So Maybe I’m the One Who Needs To Be Trained?

The last couple weeks have gone pretty well around here on the potty training front. The kid hasn’t had an accident in well over a week, if not 2. He’s in his big boy undies when he’s not napping or sleeping as long as we’re around the house. Out in public? Different story. We diaper that shiz up when we leave the house.

But yesterday I started thinking that if we really, truly want to get him trained, we just need to bite the bullet and go diaper free all day (except naps and nighttime). I spoke to a friend on Facebook who’s my potty training inspiration and already has her 2 year old boy fully potty trained and decided to go for it. Today was THE DAY! We’re going to leave the house in big boy underpants, complete with a bag stocked full of antibacterial wipes (for public restroom stops), extra undies and shorts, and many lollipops to bribe and reward.

Our tasks today were simple. It’s Scott’s birthday and every year I buy him a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. We were simply going to swing by Target to get a couple birthday cards for him and a new package of underwear for Kendall (if we’re going to really do this, we’re going to need a lot more than 6 pairs of underwear, I’m thinking). Then we’d stop by DQ and pick up the cake. I knew Target had a decent bathroom and, well, I packed lots of antibacterial wipes to help deal with the DQ one if need be.

I got him all fired up, talking in my best cheerleader voice about “BIG BOYS!” and “NO DIAPERS!” and “Please, please tell mommy if you need to use the potty.” Then I had to take a minute to locate the DQ and make sure they would have a cake when we got there. Kendall does this thing anytime I’m trying to accomplish something on the computer or the phone. It’s called whining. You may be familiar. It’s so grating. He pulls on my knees and pushes me around. He begs for snacks and toys and Diego and ANYTHING to get my attention. Kendall also does this thing where he shouts that he has to go “poopy potty!” anytime I’m not paying sufficient attention to him, not necessarily when he actually has to use the potty.

So I’m on the phone with the DQ employee who clearly despises her job and is terribly put off by my request to please check the cooler for an ice cream cake before I risk a treacherous drive with an undiapered toddler in my newly clean car to get one. Kendall’s pulling on my legs, WHINING, spouting off things like “snack bar, mommy!” and “Go go, momma!” and “Pee pee potty, mommy!” I’m at my wits end with the DQ lady, losing my mind from the whining and I snap. I hang up, turn around and shout, “STOP whining at me!”

“AHHHHHHHHHH!” he screams, then the sound of water dripping on to the floor follows. I look down to see the front of his shorts soaked. He’s standing in a puddle of pee, and I dissolve into a puddle of guilty tears.

Here I was begging him to please tell me when he has to go potty one minute and then 5 minutes later, when he actually does, I lose my cool and yell at him. Yeah, not one of my finer parenting moments, for sure.

We both cried for a minute, him out of confusion, me because I felt like the world’s worst mother. I cleaned him up, we got in the car, ran our errands (where I disappointed Kendall by refusing to buy the “gabba gabba” underpants because the only thing more creepy than Yo Gabba Gabba is Yo Gabba Gabba on your toddler’s butt), made a potty stop at DQ for good measure, and made it back home in one dry piece.

On my way home I got a call from my cousin who had a baby 3 weeks ago. I haven’t been able to catch up with her at all and was so thrilled to hear from her. I chatted on the phone the whole time we walked into the house and while I prepared Kendall’s lunch. When he was done eating we were still talking, but I made a mental note to get off soon and take him to the potty. Well, then we started talking about something else and I totally forgot. Minutes later Kendall’s standing in front of me in the play room pulling on my hand and then starts to pee and cry.

Seriously? Really? Did I really just let that happen again? I am single handedly f-ing up any chance we have of getting this kid potty trained because I’M the one who’s incapable of dealing with it right now. He’s down for a nap, and I’m hoping the second half of this day proves to be more successful on the parenting front. I’m not worried about the potty training thing, he’s obviously got that down. It’s his parent who’s causing all the “accidents.”

Kendall is 2 years old, and we got Mickey Mouse underpants over the “gabba gabba” ones.

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  1. No one is harder on us than we are on ourselves. We’re the first generation to truly try to have it all: full-time motherhood, full-time job, loving marriage, Sex-in-the-city-style girlfriendships, and thanks to f-ing technology and Kate Hudson movies we’ve been led to believe it’s all going to be one hilarious romantic comedy. Truth is, most days (at least early on) motherhood is a lot of manual labor, and I count myself a success if I brush my teeth and hair on the same day. The kids are another matter …

  2. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. You are NOT single-handedly fvcking up ANYTHING. How many HOURS have you spent working with him? Letting your attention wander – when you know he’s a big, fat faker most of the time, just like my kid is – because you are TAKING CARE OF OTHER PEOPLE is not a sin. You are doing a ton. A ton.

    Relax, have a cookie. Later have a conversation about “crying wolf” and making mistakes and how nobody is perfect and the best we can hope for is to make new mistakes instead of old ones and how sometimes parents need their kids to help them – by like not lying about when they have to go potty. 🙂

  3. It’s okay. Really. I’m a mom, and a daycare provider. I’ve potty trained about 20 kids. Blips happen. No biggie. You’re not going to mess this up, it’s just one of those days. Fill him full of liquid and set the timer for 30 minutes. Do it whenever you’ve got a morning to devote to it. DON’T fill him full of liquids when you can’t! Stop all fluids by 6 pm, and he’ll likely make it through the night too!

    (Not that you’ve mentioned them, but NO pullups! They are evil, expensive and counterproductive! They’ve GOT to have a couple of accidents or it’ll take forever!)

    I realize that you didn’t ask for a rant-y comment full of advice, but that’s who I am. Full of support and lectures. Enjoy!

  4. It happens. Call it a learning experience. Does he play in the bathroom if you leave the door open? Maybe go pants-less at home so he can easily run in by himself when he needs to go? At least till things get a little more comfortable and second nature to all involved.

    • That’s a thought. I don’t know how successful he’d be w/out one of us, though. He sits on the big potty and needs help getting on it.

  5. Hey…it happens. You just need to remember all of the GOOD things that K will remember you’ve done for him–and, think of a creative and fun way for him to “alert” you of a “potty” moment when you are otherwise occupied. What about a bell? Bring it down only when you are going to be busy and instruct him to ring it when he has to go potty and tell him that if he “really” goes, then he’ll get some {bribe}(of course, you’ll have to deal with false alarms…). This might make him feel more apt to tell you…but I’m no expert! We aren’t attempting potty training for another 1/2 year at least! 🙂

  6. We all have days like that. I have totally told Big Sister to wait a minute only to have her pee all over the floor and wonder what in the world I was thinking. Yesterday I took her to a water park and that was not so easy on her. We used a swim diaper and sure enough she had an accident. But today is another day and it will be better.

  7. I could have written this post exactly, except I’m not ready to venture out of the house in underwear yet. Two weekends ago, when we tried that 3 day potty training thing, I kept reminding D to tell me when he had to go, but he’s a big fat faker, too.

    He told me he had to go, but he’d also been saying it for the past half hour just so he could go wash his hands. I ignored. He had an accident. I sobbed, Husband told me to quit for the day. I still feel like a failure.

    You’re doing a much better job than me. Don’t beat yourself up.

  8. Dude, you’re scaring me. We’re getting ready to start this process and I appreciate you being honest but DEAR LORD, BABY JESUS . . . I’m nervous.

    • Don’t fret! Does it make you feel better if I tell you today was much better? It’s just an adjustment on all of our parts. I’m trying to stay optimistic, though.

  9. You all are so great. Thank you so much for all the words of encouragement. It’s hard not to be so hard on myself in the moment. Looking back, I can laugh at myself and cut myself some slack, especially since we seem to be back on track.

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