Potty Training Sucks. That About Covers It.

accident, delayed potty training, diapers, judgement, laundry, milestones, mom life, parenting, potty, potty struggles, potty training, public bathrooms, pull ups, regression, rewards, sticker charts, struggles, surprise, venting, wiping

We are currently potty training our 2nd boy.  This is, without a doubt, one of my least-favorite things about parenting littles.  I hate it and it sucks.  There.  I said it- potty training sucks!

WARNING: this post is going to be 95% venting.  If potty training was a breeze for you, feel free to stop now.  If you followed those “3 EASY Steps!” with your potty-wizard-child and had “No Potty Accidents, GUARANTEED with this ONE EASY METHOD!” and zero regressions….

*Oops, I just snorted and spit my coffee out*

…I won’t be offended if you don’t read any further.  For the others who, like me, fall into the other category of “Tried all the tricks, now just waiting it out while doing copious amounts of laundry,” feel free to read on.  Here, we mutually understand that this is not a call for yet even MORE advice and “easy, foolproof tricks.”  This is not our first rodeo.  We are not moms who don’t know any better and who haven’t read all of the expert advice and tried all of the things.  Our current situation instead involves any variation of personality traits/temperament/control/fear/change aversion that is directly in conflict with what we are trying to accomplish. It is hard, and it is taking FOR-EV-ER. So moms, if this applies to you and you feel alone, awash in a sea of pee and sticker charts and well-meaning friends & family spouting advice and/or judgement at you 24/7…..FEAR NOT!  I’m right there with you.  Read on for a glimpse into some of our struggles:

  1. The Surprise Attack:  Your sweet Little just went potty.  You witnessed it, with your very own eyeballs.  Pee was voided from that child into the toilet—and not an insignificant amount.  HOORAY!  Not 15 minutes later, they have wet through everything.  HOW?  Just….HOW?  Where are you storing it?  You had no drinks of water.  IT’S ONLY BEEN 15 MINUTES!
  2. The Hidden Puddle:  Older sibling yells, “MOOOMMM!  He went pee under the stairs!!”  Whaaaatt???  Yep.  Little was playing in the toy room, right next to the downstairs bathroom.  Instead of going into the bathroom, he opens the door to the under-stair storage closet, picks his way through the stuff almost all the way to the back, and proceeds to pee all over.  Just…..WHY?
  3. Impressing The Neighbors:  “MOOOMMM!  He has POOP on his butt and he’s running around the house!” -yelled into the backyard by the older brother, as my husband and I are meeting the new neighbors who just moved in next door.  I turn to see our Little Pantsless Wonder streaking across the backyard as our new neighbors watch.  I chase and catch the streaker (I was 5 months pregnant, mind you), and haul him inside into the bathroom.  I get him cleaned up and dressed and then realize…Where is the poop?? He says “It’s in the backyard.  I’ll show you!”  Sure enough, in the middle of the back yard is the pile, just baking in the sun on the grass.  I don’t know if you’ve truly lived until you’ve tried to nonchalantly pick up your child’s turd with a paper towel off the lawn with the new neighbors watching. Just saying.
  4. The Car Seat:  This happened twice in less than 2 weeks.  In both incidents, Little was told to go potty, but decided to save it for the car seat instead.  I have a LOT of things to say about how fun it is to uninstall, take apart and wash a 5-point harness car seat, and then put it all back together and reinstall in the back seat with a large pregnant belly.  However, most are not printable.  Use your imagination and insert grunts and strains and lots of colorful language.  Nevermind… if you’re reading this, you probably don’t have to use your imagination because it happened to you last week.  
    accident, delayed potty training, diapers, judgement, laundry, milestones, mom life, parenting, potty, potty struggles, potty training, public bathrooms, pull ups, regression, rewards, sticker charts, struggles, surprise, venting, wiping

    At least he told us this time and didn’t go in the carseat!

  5. Public Bathrooms:  The curiosity.  The loud questions about other people in the bathroom: “Why is someone in here too? What are they doing?  What is that noise?  Why does it stink in here?”  The opening of the sanitary disposal boxes.  More questions.  TOUCHING EV-ER-Y-THING.  Wanting you to be in the stall.  Wanting you to leave the stall.  Wanting to lock the stall by themselves.  Locking you out of the stall.  Crawling underneath the stall dividers on the disgusting floor.  Opening the stall door while mom is sitting there with her pants down.  Being afraid of the automatic flushes, even after you have covered the sensor and promised that it will NOT flush while they’re sitting there for 10 minutes deciding whether or not they have to poop.  Again. 
  6. The Laundry:  Because there wasn’t enough already?  The entire laundry hamper reeks of pee.  You do laundry.  SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY.  10,000 pairs of little underwear in a month, sometimes 4-6 in a day.  You think you smell pee everywhere and wonder if you’re going crazy. Shorts, pants, sheets, blankets, jammies, stuffed animals, more shorts, the bathroom rugs (bad aim), the aforementioned car seat, towels, shirts (bad aim again), and sometimes even socks and shoes add to the laundry mountain.  You take a #perspective moment to think about the women washing clothes on a rock down by the river, and then add Tide Pods to your Target Cartwheel.
  7. Pull-Ups:  Let’s be honest: Pull-Ups are just expensive diapers.  But you buy them by the case because the kicking, screaming battle that ensues every time you try to put a diaper on your Little just isn’t worth the $3.00 difference anymore.  You know it’s a racket.  The diaper companies know it’s a racket.  But you shell out the money anyway, convincing yourself this is the LAST BOX you will buy. 
  8. The Clogged Toilet:  Little *insists* that you leave the bathroom while he poops.  “It’s going to get really stinky in here Mom.”  Ok.  You walk away for 90 seconds and come back.  In 90 seconds, your independent Little has used the remaining half roll of toilet paper and completely clogged the toilet.  LUCKILY he only flushed it once and it miraculously didn’t overflow.  Oh…and by the way, he never pooped.  You get to unclog the toilet by pulling all the wet toilet paper out with a pair of tongs and depositing it into the trash.
  9. Wiping:  Your Little wants to wipe themselves.  Wiping themselves inevitably ends up with poop everywhere.  It’s smeared on the toilet seat, the side of the toilet, their legs, their hands (which then touch everything), possibly the waistband of their underwear/pants and probably a little on the bathroom rug for good measure.  Next comes some form of bath, bathroom cleaning and…yep, you guessed it!  MORE LAUNDRY.
  10. Regressions:  Little has been dry for 3 days!  We did it!  HOORAY!!!!  ….oh wait, just kidding.  That apparently was a teaser and we’re 3 steps backwards.  You cry a little into your coffee and spend another 35 minutes Googling potty training regression techniques, which at this point is basically a list of the 30 other methods you’ve already tried. 

Hang in there Mamas.  They’ll figure it out by kindergarten…..right?! 

In the meantime, share your favorite potty training fail in the comments so we can commiserate and laugh together. 


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2 Responses to Potty Training Sucks. That About Covers It.

  1. Sandra Langen July 15, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    Had 3 boys..first two were a breeze to train & then 10 years later had the third. My mom was right God got me! I was 10 years older,the kid wouldn’t cooperate& finally decided the h with it ,I’d never saw añyone walk down the aisle in diapers,& if he did it would be his wife’s problem not mine. Eventually his older brothers trained him…

  2. Kelly July 15, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    Thank you for writing this as we are working on potty training our 2 year old. We had great success but it has been followed with great regression and your post had me laughing out loud. On our first day of training I accidentally flushed the splash guard that came with the chair down the toilet. My husband spent the entire day taking apart the toilet in hopes of finding it. We did finally find it after taking the stool outside and running the hose through it. It was not our best day but we made it through.