your diaper?
(he’d point down at his bottom and giggle.)
Me: I mean the one you pooped in.
GoGo: Watty? You poop again?
(gogo would then try to peek in his brother’s diaper. giggles and shoving would occur.)
Me: Boys. Where is the dirty diaper that you hid.
Both: We hid it! Find it. Find the poo!
They’d run away screaming and giggling. Eventually, I’d find the soiled diaper.
(yes, we disciplined them. no, it didn’t change things. they really did think it was a game.)
Variations on the Game
“Find the Poo” had many variations. Every day, it was slightly different.
Sometimes, they’d play it outside.
Sometimes, it was a solo act.
Occasionally, it was synchronized pooping.
My husband was generally spared, but he did hear about it.
Hubby: (on phone) Hi Honey, just checking to see how your day is going.
Me: I’m playing “find the poo” – want to help?
Hubby: Have you checked the dirty clothes?
For about six months, it was a source of endless entertainment for my boys.
The Potty Training Party Version
The worst variation of the game happened when we had guests.
I was in the kitchen, chatting and cooking. The men were mostly outside.
I heard a “thump thump thump” noise that told me the kids were sliding down the stairs on their little rumps.
Guest: Oh my! Where are your diapers?
My kids shrieked and ran back up the stairs.
As I went to chase them, I looked down at the light beige carpet on our stairs.
Each and every tread now bore two darker brown stripes.
(yes, the treads now had tread marks. go ahead and giggle.)
I stood there in horror, wondering how I could possibly get the stains out of the carpet without anyone knowing what had happened. Just then, a guest walked up behind me.
Guest: Is that….
Me: I just found the poo.
I finally got the boys to finish potty training using my super secret weapon – creativity.
If you need encouragement, start with my Letter to a Weary Worn Out Mom.
3/19/13: EDITED. Closing comments because this post attracts an unusually large amount of spam. If you want to comment or talk to me about this post, shoot me an email, comment on facebook, or tweet me. I’m not being anti-social, just tired of the freaking spam.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family. She serves an amazing God. She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]