OK folks, I’m going there. The place no one wants to talk about. Potty training. Ugh. Just typing it makes me hate it more.

Not everyone wants to talk about it because some kids get the hang of it very quickly, and some take much longer.  And it’s usually the parents of the kids who’s kids are potty trained first who want to bring it up.  But it doesn’t matter. It will happen. And if it doesn’t for some reason, it’s no big deal either. You’ve got this!

Potty training for us has been a journey. With Olivia, we started her very young and just made it a fun thing. Sit on the potty before bath time and go.  Oh, and here’s a jellybean. Around two-two and a half, she figured out how to go number two in the potty and never looked back on that particular number.  But we were still working on catching every pee in the potty when she started Preschool3.  We had a wonderful program and teachers in Georgia who helped with potty training during the three mornings a week she went to school. The teachers had even stated “all children will be potty trained by Christmas”.  By November, the teachers were telling me I could send her to school in underwear because she got it.  And that was that.  Or at least how I remember it as we’re working with Jaxon now.

With Jax, potty training has not gone as smoothly.  Really, life has not gone as smoothly if I’m being real.  First off, Jaxon doesn’t talk as much as Olivia did/does.  He’s my happy lazy snuggly boy.  We started him off the same way with sitting on the potty before bath time.  Followed by said jellybean.  But oh boy, is having a little boy different than a little girl.  lol.  Jaxon liked to sit on the potty but only if we took him.  He never wanted to initiate going to the potty. (And yes, I say potty and not bathroom, restroom, toilet, etc as it’s easier for kids to say so get used to it.)  We got so that every time we took him to the potty, he would go potty.  But he never initiated.

Once we moved to the PNW, we enrolled him into a Preschool3 class as well but this one stated he had to be potty trained.  WHAT?!  Where are my helpers at?!  So, we pushed Jaxon harder to try to meet this deadline.  I tried the three day potty training method after we moved into our new house.  And Chris was on TDY (travel or away for any non-military folks).  I set a timer.  We went to potty.  He peed in potty.  Another timer.  More pee.  An occasional poop.  But never once did he initiate having to go potty.  Not once over these three days.  While he did get better at holding it a tad longer and actually going to potty when I said it’s potty time, this method did not work for us.  So, Mommy told a little white lie and he was in Preschool3 as a “mostly” potty trained boy who still needed pull-ups.  Oh, and help going potty sometimes because he was nervous.  lol.

I’m not trying to put Jaxon on blast or anything because like I said, every kid is different.  He just wasn’t ready and I’m not sure pushing him didn’t make it harder on us.  The teachers would somewhat help him into the bathroom at school but if he ever had a number two accident, I had to go change him.  I think this happened two or three times in almost five months; and by Christmas, the school told us we needed to step up our potty training game.  And by the way folks, by potty training, this school means fully going to the bathroom all by yourself.  Initiate it, shut door, pants down, go potty, WIPE and pants up all by himself.  I’m sorry, that’s just a bit much for any three year old in my opinion.  I know six year olds who still don’t wipe after number twos.

So, we refocused on potty training.  First off, I started by waking him up by 6:45am so he could eat and drink and run around before school or errands to ensure I could get him to go number two on the potty before leaving the house.  This worked great for most school mornings. But, we had to find something else that would work for Jax.  For us, and him, it was the beloved iPad.  We started with poop accidents.  If he had a poop accident, he didn’t get his five to ten minutes of iPad time like he normally does before bed.    And then I think he may have had one or two poop accidents resulting in no iPad time before bed that had him initiating going to the potty more.  And maybe a meltdown or two.  And then bam, it sunk in.  This worked amazingly well for us.

Now, I’m not saying we haven’t had blips on our radars from time to time whether it be sickness or forgetfulness, but he’s been doing great.  After he grasped initiating going potty (we had him say potty as well as grab the privates/bottom areas to ensure others understood his meaning), we started the no iPad time before bed for pee accidents.  And again, it took a few sobbing night time routines after having an accident that day for it to sink in for him.

And now, I’m knocking on wood before saying we are nearing the end. Jaxon still uses a pull-up at nights but has been dry the last two weeks. He’s even been waking up crying at night because he has to go potty and is a bit confused in his tired state.  But we manage to make it to the potty during these middle of the night wakes as well as first thing in the morning.  I do still send him in a pull-up to school just as precautionary as his teachers don’t always seem very responsive to him.  And hello, he’s not there with wiping yet so that’s safer than the skid mark tundies.  I also help him fix his tundies and pants as he just yanks them on up with no regard for the waistband being folded in and pants twisted.  But in my eyes, he’s potty trained.

To close, hang in there on your potty training journey. We’ve hit both ends of the spectrum and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Jaxon is almost three and a half and we are close to being diaper/pull-up free.  And if you’re like me, don’t feel embarrassed or bad for Jax as he’s doing the best he can.  We’re rocking life the best we can!!  And next year in Preschool4, Jaxon will continue to grow and learn and be his best self!! As I will.  (and Chris and Olivia too for that matter)

As I always say about life, “Everything is temporary”.  So if you’re in the diaper phase or the potty training phase or the up all night phase or whatever your baby/kid phase is right now, it’s temporary and will pass soon before you’r on to the next phase.

Adios.

~Mel