Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Infinity and Behind

Oh summer, where have you gone?!

Could two months have flown by already?  It was just a few days ago when I made my mental "to-do" list and planned for all those great summer accomplishments...wasn't it?  And at the top of that list, in great big bold letters, the one thing I had hoped to accomplish the most, the horror of all horrors:


Oh, how I despise potty training.  How I hate the thought of setting the timer for every twenty minutes and placing an unwilling toddler on the potty.  Of being unable to leave the house for days- weeks- at a time because of a fear of public restrooms and a raging screaming phobia of "porty-potties".  Of spending nearly my every waking moment wondering if someone has to tinkle.  Of little streams of wetness running down chubby legs to the floor.

I hate potty training.

This time, I thought we had everything going for us.  I figured my three-year-old son was surely ready and able to tackle the toilet.  He's brilliant, after all...seriously, indisputably brilliant, as in talking like a six-year-old when he was two.  As in picking up vocabulary words one day and using them correctly (in paragraph form) the next.  How could the concept of underwear be beyond him? 

Besides, we had an entire summer break stretched out before us...a summer break with two parents home full-time.  We had a bag of M&Ms for rewards.  We had siblings that cheered.  We even had a brand-new package of Pixar underwear, including a couple pairs depicting a character we dubbed "Butt Lightrear".  You know...the guy who says "To infinity, and beHIND!"  We were all ready to get started.

We made progress in the first few weeks.  Mr. C learned to sit on the potty whenever he was asked, and usually performed admirably.  He figured out how to turn his undies right-side-out and put them on all by himself (the weenie-window always goes in front). He became a fairly proficient aimer.  And while I did a load of underwear every night at first, Mr. C stayed drier and drier as time went on.  Throughout this process (in typical Mr. C form), we heard many cheerful comments like:

"Buzz Lightyear is all wet!"  and

                                                  "I tinkled on Lightning McQueen!"

Eventually, though, the tinkling in the potty was going along quite nicely.  It was the other set of comments that we dreaded. 

"There's poo on the toilet!" (notice "on", not "in") and

                "Mama! I got poo on the Incredibles!"                         
Several weeks into the potty training process, it became apparent that the poopy-training was not going well at all.  Four or five times each day...almost every day...we would discover a lovely little gift inside a newly procured pair of Nemo or Wall.E briefs.  So incredibly not cool on so many levels.

We tried everything we could think of.  We switched from M&Ms to Skittles, we bribed, we praised, we scolded, we bought new undies (this time Thomas the Train), we put stars on a chart, we had him wash out his own underwear.  We attempted to keep our senses of humor, but right up to this very day, none of our potty training efforts has proven fruitful.

And so, finally, after two months of scrubbing poo out of undies, of cleaning up after a fallen-off-the-potty-training-wagon toddler at home and in public restrooms and playgrounds and restaurants, we are back exactly where we started.  In diapers.

I sincerely hope that someday Mr. C gets it and can manage to keep poo off the Incredibles.  For now, though, I'm going to eat all his Skittles.  Trust me.  I've earned them.


  1. more skittles, less poop clean-up...what's not to like? hang in there, lisa!

  2. Oh, this sounds so dreadfully familiar. Ugh, I feel for you. He'll get it eventually. Isaac was 3 1/2, now at 4 he's really getting it down. I think boys bodies just don't work as fast as their brains do. It'll happen...eventually.

  3. We've been working on Sam since he was about 2.5. He's just over 4 now and still having regular accident. A friend of mine has a son with a similar personality. She said he didn't get it down pat until he was 6. AHHHH!!!