Posted by: Hannah | 09/10/2012

The Great Potty Adventure, Day One

We are drowning under the effects of tropical storm Leslie right now, so the rain has been pouring through steamy, humid air for two days now (or since just as we were finishing up breakfast at our campsite on Sunday morning. Camping, you suck so hard.) Some local towns are flooded and the cloud cover is very thick.

Just as well we’re potty-training this week. We can’t be more than 20 feet from the bathroom at any given time, or disaster strikes.

We are having scheduled potty-time every fifteen minutes today, for three minutes at a time. Just for today, if they sit for the full three minutes, they get a Smartie. If they happen to pee, they get a Smartie AND a ticker-tape parade.

After each potty interval, they each get an ounce of apple juice (and they NEVER get juice at Hannah’s house – milk at lunch, water the rest of the day. The juice thing has been a Big. Giant. Deal.)


Louis arrived a half-hour late – again – since he’s always a half-hour after scheduled drop off, and has been for three months now, I think we’ll just call that his regular drop-off time – and man, was he in a bad mood. He was sitting in his carseat on a folded towel, wearing a rain jacket, Crocs, underwear, and no pants. “I know he needs to pee,” said his dad, “but he just won’t stay on the potty. I figured this way meant less laundry.”

So we met the bus this morning in the pouring rain, escorting one pantless, angry boy who kept dancing from foot to foot. Once we got in the house, he flat-out refused to sit on the potty, so I left him standing while Pixie sat for the minimum three minutes and got her Smartie.

About five minutes later, he flooded the playroom floor. He was pretty sad about it, but I just cleaned it up and got him into some new underwear.

At every fifteen minute interval throughout the morning, he sat for his three minutes without a murmur. He had his Smarties and juice. He stayed dry. And stayed dry some more. And then more. He drank an ounce for juice every fifteen minutes for two and a half hours, and was still dry. Then, between interval breaks, he suddenly announced “I have to pee!”, marched into the bathroom, and did just that.

Then he did it again, just after lunch. No more accidents. And at naptime, he did not want his Pull-Up, claiming that they are not for big boys. I did convince him to walk before he runs – wetting the bed would just upset and discourage him at this stage – but I am so proud of him, and kind of stunned at his rapid progress.

And the humble pie I’m eating, it tastes good.


Now, I thought Pixie would get it no problem, and she did pee successfully during a regularly scheduled break after only about an hour, then two more times (once during a break, once when I caught her doing ‘the dance’ and hustled her into the bathroom). However, she has also peed all over everything six times. She apparently has a bladder the size of a thimble, because with only fifteen minute intervals, that many accidents probably shouldn’t be happening.

But she made it through lunch without any mistakes, and the last hour or so before nap things calmed down a bit, so I think she’s getting it too, although not as solidly as Louis yet. She also didn’t mind in the slightest getting a Pull-Up at naptime.


Why Luna, you ask? I thought she was potty-trained!

Oh, she is… but she spotted the Smarties. And promptly managed to squeeze out three drops at every. single. interval break, coming along with the other two while sobbing “Pee! Pee! PEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!” Since there will not be nearly as many Smarties distributed tomorrow, when they only get rewarded for actually doing it right, I figured I’d go along with it rather than listen to a screaming Luna all morning.

When her dad picked her up (after lunch, mercifully – I have a migraine today and getting Little Miss Sunshine through quiet time was not something I was looking forward to) I explained sheepishly about the Smarties. “Oh, that’s OK”, he said, “she gets Smarties at home every time she goes to the potty”.


I’ve never given her Smarties for the potty – I never needed to, she trained herself. Apparently they started rewarding her even though she was already using the potty with success, all on her own. And now they are “afraid” to stop, in case she regresses.


And here I thought she had a bladder infection, since she runs to the bathroom every ten minutes all morning long! Turns out she was waiting for the Giant Candy Machine In The Sky to pay out.


Ron, you say? What? Isn’t he four and a half, already reading several words (yes, really! it’s very exciting), watching five of the six Star Wars movies, and building increasingly elaborate free-form Lego creations?

Yup. All of that. But he also loves Smarties.

Now, I am writing this update during naptime, and I have no idea what the post-nap time window – also known as Vile Poop O’Clock, can I get an amen – will bring. But so far, so good.




  1. Well, if you are handing out candy for going, then I waaaant some!!! LMAO at giving out candy *just* in case…

  2. Oh, potty training is the worst. I feel sad for all the pee puddles in your house.

  3. […] Louis failed to grasp either the importance or the fundamentals of toilet training last time around, I was in […]

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