Friday, May 27, 2011

will i be potty training forever?

Potty training.  I have not been looking forward to this task of parenting.  In talking to friends who had kids before me, I would hear the sighs…the groans…the utter frustration.  Many parents got so desperate they just let Junior wander around pants-less, which to my germophobe mind sounds rather disgusting. Imagine the surprises Junior could leave, say, behind a chair.  If I wanted the opportunity to put my foot down into a pile of poo, I would get a cat, or a dog. 

But, who knows, maybe I will get that desperate too.

I have worked through a lot of my worries about potty training.  I still find it extremely difficult to figure out how to travel while potty training and I do get thrown off from my attempts if the routine changes.  But I’m getting a little more ok with the whole idea, a little more ready to be done with diapers.

But Burrito is showing so little interest in the potty that I begin to have self-doubt.  Have I talked about it too little?  Too much?  Have I failed to motivate her?  I’m trying, now, I really am.  We tried the sticker chart.  Yeah.  In a week and a half, she earned a combined total of zero stickers.  And she loves stickers.

Every time I bring up the potty, she almost without fail says, “NO!  No use potty!”  And when I do insist and have her sit there, she simply can’t (or won’t?) go.  I did manage to get her to go ONCE last week for the reward of a chocolate chip, but it hasn’t worked since.

I feel like I did when I was pregnant with Burrito, when I thought, “I’m gonna be pregnant forever!”  In this case, “She’s gonna be in diapers forever!”  She just isn’t interested and I feel like by trying to force it, I’m making her less interested.  But if I don’t try to force her, won’t she be going to prom in diapers?  Which will be like seriously embarrassing! 

It’s amazing how whatever stage of life we are in, it is so easy to be tempted to see it as lasting forever.  But if I had a penny for every time an older parent told me, “It goes so fast,” I would be a wealthy woman indeed.  I heard the perfect quote about parenting young children recently, “The days are long, but the years are short.”  That’s why I have made a concerted effort from the beginning to remind myself that I will long for these little kid days later.  I have made an effort to remind myself of this on the most frustrating days.  When baby wouldn’t go to sleep.  When toddler wouldn’t use the potty.  When she wanted to whine about everything under the sun. 

I may be frustrated about potty training (along with every other parent of a toddler on earth), but maybe this frustrating time is a time to slow down and savor these last moments of babyhood with her.  Parenthood is a process of your little one becoming bigger and growing farther and farther away from you.  That letting go is sad and tough at every stage.  I get eighteen years to raise her.  Eighteen years to hold her close and train her in the way she should go.  Eighteen years.  Funny, before I had kids, it sounded like FOREVER.  Now it sounds like the blink of an eye.

I can potty train a little longer.  Yes, I can do that.


  1. I LOVE both these posts about potty training.
    Every parent can relate: the parents of younger kids wring their hands in shared challenge; and parents of grown kids knowingly smile.Funny thing...when your child is grown, you can't remember the pain of childbirth OR the pain of potty training. It's true, praise God!
    Another thing I know for sure from experience = it will be worth it all!No doubt about that! :-)
    And, I promise you that she will be out of diapers by the time she goes to college. lol.

  2. You CAN do it. It will be frustrating. There will be many times when all you want to do is lock yourself in the bathroom (and maybe you have already. I have.)

    But gradually, and without a lot of fanfare, there will be fewer fights, more potty times, more stickers, real underwears, fewer accidents...

    And one day, you'll wake up, and your daughter will get up and say "Mommy, I need to use the potty". And she'll do it. And keep doing it.

    And you'll feel like a sane person again.

    (I'm still somewhere around "there will be fewer accidents", but we're getting there, too.)


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