My son is almost 3.5 now and I’d really like him to go to preschool in the fall. So we have been working on the potty for several months now. We’ve had many big successes and a lot of setbacks. I mean, a lot. I have cried tears of joy and tears of frustration.
I’ve also polled the masses of experienced parents for their tips and tricks to make this happen. I won’t go into a diatribe of all the stuff that supposedly worked for them; you can google that or ask your own set of potty-pros. But what I will tell you is all the things NO ONE WILL EVER EVER TELL YOU about the long, rough, disgusting road of potty training.
1. Turds in underwear are absolutely, positively disgusting beyond words. I mean, I’m pregnant right now so my level of tolerance for gross is pretty low, but I am telling you, even the strongest stomachs don’t want to scrape soft stools out of Lightning McQueen undies three times a day, just so that they are clean enough to throw in the wash without having to firebomb the washer afterwards. (And yeah, accidents happen and you expect them, of course, because he is just a beginner. But over time you will see that at some point it becomes no longer accidental. Read further for more explanations on this fun point.)
2. You will expect the above nastyness in the beginning weeks of potty training, but become angry and revolted when it seems that the crapping in the undies is like a really FUNNY game to your little one. You may wonder if you are raising up a sociopath and second guess every single thing you have ever done in the kid’s short life.
3. You will waste at least $50-$100 on stupid seats and potty chairs that will never, ever EVER please your finicky child. Can you imagine all that over something to shit in? Yeah, get used to it. And sure, you can take your kid to “pick it out” so he feels more grown-up and in control, but once you get that thing home he will act like you are sticking hot metal pokers in his ass just tryin’ to get him to sit on it.
4. Just when you think you have it down, all bets are suddenly off when one day when your kid stands in front of you, pissing his self on the carpet with a devilish smile on his face.
5. When you find turds in your closet, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
6. Your kid will poop in the toilet a bajillion times over many weeks. You will dance and sing, give stickers and m&ms and call grandma and grandpa and just make a total ass out of yourself over doo-doo. Then one day he will hide anywhere he can to poo in private in his undies. You will be uber confused because the day before he LOVED the potty. There is no rhyme or reason to this.
7. You will literally clean more shit and piss off the floor than when you got that puppy. Yep. Good times.
8. Everyone will say pull-ups are the devil and to NEVER EVER use them when potty training. You will understand, and throw them all out (uhhh, ok, use them up, because let’s face it, they are expensive). You rejoice in not having to spend an extra $50 per month on diapering supplies! JOYOUS JOY OF JOYS! Then one day you just can’t take cleaning out all the poo undies anymore so you go to Target and buy the damn pull-ups.
9. With your precious pull-ups in hand, you make your kid wear them, and he is pissed. Like really really mad. He insists on underwear, of course. After fighting with him to wear the G.D. pull-ups once again, he uses the potty every single time and insists on wearing a brand new pull-up every time, despite the fact that he can MIRACULOUSLY keep his freakin’ pull-ups dry, but not the unders. Go figure.
10. After some more weeks of pull-up fights, you cave and let him wear underwear again. Guess what? Back to shit and piss city.
11. You will, absolutely, without a doubt, MISS DIAPERS WITH EVERY FIBER OF YOUR BEING.
So there you go, potty noobs. The down and dirty on the messy life of a potty training kid. I know it’s hard; you will have successes and setbacks. But just know you are not alone, despite the cute and pretty picture everyone else wants you to have about this insanely hard process. Good luck to you, and just do whatever is right for you and your kid.