parent mistake #2: we potty trained

When our oldest turned 2 we bought her underwear for her birthday. They were so cute and it was going to be so fun! They had little ruffles and bows and princesses on them! She was a big girl! I mean, she talked about the potty and would ask what I was doing when I went, so of course she was ready! My mom gently suggested, “when you potty train you are only training yourself”  a quote she famously learned from her mother, a pediatric nurse.  And in the back of my head I could also remember my sister in law jill saying, “don’t ever potty train. Wait for them”.  But what did they all know? They only have 19 kids collectively. Pshaw, pocket change.

So we did what any normal first time parents did. We read and read about potty training (ok…I read and then told ty about it during pillow talk). And set up a sticker chart…and potty trained! It was awesome! She loved it!

And then she spent 8 months crapping in her pants! And for 3 years would regress with every vacation, holiday, & change! I couldn’t get in the car to run errands without stressing out. I couldn't go to church of friend's houses without stressing out. Car trips were a nightmare where we would have to bring the baby bjorn with us (a potty I highly recommend, thanks mel!).
The saddest part is that it took years to recover our relationship with each other (her and I) of fighting over accidents and pooping on her sister (and you think I just made that last part up). 
All in all it just stressed out our entire household, and I feel like we lost those sweet moments of 2 yr olds when they are just so happy, care-free and love everything and everyone.

So with our second child we waited. And waited and waited. And when she was 3 years and 3 months she said, “ I want to wear undies today” and I said sweet! And put them on with no hopes whatsoever. And that was it. Potty trained in one day my friends. No accidents. Dry at night in 4 months (she wore pullups at night until then…I only change sheets once a week dudes, ok…more like once a month. Sorry mom!). it was so simple and easy. I wasn’t completely and totally stressed out and exhausted over accidents and public outings. I didn’t yell at her when she had accidents (I think she’s had 3 in almost 3 years) or pooped in the pullup. No stress this time around was my goal. And it totally worked, and she never pooped on her sister. Success!   

So a little suggestion (because Ty agrees 100%) is to try and resist the social pressure and urge to potty train(because it will be there)  and not potty train. Don’ talk about using the potty or if they “want” to use the potty. If you ask a 2 year old if they want a full frontal lobotomy they say “yes” too.  When they come up to you and say, “dude, you don’t walk around with poop in your pants? How do I join that club?” then they are ready.  And I know, know, know, know all you first time mom's will say, "whatever. my kid is much more mature and just so ready!" and that's cool. I did the exact same thing.

* I think I have met maybe a handful (maybe) of moms in 8 years who said potty training was easy for their kid. If you are one of them, then bully for you! Stand up, pat yourself on the back and relish the fact that you haven’t had to scrub poop out of carpet.


Melanie said...

Oh Annie, I like you. I wish we could see each other more often... :)

And you know we agree with you too!

Whitney Baldwin said...

I testify that what Annie has written is true.

This is solid parenting advice. I will never potty train again. Every parent I know who waits has a kid "trained" in one day. Like magic!

I don't know why we first time mothers do it to ourselves. It's like some crazy self-inflicted "mommy merit badge" we think we have to earn.

Lindsy Hartsock said...

Totally relate to this and a great reminder because my girls are 2 in a few weeks and I am starting to feel the "pressure" and TOTALLY dreading the process x 2. C and I are still recovering and he still has an occasional accident almost 2 years later. I have so many regrets with his "training." Thanks for your thoughts! :)

Stephanie and Paul said...

amen, girl. and just for all the moms of boys out there--you can't make them be dry at night. so don't try. eventually they will. probably later than you'd like, but eventually, they will. and i think it happens sooner if you leave them alone about it than if you make it an issue. that's all.

Hu.Ge.Lu said...

You are SO RIGHT!! I thought it was just that bad with boys (which I had 6 of) I didn't learn on the first, it took until #4 to get it. When I told people on the last 3 that I was interested in potty training they were appaulled(sp) But they are the happiest and easiest going boys. I hope new parents will trust you.
Merry Christmas!
Shelly (in Ephraim, Utah)

Kay Barlow said...

totally agree! I was embarrassed to send my three-year-old Trent to sunbeams with a diaper at 3 years and 3 months, but two weeks later he announced he wanted to use the toilet. He did and NEVER - I repear NEVER - had an accident, needed to be wiped, or even wet the bed. (He was dry from night one.)It was sooo worth another year and three months of diapers and the two weeks of sunbeam embarassment. (And, may I add, previous to that momentous day-january 20, 2002-yes I remember it-he had NEVER used the toilet. EVER.)

Emily said...

Why is it that we always expect so much out of our first born child? Whenever my oldest makes a mistake...I gasp, wondering what I am doing wrong, and try to fix the problem immediately...while, most likely, scarring the poor child for life. Then the next one comes along...makes the same mistakes, and I say...'eh, he'll grow out of that in no time!" Poor, Poor oldest guinea pig children. Bless them.

Funny are great!

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