Posted by: Hannah | 03/26/2011

The Potty Wars

Thing #2 will be three years old in two weeks. TWO WEEKS OMFG. I can’t believe it. Overnight it seems he’s a giant enormous boy with the same smelly hair, attitude, and obsession with toy weaponry as his big brother.

Because of this impending milestone – “my three years birthday party” as himself calls it, with three chubby fingers carefully elevated – two weeks ago some little switch in my brain was flipped, and I started potty training. For real this time, not like all the other times where I sort of gently suggested maybe possibly he might want to consider peeing in the toilet maybe if he wouldn’t mind terribly and could fit it into his schedule. Nope, this time was for keepsies. Faced with his determination never to eat dinner without cajoling; his annoying habit of sneaking apples, taking four bites and leaving the rest to moulder under the furniture; and his need to wake me up in the night over and over again to retuck his blankets, I selected the hill I wanted to die on. It has a toilet on the top.

Two weeks later, we have I’d say successfully mastered peeing in the toilet (although apparently he was all along concealing a bladder like a camel; he hasn’t peed in four and a half hours – and yes, he’s had lots to drink. I dunno.) Good old poo, no, that does not compute. I foresee several more days – or weeks, he really is very very stubborn – before we achieve that particular trick. You know, the one I taught my puppy to do in two days. *sigh*

A few thoughts about potty training:

  1. I say “I” started potty training, because it was all me. Hubby’s contribution has been to tell me I’m doing a good job. I think he *may* have cleaned up one accident, last weekend.
  2. Two Smarties – the reward for peeing – is a powerful inducement. Twenty Smarties – the reward for the elusive poo – is not. Three year olds have an imperfect grasp of economics, it would seem.
  3. Squishy rubber potty seats with Disney characters are a big help, even if they do give rise to a solid week of cajoling and encouragement delivered in various voices. You just haven’t lived until you’ve used your Winnie-the-Pooh voice to ask someone to poo. It’s like a Zen koan.
  4. You don’t know how much you hate changing your kid’s diapers until you don’t need to anymore.
  5. Kids’ underwear are more expensive than they need to be.
  6. Nothing gets the smell of pee out of sneakers, once they’ve been peed in.

Next up, training myself to get used to the idea of a solid year of six year old defiance, lack of focus, and inability to listen. It seems that this is a developmental stage and not just because Thing #1 is gaslighting me and trying to turn me into a raving, gibbering alcoholic.



  1. Ooooh, fun. This totally makes me want twenty-five more kids just so that I can relive it all. Best wishes, poop and fortitude to you. 🙂

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