*Previously published and edited to include a year of experience.
Happy Early Mother’s Day.
The idea of teaching a human to use the toilet has always made me shudder the same way most of us do when we remember something stupid or embarrassing we did. I don’t know what it is about this very natural and normal bodily function that leaves me flushed and stuttering. I’m sure we could Sigmund Freud it but for now we’ll add it to the list of weird and unfortunate shit I’m passing down to my kid.
I’m not gonna lie, parenting itself has been a major challenge for me. Mostly because I never ever thought I’d have children but one random week in 2013 left me with a wild hair up my ass and here we are with the wonderful and amazing Jack. In large part and as I’ve said before, it’s because I function greatly off logic and facts and raising children is everything but that. Because of this, I begin almost every sentence with, “I read in a book that…” Suffice it to say that I have taken this quirk in my personality and applied it to raising a child.
The Parenting Handbooks.
They say that children don’t come with a handbook — I agree, they come with about 10. I don’t go about reading everything I see about parenting and consider it the holy grail of child rearing. Instead I try and figure out what I want to accomplish as a parent and see if anyone has any information to offer me on the subject. In our lifetime, that’s quite a bit of information. There are books on every and any subject you can think of. I knew shit (haha) about potty training so I decided to Google it (a definite sign of our generation – how will we survive if it’s ever not available) and “Oh Crap! Potty Training” by Jamie Glowacki popped up. This was my exact sentiment so I decided this book was for me and I added it to the long list of parenting books I own.
Buy The Book:
You’ll find yourself referencing this book for more than a year. It has information that a 2 week library check out won’t cover so spend $15 to own a copy and I promise you’ll use it again and again, we have.
I Really Mean, “Oh Shit.”
I want to cuss up a storm when I think about the two weeks I spent potty training Jack. In large part the book was successful in that it provided guidelines on how to begin and a lot of great ideas for troubleshooting. I love guidelines and I definitely love ‘What if..’ scenarios so this book seemed right up my alley. I’ll tell you right away that a vast majority of the people who decide to use this as their potty training ‘how to’ will feel slightly shamed while reading it. Why? For one, she refutes the largely quoted, “We’re going to wait until little snowflake is ready.” Most of the moms in playgroup quote this like it’s one of the 10 commandments. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife. Thou shalt not push potty training. You’ll also find countless articles on why you should wait so that you don’t really mess up your kid. I reasoned this out with her when she wrote that diaper and pull up companies will of course back said research because it’s more money being spent and more poisoning of the environment if you ask me. I decided that I liked her logic so we went for it.
She was actually right but for different reasons. I know there are kids out there that need a little more time to adjust outside the womb. What I mean by this is that some 2 year olds just learned to walk 6 months ago while others are rock climbing as soon as they can crawl. Kids are all different and some may need a little more time. It’s such a normal function for us that we forget how life changing this is for our tiny tots. For us, Jack was ready pretty early. He frequently asked to be sans diaper, pretended to wipe at 15 months, liked to sit and watch us do our business (big leap for me in dealing with pee and poop). I felt this kid was READY.
Second hiccup I found was that this book seems like a handbook for parents that have the ability to stay at home awhile. By awhile, I mean at least a week. Jamie may not say that but she does imply that some kids can take up to 7 days to really understand that pee and poop do not belong on the floor. If you can’t stay at home that long then make sure your daycare is on board and supportive. She goes over this in one of her chapters.
What I needed and did not receive. (But that I will happily provide for you)
Someone needs to publish a book that tells us all the emotions that come with training a small child to use the toilet. The main thing to know is that potty training could be a tactical maneuver for torture in the military. You think I’m joking but I’m dead serious. The book glazes over a chapter on preparation and it tells you what to expect from your child but aside from telling the reader they will need to drink during this time it doesn’t really elaborate on why. Let me list the many possible things that can happen while you’re potty training:
- You’ll realize that poop outside of the diaper is somehow so much worse. The day before, poop in a diaper was a simple wipe and toss but today, you will want to gag and will silently wonder how your child can fit that much fecal matter inside their tiny bodies.
- You’ll suddenly know at least a dozen different words for pee and poop and will try and use all of them…in public.
- You’re tot will poop on the playground, you’ll freak out, rush him to the bathroom to “finish” and then you’ll freak out more when you realize he somehow wiggled it out without soiling his pants. YES this happened.
- You’re kid will poop so much that it doesn’t fit in the little potty so when he gets up to finish he’ll walk around pooping AND gagging — from his own poop.
- Pee is the least of your worries but like poop,comes out in abundance. Have many many old towels ready for this.
- You will cry in a corner while hugging your knees to your chest.
- You will deliberate divorcing your spouse and looking for a return receipt for your child.
- You will get to know your child on a level that you thought you had already achieved, you have not.
- You will have poop splash into the big toilet while you empty out the potty and you’ll be overjoyed to experience the back splash from it.
- You will cry in a corner while hugging your knees to your chest, again.
- Buy a bottle…or two of wine, beer, or alcohol. You will need it.
- Don’t make any big changes around potty training. If you are going to have another child, do it early on in pregnancy. Do not wait until last minute. Do not schedule any family trips soon after. If you have to I’ll list a few items you’ll need to have on hand.
- Some kids take an entire week to figure it out and that’s okay. They’ll be okay with it, will you?
- If you have an area rug, remove it during training.
- If you have carpet be ready with cleaner.
- Do not give up. I promise it’s only a short time.
- You will have future set backs and accidents. Every kid does, particularly when they are focused on learning something new, are sick, or having a growth spurt.
- Pooping may be a huge challenge because kids often feel they are losing a part of themselves. Be patient.
What You’ll Need to Survive:
Splashdown Potty Trainer
Lastly, I want to talk about Splashdown Potty Trainer! In the future I’ll have something special involving this potty but I haven’t launched it yet so give me a couple of months. Until then this potty trainer is magnificent if you have boys. We used a hang up plastic urinal for Jack to teach him to potty standing up and for various other reasons. They are a pain to hang up and clean out but it was worth it so that when we go out in public he pees standing up and never touches the toilet. That being said I met with Eric from Splashdown Potty Trainer a couple weeks ago and we talked about the trouble with training boys. Since then we have decided to give Splashdown a try and Jack loves it! It comes with a little book to help get you started, a stamp for rewards when they go, and the trainer talks! You heard right. It talks. You can order it on Walmart.com for about $12-$14 but expect to see it in stores soon! Click on link to purchase. Follow me on Facebook and on Instagram for a giveaway coming soon!! Boy moms, you’ll want one of these and you could win one!
Enter The Giveaway for this potty trainer!!
This is Jack one year ago! In honor of Jack’s one year anniversary of diaper freedom we’re hosting a giveaway!! I’ve also updated the post I wrote on the subject to reflect one year of knowledge-based practice on potty training a toddler. Link in bio! . I’m giving away one Splashdown Potty Trainer for boys *featured in blog post* and entering is so easy! Splashdown makes potty training a boy so much easier and comes with a book, a reward stamper, and Splashy the Dolphin will guide your child through an easier, more effective potty training experience. *Open to US residents only* Contest will end on Friday, May 5th at 7 PM. Not affiliated with Instagram. . 1. Follow me on Instagram. 2. Like this post. 3. Tag a boy mom that will benefit from this potty trainer! Goodluck!
When this is all over you’ll have a toddler that will be free of diapers!!
So this was my rant on potty training and what to expect because no one prepares us for this poop and pee fiasco. On that note, I leave you with this cute ass picture of my newly potty trained 2 year old. 🙂
A Special thanks to Austin Public Library for having the book easily available in multiple formats, and for all the wonderful potty training books including ‘Dinosaur Vs. The Potty.’ I still recommend owning a copy but if you rather try it out first, go check it out!
To Pride Socks for giving Jack something to be very proud of. He couldn’t wear his super cool new socks until he mastered peeing in the pot. (socks pictured above)
To ‘The Dad’ for not divorcing me. Happy Birthday and I love you.
And since Mother’s Day is around the corner, Thank you mom for doing this bullshit three times – we as your daughters, are all grateful.