Every mother thinks their child is a brilliant rainbow of genius perfection, I am no exception. The difference is, I know that you don’t want to hear about it.
Let’s face it, listening all about other people’s allegedly intelligent children qualifies as a form of torture. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unless the person on the receiving end of parental boasting has a stake in the child’s life, not two sh*ts are given about “Lil’ Copernicus.”
However, the exact opposite is the case when it comes to horror stories about raising children. If it’s awful, the WORLD wants every last gory detail. We can’t help it, perhaps it’s because we’ve been inundated with online bragging through various streams of social media, or just that we’re all a bunch of ghouls taking delight in other’s misery. Whichever the case, I’ve learned in my storied 3-year mothering career, that you can never go wrong with a good disaster tale.
I’d say a story all about two educated, grown-assed adults spending their entire weekend devoted to a toddler’s every crap and whiz is a pretty pathetic and disastrous start.
3 Day Potty Training: Tinkle Tinkle, Little Star
Angry Baby turns 3 in less than a week, in a few short moments we will officially be out of the “terrible twos.” For the most part, “the twos” were quite merciful upon us. Sure, we’ve had the usual temper tantrums and wild nights that one would expect having a toddler, but nothing overtly “terrible.” In the year since her last birthday, Angry Baby has sprouted into a laughing, giggling, fuzzy-haired, nutjob. Where there used to be fits of blind rage, she’s now calmed into a happy little cutie, more sweet than sour. There’s just one thing…Angry Baby has never felt the need to use a toilet.
The moment she turned 2, I tried potty training. Over the last year, I’ve tried 3 different methods, all recommended to me by friends who promised success. Sadly, each of my previous attempts were in vain. Luckily, Angry Baby’s pediatrician is the best of the best, so I listened when he cautioned me: “Not to rush potty training,” and assured us that “anything under 4.5 years, is completely healthy and normal.”
So, Lover fo’ Life and I didn’t make a big deal about it. Yes, each day we made sure to explain what it meant to “go on the big girl potty,” but we didn’t scold, pressure or rush the process. Sure, I grew weary of well-meaning family member’s unsolicited advice, but as long as no one bothered Angry Baby about her desperate clinging to diapers, I usually just let it roll off my back.
And then something happened last month.
We were eating dinner and Valor informed us that she had just pooped in her pull-up diaper, “but don’t worry mommy, it was just a little one!”
Her “it’s just a little one!” comment demonstrated Angry Baby’s astounding fecal knowledge, this kid had a sizing chart, and was able to gauge the clean-up process.
Oh. Hell. No.
That was my rock bottom. As a parent, everyone tells you that “you’ll just know when the time is right to potty train.” Well, her Royal Hiney’s “backyard report,” was my “moment.”
Astonished, I declared to L4L: “This weekend, we’re locking ourselves in the house and implementing the 3 Day Potty Training Method.”
The 3DayPT program was written by a woman who calls herself, “The Queen of Potty Training,” never one to take a self-imposed title away from anyone, (no matter how demeaning it may be) I decided to study her e-book like it was the Torah.
The gist? Well, you’ll have to scour the internet for the details (or pay for the e-book), but the program involves a lot of positive reinforcement and strategically timed rewards, coupled with NON-STOP attention from the parents (the book suggests that you even make meals in advance, as not to have any distractions from the toddler.)
I spent the days before our last Friday start date, purchasing various stickers, stuffed animals, and candy treats to motivate our little trainee. Finally, THE day arrived, and we bid farewell to our friends, family, and outside distractions.
Day One (Friday)…The Bigger They Are
Newsflash, even though she’s not quite yet three years old, Angry Baby is considered, “long in the tooth” AKA OLD, in the potty training game. Apparently, my and L4L’s refusal to push Valor into big girl panties, set us up for a more willful trainee, “comfortable in her routine.”
The only problem is, her “routine,” involves taking man-sized dooks in her drawers on a daily basis. Gross as it sounds, Angry Baby was quite attached to her normal. But ever the optimists, we proceeded at FULL STEAM.
After starting the day off with ceremonially throwing all of her pull-up diapers away, I slapped a brand new pristine pair of Hello Kitty briefs on Angry Baby’s tiny (and outrageously adorbz) buns.
“We don’t want to get these nice and dry big girl panties dirty, so make sure to tell me when you have to go potty.”
“OK MAMA!,” She jubilantly replied and then yelled, “NICE AND DRY!!”
The method, demands your undivided attention, laser directed at the trainee. Loving, but very aware, it was my role to constantly remind her that Angry Baby’s ONE JOB in this whole process, was to tell me when she had to go potty. Throughout the 3 days, we’d have a multitude of “pants checks,” where she’d physically check and then report on the results.
After 2 hours of “NICE AND DRY, MOMMY!” answers, Angry Baby became panicked and let out an, “UH-OH! Whoopsie, I have to go potty.” Around her was a very pronounced pool of urine, growing larger by the millisecond.
It’s at this point in the post that I explain the “3 Day Potty Method,” requires you, the trainer, swoop in and scoop up the trainee in process of having an accident, no matter the outcome. The point is to take a child peeing or pooing and place them on the toilet mid-accident so you can praise them for finishing on the “big kid potty.”
Back to Senorita “Uh-Oh” and her merry rain of urine, I darted to the scene and picked her up mid-pee, all of which decided to cover me. As we made our way to her bathroom, there wasn’t a drop of whiz left in her bladder, “It’s ok, well get it in the potty next time!” As I cleaned all the affected surfaces and gave myself a scalding hot scrub in the sink, it began to register that this was going to be a bumpy 3 days.
Friday consisted of 2 more tee tee explosions and one very nasty fecal bomb that yours truly had the JOY AND PLEASURE of cleaning all off the bathroom floor. And then…Angry Baby approached L4L, “Daddy, I have to go potty!”
We ushered her onto her toilet, “Don’t forget to make that tinkling sound,” I reminded. Moments later, we had our VERY FIRST tinkle on a big girl potty. The heights of unbridled joy and relief can’t be described in mere words, suffice to say there was a lot of peein’ praise heaped on our star pupil that evening.
Suddenly, it was time to go to sleep for the night. Angry Baby, with a contact high from all the undivided attention she was receiving, decided to sleep in the “big bed,” with mommy and daddy. As we prepped for a potential tidal wave of child evacuations, I laid down no less than 6 “puppy pads,” under Angry Baby. If the kid was going to soil our bed, at least I would have it contained by absorbent pads designed for puppies, AKA pee fountains. After we were sufficiently protected, everyone passed out from exhaustion. Accident Count: 4
Day Two (Saturday)…It’s Getting Better All the Time
The next morning we awoke to a miracle. Angry Baby was dry and had no accidents in her sleep. If that wasn’t incredible enough, she said the words that every mother hopes their toddler will say to them FIRST THING in the morning, “Mommy, I hafta go potty.”
Lover Fo’ Life, who was in a sleep coma at the time, was instantly awoken by this revelation. “C’mon BIG GIRL, let’s go!” I squealed. We made our way down to Angry Baby’s bathroom where she went to the bathroom right away. How’s that for a GREAT START to day 2!?
The rest of Saturday was spent repeatedly going to Valor’s bathroom for several “false alarms.” Mid-afternoon, I smelled an old familiar stench that told me I was either, 1. Back stage at a Brett Michaels concert, or 2. Angry Baby had a fresh patty between her buns.
“Sweetie, you need to tell us when you have to go poops.”
“EWWWWWWW PEWWWWPS, YUCKY!” As she screamed this, 2 large ice cream scoops of steamy baby dump hit the pristine white tile floor.
There’s no term in the English language that can properly capture the wet and dense thud feces makes when it finally lands on a surface, so we’ll just go with a hearty, KERS-PLOP!
After buckets of bleach, lots of dry heaving, and a “Silkwood shower,” the poor bathroom floor was finally rid of the “BIG EGG” than Angry Baby “hatched” (these are HER euphemisms, not mine.)
Save the piles of dung, and her repeat poop performance later that evening, the day was a relatively dry one filled with lots of “big girl potty” tinkles. Accident Count: 2
This is the point in the training, that Lover Fo’ Life and I decided to rest on our laurels and partied like 20-somethings after Angry Baby went to bed. The booze, laughter, and hi-fives, were plentiful.
Day Three (Sunday)…We Have Liftoff!
Bolstered by the yellow-tinged victories of the day before, I awoke Sunday filled with hope. As the proud mother of a semi-potty trained child, I could finally see the end in sight. Only one obstacle, a very stinky and sticky obstacle, remained: Angry Baby had yet to take a dook on the potty. As I meditated over a my coffee, I vowed to devote the day to her dung doings.
All morning, I reminded Angry Baby that she was supposed to let me know when she had to “go poops,” each time Valor answered with an, “Ok!” As the pee breaks flowed, I became worried, we’d already passed the time when Angry Baby would take her daily “constitutional.”Clearly, she was holding it in.
Angry Baby was either afraid to make on a potty, or unsure about the mechanics, but the end result was the same. We needed our kid to take a dump, pronto. (Preferably on the toilet.)
3 days of concentrated commode communing had culminated in this task, the time for Angry Baby to fully crossover to “BIG GIRL,” was upon us. “Sweetie, don’t forget to tell me when you have to go poops.”
Hours passed. That evening, Angry Baby approached me quickly and with a purpose.
“Mom, I have to go to the potty.” The look of panic coupled with her wince of pain from a full digestive tract, told me that the train was about to arrive in “Brown Town.”
There, in a far too echo-ey bathroom, with bath toys strewn about like wildflowers, I heard the sweetest sound a mother could hear,”ker-plop.”
It was the soundtrack of growing up, a rite of passage that would usher in a new-age at Angry Baby Manor. One that didn’t involve me getting a face full of feces each day while scrubbing dirty diapered buns. Accident Count: 0
After just 3 days, my nearly 3-year-old went from diaper junky to potty pro and I have a woman who calls herself, “The Queen of Potty Training,” to thank for it. Perhaps Lora Jensen’s program doesn’t work for everyone, but it sure as f*ck worked for our little family. If you’re struggling with a tiny potty naughty, I suggest you procure a copy of the program and follow it to a tee (tee.)
Epilogue: The Week After
Total number of accidents since last Saturday? ZERO.
In the days following Angry Baby’s “plop heard ’round the world,” things have calmed and returned to a more normal, less focused on our child’s bodily evacuations, routine. While regression and accidents are possibilities in the future, today our hopes are dry and sky-high!
Yes, I fought the urge to push her and let Angry Baby stay in diapers longer than most bragging Alpha Moms would allow. While waiting caused a few loved ones to pressure US, and it spawned volumes of unsolicited training tips, it was all worth it. What we expected to be an arduous and horrific 3-day death march, ended up being a delightful, positive family adventure.
Parents, don’t listen to your insane family, well-meaning snoops, or competitive (probably lying anyway) frenemies. When the kid is ready, make it stress-free and it’ll be SMOOTH MOVES.
Remember, keep it POSITIVE and try different training methods until you find the one that works best for your baby’s buns. If you’re convinced that day will never come? Relax, there are always Depends.