A friend recently posted the following status update on Facebook :

“If there’s a book out there called “How To Potty Train a Stubborn 3 Year Old With An Attitude” please let me know where to find it.”

I laughed until I cried because I could have written it. Except I would have added:

“Before this child turns my house turns into a urinal and I completely lose my mind”

This is the second child I am toilet training and I’m farther behind with him! You’d think it would be easier by now. You’d think that I would know what I was doing. You’d think I could guide the child a little better, but no, I still have no bloody clue what I’m doing; I’m totally useless as a potty training guide.

My mother, who is always (too) quick to offer ‘advice’ when I don’t want it, is at a complete loss when it comes to toilet training. She says she doesn’t really remember what it was like training my brothers (who are a lot older than I am). And she says that I practically trained myself; one day she was trying to put a diaper on me I said “no more diapers, I want panties” and that was that. We should all be so lucky!

At this rate I fear my son will enter college in diapers. Using a ‘timed’ approach doesn’t work because some days he is like a camel, going several hours, and other days he will pee 3 or 4 times in an hour. Using treats hasn’t worked, because he wants the treat before he goes. He is also so stubborn that when I do try to lead him to the bathroom, and he doesn’t feel like leaving what he is doing, he will either have a full blown tantrum or flat out refuse to go, and pretend I don’t exist. I’ve decided that “Pull ups” type training pants are totally useless. They are just really expensive, less absorbent diapers, and the kids use them like diapers. Sticker charts have not worked because he tries to peel the stickers off the chart, and pitches a fit when he doesn’t get one.

We are making some minor progress. He generally pees when I put him on the toilet. We are working on getting him to run to the bathroom when he feels the urge, but right now all he does is pee on the floor, and then yell, “mom, I have to go pee!” We’ve got the cart before the horse I think….

My favorite potty behaviour is that (just like a man) he pees…. then pees a little more…….and then pees some more. So I have to make sure that I do get him to give at least 3 or 4 squirts before I take him off the potty, or he will have an accident 2 seconds later….

Do I need to be more patient? Do I need to be more firm? Do I need to be more consistent? Or do I just need a drink?

If anyone has any sage advice, I’m happy to take, it and definitely happy to post it!

May 27, 2010