Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Potty Training

A week or so ago I noticed on Twitter that June was "Potty Training Awareness Month" so what better time to finish off my half-written post than at the very end of June. Oish. Even though I may be the Susan Lucci of the “Mother of the Year” Award (pretty sure this year will be my year…tee hee), I am sure when you read the title of this post you probably pictured something like this:

Am I right??? Look how calm, relaxed and happy the two of them look. Can you not just imagine me and J2 or Riley like this when we were potty training? And the mom looks so pulled together...nice hair, clean clothes and probably showered! on my friends.

Some parents sail through this period without batting an eye. Some parents struggle for a few weeks then don’t think about it ever again. Some are ready to rip out their hair; break out into a cold sweat; and the mere mention of potty training sends shivers up their spines. I fell into that third category and found this period was THE most trying time IN MY LIFE!!!  I will even admit I looked more like this…

For me this had nothing to do with having a child with autism and I think everything to do with having boys or to be more specific…MY boys. Surely it had nothing to do with my parenting skills after all I was already working towards my Degree in Parenting.

Like many first time parents, I thought J2 was THE most intelligent child ever…that is until we started potty training. Now I considered myself to be a somewhat intelligent person and I was pretty confident in my abilities even though I was a first time parent. Yup…that was my first mistake. Surely I didn’t need a book to figure this out. I mean how difficult could this really be??? Ya right. Mistakes two AND three...check and check. Hoping I did not miss that window of opportunity and believing J2 to be extremely bright (uh…number four) we started the process.

Having heard that boys usually take longer to grasp this concept I waited patiently for signs that he might be ready. Obviously I had no idea what signs to look for since my niece, who is 10 months younger than J2, was pretty much potty trained before we got started! *sigh*  

Without going into all the gory details for fear that the authorities might be monitoring my blog…let’s just say with the added pressure to have J2 “ready” (aka potty trained) for preschool, there were times when both J2 and I were in tears…at the same time! Needless to say when it came time to consider potty training Riley, I was so traumatized by my experiences with J2 that I was prepared to keep R in diapers FOREVER!!!

My reason for writing this post??  Well initially I was hoping to pass along “How to” or more realistically “What NOT to do” tips. The amount of information out there is SO overwhelming. But let's face it...I have nothing... Did you not read anything above!!! So instead all I have for you is this; if you are a parent like I was, struggling to potty train your child and stressed out to the max…YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Try not to beat yourself up. It's nothing personal, you are not a loser alone! Diapers aren't so bad. Hey it cuts down on the laundry. are not alone! Why do you think they make Depends? I'll let you think about that for a minute. For the last time repeat after me…I am not alone!!!  There.  Feel any better?  Hope so.

Over a dozen years have passed and I am happy to report we all survived although at the time…it was touch and go whether or not I would have to enter rehab.  ;P

What are your experiences with Potty Training?  Do you have any horror stories tips you would like to share?


  1. LOL! Depends, oh my-- and now that Lisa Renna is pimping those suckers, peeing your pants never looked so good! HA!

    Seriously, though-- I hated potty training. HATED. Having two little tinklers to train at the same time... I think my washing machine ran without pause for 7 months straight. Whew. Glad that's over with!

    1. I can NOT begin to imagine having to train two at the same time!!! AUGH!

      Let me already have your Mother of the Year award. :D

  2. Hahaha, great post! This is what parents need to hear. Those foo-foo pictures with the calm parents is why we all have a complex. They make parenting look and sound that easy...well.

    Also, how do I nominate you for Mother of the Year? I wouldn't want it, I feel like people would turn on me and there would be some sort of mob violence. I mean you can't very well say, "hi, guess what, I just got Mother of the Year", likely someone would get a throat punch. And then, I'd go to jail for throat punching somebody and making her kids cry.

    Alrighty, I'm just going to wrap this comment up, I have gone downhill and fast lol!

    1. Actually when our kids were young, my cousin & I used to joke about being nominated Mother of the Year because compared to my sister we were so ummmm...NOT! LOL! are both Mother AND Father of the Year in my books and I do mean that as a compliment. ;P

      Thanks Cari!

    2. ha, ha, thanks for the compliment? I think?! I never know when you're serious or sarcastic? We were recently talking and laughing about all the time I spent chasing Sara around with the potty trying to get her to sit on it, I'm not sure who was training who?

    3. You never told me THAT! :)

      That was indeed a compliment. You were/are the nice one. I seem to recall being referred to as "Mean Old Auntie Diane" when the kids were little. Good thing that doesn't apply any more. Right??? HA!

  3. Potty training… ah yes. Our first potty trained himself at a very young age. He even announced to us that he did not want to wear his diaper at night. Much to my horror as there was no way I wanted to get up in the night to be changing the sheets. So my reply “sure honey, if you keep your diaper dry for a week then you don’t have to wear one”. Honestly I never thought he would do it but he did. So young, smug and naïve parents that we were, ah we thought this is easy.

    Then along came the second child. A week before preschool he was showing NO interest what so ever. So we took turns with him, bare bottomed in the kitchen (much easier to clean up floor then carpet) with the potty for the weekend. After all, if he could see when it happened that would help right? To be honest it didn’t go all that badly and he sort of got it. Well the urination part anyway, but not so much re the BM.

    So we progressed to diaperless around the house. However, he refused and started to hold it. Knowing this can cause all sorts of problem (pain, constipation etc.) we were a bit concerned. He would wait until the times he had on those heavy in the crotch lined underwear that all newly trained kids wear and then do his thing. Which meant we were often not at home so clean up was fun….NOT!

    Time went on and we wondered if this would still be going on when it was time for kindergarten. One day he was playing in our family room, pantless with the potty nearby. I was in the kitchen. “Mommy come quick” he said in an excited little voice. By God I think he’s got it I thought. I rushed in to see the excitement and low and behold he had deposited the motherload on the very top of the large Fisher Price Mountain. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, cry or stick a prospector’s flag in his prize!

    To this day I will never be able to look at a Fisher Price Mountain without that visual.

    Well now graduated from high school, I can only say thank goodness eventually they all do get it. Looking back, those days were a piece of cake compared to the teenage years.

    1. Thank you Melissa! Gotcha! Just so you know I don’t have a friend named Melissa. Tee hee.

      Glad I didn't know about this when the boys were little and we had all sorts of Fisher Price toys around here too. HA!

      Thanks for sharing your story! D