I’m Potty Trained

diaper man

My two-year-old walking out of a basketball game pants-less because he had a serious accident.

I’m 31 years old and I’m finally potty trained. How did I do it? What am I talking about?

Well, you see, I’ve become one of those parents who has trained themselves to take their 2-year-old to the potty.

I started out setting a timer. Every hour I’d make him go sit on the toilet. Now we’ve stretched it to 1.5-2 hours depending on what we are doing. And I don’t even have to set a timer anymore. I’m that good.

But unfortunately I am the one that is trained. He is not.

Not once in the past week has he said to me the magical “I need to go potty” words. Not once has he gone into the bathroom himself, pushed over the stool and climbed up onto the throne by himself. Not once has he recognized the I-need-to-go feeling.

What can I do? I’m waiting for him to wake up one morning with a renewed understanding of his body.

I had a plan last weekend.

I was going to hang out in our basement’s cement-floored rec room all day Saturday and Sunday… with my two-year-old… half naked. He loves it down there and it has a nice heater, why not?

I thought if I let him run around with no pants or underwear he’d magically start to recognize when he needed to go potty.

If he wet on the floor, so what? We’ll mop and then sanitize it. But my husband said no one would come over again if they knew we trained him on our floor.

So I’m stuck asking my little boy dozens of times a day if he needs to go to the bathroom. I’m stuck waiting as long as I dare and then making him go even if he claims he isn’t ready. I need to pee every half an hour, why doesn’t he?

I’m stuck with a half-trained two-year-old.

Personally I think we’ve got the whole potty-training thing backwards. When our babies are born we teach them that it’s all right if they are a little wet. Heck, when they breach the 18-month-old age we let them stay in the same diaper for half a day. Unless they’re poopy, it’s hard to know when they need changing at that point.

We condition them to think it’s all right that they are wet. Then all of a sudden they are two and a half and we’re yelling at them for peeing whenever they need to, wherever they need to.

It’s got to be confusing.

First it was OK, now it’s not. Make up your mind!

I think the most frustrating part of potty training this time is the fact that I know he’s smart enough to do it. I’ve just got to figure out how to help him.

Ok maybe that’s not the most frustrating part. The most frustrating part is probably when he ends up soaking wet and we’re in public with no extras.

Like when we went to my oldest son’s basketball game a couple of weeks ago. Miraculously my two-year-old said the magic words, “I need to go potty.” I rushed him to the bathroom.

But when we were in the stall I pulled down his pants to put him on the toilet and he didn’t have a diaper on. It was missing!

What in the world?!

Somehow his saggy diaper got wrapped around one of his ankles. Unfortunately it must have happened before he recognized that it was time to “go.” He ended up peeing all over his pants. And we didn’t have an extra pair.

What did I do?

I strapped another diaper on him and marched back into the gymnasium proudly – with a half-naked toddler in the middle of winter.

Epic fail.

Potty training has got to be one of the absolute worst parts of parenthood. It’s stressful, it’s frustrating and it’s exhausting.

I don’t know how I’m going to get my son to start going on his own. He’s just too laid back and carefree. It doesn’t bother him. He’s perfectly OK with sitting in his own urine for hours on end.

There have been times when he has wet his pants and I’ll be grumbling at him in the bathroom.

“It’s OK mom,” he’ll say. Then he’ll stroke the side of my cheek with his hand. “I’m fine.”

He really is fine, but I’d like him to be fine AND potty trained.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wendy
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 13:32:05

    I’ve heard that some countries in Asia potty-train their kids by the time they’re 1, and I have a friend who adopted a Korean girl who came potty-trained at age 2. Pure magic.
    Anyway, they whistle whenever the kid pees. So the kid gets trained to pee when they hear the whistle and they begin doing it on their own somehow. It’s magical to me. I wish I could implement this here.


    • Natalie
      Jan 22, 2015 @ 13:57:56

      Wendy…that would be AMAZING! We need to figure this out and market it. Not only could we save parents some stress, but we’d be millionaires. I swear I’ve heard of parents in other countries running their half-naked babies to a ditch or gutter to pee when they need to go. It’s probably just a myth, but maybe that would help?!


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