I said, “He’s just not interested in it. They’d ask him every time they changed his diaper at his old school and he never wanted to do it.”
She said, “We’d like to start potty training him next week.”
It was all I could do not to say, “I’ll give you a thousand dollars.”
She told me they’d need ten outfits, they’d wash them and keep them at school, and he’d be fully trained in a month, at the latest. But I couldn’t do ten outfits. We’d just moved and we still hadn’t gotten our stuff. I told her that if we got our stuff over the weekend, we could start Monday.
We did get our stuff that weekend, but it turned out we didn’t have ten winter outfits, so I had to do some shopping. That week my son started talking about moving and boxes and having the cars shipped, and his preschool teachers told me he was dealing with too many changes and we’d wait until after the holidays.
After Christmas, I went shopping. I bought the required outfits – all on sale, woohoo!—and packed a bag for him. His Grandma had bought him some underwear months ago and he kept asking when he could wear his “pull-ups.” On Monday, I told him he was a big boy and when he got to school, he could wear his “pull-ups.” When we got to school, his teachers were excited to start him on the potty. I told him he was a big boy and kissed him goodbye.
When I came to pick him up, his teachers said he’d had two accidents – a very good first day. We started talking about something else and I completely forgot to ask his teachers what they did, how they did it and what we should do. Anxious that he’d pee in the car, I ground my teeth during the ride home. He made it, high and dry. When we got home, I tried to sit him on the potty. He fought and he fought as I wrestled him onto it and held him seated but he didn’t pee. We tried two more times that night and he didn’t pee at all before I gratefully put him in a diaper to sleep.
On Day Two I tried to fight him onto the potty in the morning, but he wouldn’t go, so I dressed him in underwear and we went to school – early. When I picked him up — late — they said he’d had one accident: Number two. Fantastic job, kid. I praised him and asked some questions that day. I told them how we’d fought him on the potty and they said that they’d initially tried him sitting but he saw the other boys standing up to pee and wanted to stand. Definitely should have asked those questions on Day One. We confused him making him sit the night before. That night he fought us again, didn’t pee in the potty but did pee at the kitchen table during dinner, then later in the hallway, leaving a trail as he walked over to tell me.
On Day Three we had a breakthrough. He fought peeing in the morning but I marched him up to the toilet and kept him there. Once he felt he had to pee, he stopped fighting and did it. I told him how proud I was and so did Daddy, then we gave him gummy bears. He had no accidents at school, and when we picked him up we anxiously took him with us to get takeout. We waited in the cold car while my husband picked up dinner and to my surprise, my son stayed dry. It was an eventful dinner. He started to make his poop face as my husband asked him over and over if he had to poop. I was annoyed at my husband. I would have picked him up at the first sign and carried him to the bathroom. During the inquisition my son had an accident – both numbers – at the kitchen table. I asked my husband why the hell he hadn’t taken him to the bathroom, changed my son and my other half cleaned up the chair and the floor.
On Day Four, he was willing to potty twice in the morning at home, then potty training took a backseat because a little girl dropped a giant block on him and took off his thumbnail and part of his thumb. (See “The Finger”) My husband swore we had to stop potty training, but I didn’t want to lose momentum. Although we asked him several times, my son didn’t pee at all during the three hours we spent in the emergency room. My husband asked the doctor if we should stop his training and she said we didn’t have to. My boy peed when we got home and the next morning we found out that he’d had no accidents at school, except for his thumb.
We stopped counting accidents on Day Five, as our focus shifted to his thumb, but now we’re starting our fourth week of potty training. My son’s learned to pee in the potty, and half the time, he initiates it. He’s even starting to go solo. Pooping is a whole different story. In three weeks, he has never pooped in the potty at home. He has certainly pooped in his underwear though — at home, at restaurants, at stores. Every single day. And I’m sick of changing him, frankly. My husband tried to change him a couple of times but had to stifle gags and the urge to vomit. I don’t know how that man can change diapers but not poopy underwear. It’s okay, really, he winds up yelling at my son whenever he changes him so as much as I don’t like to change him, I’d rather not have my son messed up because of potty training. We’re having my son practice sitting on the potty so he gets used to it but we don’t know what else to do. He doesn’t want to poop on the potty and he won’t do it at home. I’ve got to talk to his teachers and ask them how they get him to do it.
I’ve heard that boys are harder to potty train than girls but that has not been the case. It took my daughter about a year to train and she was almost four when she mastered it. (See “Potty Training May Kill Me“) And for the record, she only started using the potty when I told her I wouldn’t buy any more pull-ups. I’m grateful to my son’s school for initiating and leading this effort. Hopefully they can help us master Number Two. I’d appreciate any help with this, so if you’ve got tips, please send them. Until then, I’m on doody duty for the foreseeable future.