Another Lesson on the “Sh*t I Didn’t Think I’d Ever Need to Know Until I Became a Parent” List

It’s happening.

Crossed fingers.

Please oh please oh please please....

I think.

I hope.

Please let it be happening.

Lil Diva is finally ready to begin potty training.

She first showed interest the day before she turned 18 months old.

No one was more shocked than I. My son was not “officially” trained until he was over three and a half years old. And by official, I mean “no longer hid in a corner/tube/bedroom to crap in his pants and finally went in the toilet”.

Had I not forced potty training and layered it with ever changing bribes rewards as previous ones ceased to work, I’m pretty sure he’d still be in diapers.

He had zero interest.

But Lil Diva showed early promise. I had the daydream she would be the magical Potty Trained Before Age Two child.

The dream was brief. Very brief.

You see this angry face a lot on two year olds.

The classic face of a strong willed two year old.

The act of “putting ickies” into the potty distressed her within the first week. She ceased interest and we were lucky if she’d happen to go on the big potty before bath (because her brother does).

When I inquired, “Do you want to go potty?” she would turn to me, arch her eyebrows, wrinkle her nose, hunch forward, and screech, “I DON’T WANNA. GO. POTTY!”

I didn’t fight it.

Then two weeks ago something shifted. When I asked, “Do you need to go potty?” she turned me, as if considering Einstein’s theory of relativity, and said, “Yeah.”


It isn’t perfect – not by far. But after a week and half of delicious M&M bribes, she’s occasionally telling me, “I need to go potty.” Then actually doing it.

Then this week she passed the milestone it took my son six months of potty training to accomplish: successful placement of excrement into proper potty container as opposed to diaper. Not once. But four times so far. Twice just on Tuesday.

Of course, there were still at least three stinky diapers changed on Tuesday.

So we aren’t there.

But we should be before she’s three and half. Maybe even before she’s three.

I cannot wait to wave good-bye to diapers once and for all.

This is the shade of blue M&Ms to avoid.

Warning: It is this shade of blue M&M that contains the permanency of a Sharpie.

Until then, I have learned to avoid using blue M&M’s as a reward. Whatever they use in its dye does not want to come off of little fingers, chins, or clothing.

Sharpies have stained less.

Sure, they melt in your mouth, but then tiny fingers remove them because it is more fun to suck the coating off first and drool it everywhere then just eat the candy. It must be savored.

Another lesson checked off in Sh*t I Didn’t Think I’d Ever Need to Know Before I Became a Parent list.

* * *

What has your child/ren checked off your list lately?


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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18 Responses to Another Lesson on the “Sh*t I Didn’t Think I’d Ever Need to Know Until I Became a Parent” List

  1. lifewithgusto says:

    On my version of that list this week is “How to put a nappy on a body as rigid as a telephone pole”, for that is my toddler’s latest trick when we are changing her nappy. It is surprisingly hard!

  2. Rob Rubin says:

    My almost 2-year-old carries the potty around the house with him…but I think it’s more that he’s interested in the sound that it makes when you go. Unfortunately he’s figured out that if you turn the potty over and press the big blue button it makes the music too – so why bother?

  3. Running from Hell with El says:

    Ahh, I recall these days without wistfulness. Giggle. Latest thing my youngest kid is learning is reading, and that’s a whole lot more fun (but just as frustrating at times).

  4. hanelene says:

    Oh, we were doing well for a while. The novelty was fabulous – and going peepee in the potty and event to be celebrated. Now all I get is “I NO go peepee.” said very adamantly, while shaking his head for emphasis. Sigh. He’s not two yet, and I’m sure he won’t go to college in diapers.

    • Do not get frustrated (see the part where my son was 3.5 years before he mastered it – and he still wears pull-ups at night because he sleeps like the dead). I was convinced my son just might go to college in diapers…

      Lil Diva was the same as your little guy at first.

      I think part of it is just classic two-year-old arguing for independence. I can ask Lil Diva, “Do you want some blueberries?” “NO!” “Do you want some apple?” “NO! I want blueberries!”

      The interest will come back once they fully grasp how rewards work… Just no blue M&M’s…

  5. 2012 is going to be my diaper free year! Sweet Pea is going to be trained (on her terms because let’s be honest by #3 you know not to push these things). I will gladly buy pull-ups for bedtime but can’t wait until I no longer have to buy JUMBO sized boxes of diapers and wipes.

  6. Do you remember how you asked me why I am interested in a life so different from my own? This is one of the (rare) moments I ask myself just that question. Still like it though 🙂

    • I’m sorry. I usually put a “potty training disclaimer” for those few who have not been parents yet. Be glad you missed my son’s potty training.

      One day, you will reproduce, and then, and only then, will you truly grasp how bodily fluids rule the life of a parent: from newborn to potty trained. It is the source of great jubilation and despair.

      But at least you know not to drool blue M&M’s onto your shirt. 🙂

      And thank you for the laugh.

  7. John says:

    May the force be with you in this endeavor.

    Both of mine are showing interest right now (CJ at 27 months, Leila at 20 months). I’m hoping that 2012 is the last year of diapers in the household . . . but, I’m hesitant to pull out the rewards. The kids will go crazy for M&M’s, and I’d worry about too many “false positives” with the “do you have to go potty?” question.

    • We didn’t pull out the rewards until after the initial interest waned – and then only when she grasped the concept of “if you do this, you get this.”

      My son required rewards, a sticker chart, prizes. He would still be in diapers otherwise.

      Run with it. You will likely have the benefit of if one is really interested, the other will be just because they want to do what their sibling is.

      But if you do pull out the rewards, I recommend skittles or M&Ms. But avoid the blue.

      The force will be with me. Always.

  8. Renee says:

    The grandson is just over 3. He will go through potty spurts. Yes he will use. No he will not be bothered with it. Perhaps reading should come first. Because what better use is the potty than reading?

    • It’s funny you should mention that. Books are always read upon the potty.

      Both kids like privacy, so even though they can’t read per say, they “read” alone with a stack of books.

      Lil Diva doesn’t do it quietly though. You can hear her tell her version of the story. I almost recorded it today as she spent 45 minutes (of nap time, naturally) on the potty to finally do the tiniest tinkle.

      Another thing to add to the list: nap time will be the most productive potty time of the day.

  9. We are way past potty training ( ages 7,13,15,17) But here’s what I didn’t realise.. even when you are 3 months away from owning an adult son, you are still muttering “Holy shit… you really think I’m mature and responsible enough for this job?”. I also didn’t recognise the moment when I slipped from being Mummy to Mum. You don’t know it’s the last time they’ll hold your hand until the next time (when they won’t) Sigh.

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