“Pooh” to Potty Training

Might as well find a new use for it

I’ve had it with potty training. As far as I’m concerned, Rose can wear diapers until college. After that, she’s on her own.

A month ago, she was doing so well. She wore panties to school. Every day, she came home in the same outfit. She eagerly ran to the potty at home. She filled up her potty chart with colorful stickers. She got a “potty prize” for every success. For every 10 successful attempts, she got a marker. For five days without an accident, she was supposed to get a Barbie. That never happened, but it seemed inevitable.

Although she had the occasional accident, for the most part, she was potty trained. So I signed her up for a camp that required “independent toileting skills.” She is supposed to start in August. And then she started to backslide.

Nothing in particular caused the backsliding, as far as I can tell. We may have been less diligent about giving her a “potty prize” for every success. But it seemed like she just lost interest. Suddenly she wasn’t so excited about wearing panties. Suddenly she decided she wanted to wear pull ups again. She still goes to July’s camp wearing panties, but she’s always in in her backup outfit when I pick her up.

So now I have to find her a new camp for August. At the end of the summer, with two weeks lead time.

I don’t expect the current August camp to tolerate accidents. When I signed up, they gave me a two-page manifesto in 8-point type listing all the rules and regulations kids must follow for camp. Most of the rules were for older kids – no gang attire, etc — and it never explicitly said they’d kick her out for “dependent toileting skills,” but I can’t imagine that this Nazi camp would tolerate even the tiniest excretory infraction.

Besides having to scramble for camp, this backslide has transported me to a urine-soaked world. I live in a giant urinal cake. Rose has accidents on the living room carpet, on the stool she uses to climb up to the toilet, and yesterday, in her room. We were in the middle of a naptime battle and I have to say I didn’t even care. I was so burned out on cleaning up pee, I’m not even ashamed to say I just left the puddle there to evaporate.

So I’m giving up. I’m giving up on potty training. As far as I’m concerned, she can go back to pull-ups. I know I should be a better parent but there is only so much I can take. I envy the other mothers whose kids proudly use the potty. Not my kid. We ask her to use it when she gets up from a nap and from her reaction, you’d think we’d pulled the heads off of all of her Barbies and cooked them in a stew.

I can give up now because I know it can’t go on forever. Or can it? One of the moms at school told me her five-year-old is not fully potty trained. If I can’t survive incontinence at three-and-a-half, how will I survive it at five? And that’s not all. She used to be really good at pooping in the potty. We used to have major battles every time she pooped in her diaper, because she wouldn’t let me wipe her hoo-hoo. It was so bad that I had to pry her legs apart to get her clean while she screamed, and all the while I’d think about the effect on her sexual development. If she said no now and she got used to me forcing her legs open, what would happen when she said no as a teenager?

I told her that if she pooped in the potty, I’d never have to wipe poop out of her hoo-hoo again. So she started pooping regularly (pardon the pun) in the potty. She neve missed a poop, but now she’s back to pooping in her diaper. What am I supposed to do?

I don’t know. And I’ve decided that I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I’m tired. I’m tired of the battles. I’m tired of wet floors. I’m tired of getting pee all over my hands. She wins. I quit. She’s old enough to change her own diaper and that’s good enough for me. No kid is perfect. If it takes all the other kids in high school making fun of her to finally learn, so be it. Yeah, I’m not the greatest mom. But I’ve done everything I can. I wash my hands of it. I’m done.

3 comments on ““Pooh” to Potty Training

  1. Don’t despair! Most kids go through a roller coaster of potty training readiness before they are totally and finally potty trained. You might try reverse psychology. Next time she says anything about it tell her “No…that’s only for big girls…you’re not ready yet.” …Might work!


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