Potty Training Adventures: Part Two

6 May

Travel Blogging: Random writings about random parenting issues.
A detailed visual report of our voyage is forthcoming upon my return

Continued from yesterday

After I took away the diapers for the final time, I was expecting weeks of accidents and multiple clothing changes per day. I was pleasantly surprised that this isn’t what happened at all!

RJ was going through a phase where he hated getting wet. Bath time was often a challenge, though he often ended up enjoying himself in the tub. But, say, if he washed his hands in the sink and one drop of water splashed onto his shirt, he insisted on changing his shirt. The horrifying prospect of getting drops of pee on his pants, helped me explain to RJ that he would be wet and uncomfortable unless he used the potty for pee and poo.

The diapers can’t save you now, boy!

The first pee of the first morning occurred while RJ was playing at his train table. He was concentrating on setting up a track when all of a sudden he stopped, looked down, and said “UH OH!” Sure enough, there was pee all over the floor and his pants were soaked. I said, “I guess we have to stop playing now so we can get cleaned up and changed.”

For the rest of that first day, he peed on the potty perfectly. When it was bed time, I said, “I want you to pee before you go to sleep, it’s a good habit to get into.” He was adamant that he was NOT going to pee. So I sat him on the potty and held him there for 10 minutes while he screamed. Perhaps it wasn’t my finest parenting moment, but it was successful. When he finally peed, I said, “That wasn’t so bad, was it?” and RJ said, “No, it wasn’t bad at all.”
Then I put a pull-up on him and he went to bed without a problem.

I was encouraged by our day of successful peeing and pooping but I actually planned to use pull-ups for at least a year. It probably wasn’t the best plan but I was exhausted all the time (with my toddler and infant) and I hoped that pull-ups would allow me to have better sleeps at night. If RJ wasn’t concerned with waking up to pee and poo, or if he wasn’t wetting the bed all the time, then maybe I could actually be rested sometimes. That first night with a pull-up was uneventful. RJ woke up, the pull up was wet, I helped him get dressed for the day with clean underwear and we continued on with the same potty success as the previous day.

That night, I put a pull-up on him again, rather pleased with our success and feeling very confidant.

What always happens when you feel overly confident?

In the middle of the night, RJ started screaming because he couldn’t get his pull-up off. He actually woke up to pee and unable to get the pull-up down. I helped him pee in a potty and put him back to bed, again with a pull-up. I thought for sure it wouldn’t happen again the following night. But of course it did; it kept happening. RJ kept waking up and screaming because he either couldn’t get the pull-up off or back on again. After a week of this nonsense, I finally decided I should just get rid of the pull-ups.

So, within a week, RJ was completely day trained and night trained. He still needed to be reminded constantly to use the bathroom and he occasionally had a drip in his pants because he started peeing before he could tell us he needed the toilet.

And of course, we had a few odd set-backs…

After a few days of pooping success, RJ started refusing to poop on the potty. This is when my child was introduced to chocolate. I gave him a chocolate covered almond and told him that every time he deposited “poop nuggets” in the potty, he would get to eat a delicious “chocolate nugget”. RJ thought this was hilarious and clever, but then decided chocolate covered almonds were actually chocolate covered bricks; he excitedly told everyone that poops in the potty earned him chocolate covered bricks from mommy. We got more than a few strange looks and it took us about 6 months to convince RJ he didn’t need chocolate anymore and he should poop because it’s a normal and natural thing to do.

I remember once RJ climbed onto the couch and stood there looking at me and smiling. Then I heard a very faint faucet-like noise and noticed his pants getting darker. We had had two weeks of success at this point and I was so shocked that he was peeing all over the couch! I freaked and screamed, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” RJ looked innocently at me and replied, “I just wanted to see what would happen.” Well what happened was the clothing was stripped of, he was put directly into the bath tub, and momma spent a good half hour scrubbing the couch and the floor under the couch.

After about four months of success with not a single night time accident, I heard bumping and banging from RJ’s room in the middle of the night. Too often, when he got up to pee, he would then come into our room and fling himself on top of us and fall asleep. Jason or I would then take him back to his room and deposit him in bed. After all the noises, I waited for a little body to land on us but it didn’t happen, so I went to investigate. I stood staring for a few minutes, trying to make sense of the scene before me. There were soggy and crumpled pajamas in the middle of the floor, RJ’s miniature arm chair was dripping, there was poop in the potty, and RJ was struggling to put on clean underwear! His eyes were actually closed while he was doing this so I cleaned him up and put him back to bed; he never said a word. The best I can guess, is that RJ woke up to pee (or half woke up), sat down on his chair and peed all over it, realized something was amiss, took off his clothes, sat on the potty to poop, then tried to find clean pajamas. All in all, it was quite strange.

Other than the few odd set backs, RJ’s potty time has been relatively uneventful. Every so often, we have to rush to find a toilet while out running errands, or RJ needs an underwear change because he can’t bring himself to stop playing Lego. We’ve changed bed sheets about six times in the past year because of nighttime accidents and RJ is still terrified of loud flushing noises. It’s also taken us a long time to convince RJ that he’s allowed to pee in the forest…it takes a lot of cajoling to convince that boy to drop trow in the great outdoors!

I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to potty training. I’m happy with how quickly RJ understood the concept of training, but I don’t think I can attribute our success to any particular method I might have used. My method of choice (for many things) is just make stuff up and hope for the best. You can see that once RJ was ready, potty training was actually really easy! Hopefully we’ll have a similar experience with boy number two and hopefully any potty training parents out there aren’t having too much trouble with there little toddlers. Keep in mind, every kid is different and there isn’t really a correct way to potty train. If,in the end, you have a child who knows how to use the toilet, you can call it a win.

Potty training adventures was not written as an advice article, but rather for me to have a record of our experiences. If I don’t write it down, how will I remember to tell all of RJ’s school friends about the time he peed all over his arm chair?

2 Responses to “Potty Training Adventures: Part Two”


  1. Potty Training Adventures | Eating Dirt - May 16, 2013

    […] To be continued…. […]

  2. Potty Training Adventures: Part One | eating dirt - May 6, 2013

    […] To be continued…. […]

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