Thursday, October 6, 2011

Parenting Triumphs: Doin' the Potty Dance

One of the reasons we waited to get our rugs steam cleaned is son #3, a.k.a the Energizer Bunny (EB), was still having regular potty accidents on the floor.

Potty training has been a long and frustrating road with EB. Both of his older brothers were completely potty trained by age 3. EB blew by his third birthday in January with zero interest in using anything other than a diaper for his bathroom needs. I was sure the diaper was holding him back, so I took a deep breath and started dressing him in underwear. It worked, albeit at a snail's pace. Come summer, he was still peeing on the floor at least once a day and pooping in his underwear every time. Sigh.

Over the summer, he got the hang of peeing in the toilet and stopped having pee accidents all together. I'm sure our rugs and furniture were as relieved as I was.

He still had no interest in pooping in the toilet. Last month, he turned 3 years and 8 months old. I could see age 4 on the horizon and was afraid he was going to be one of those boys who wasn't completely potty trained until then. I really, really did not want to go there. Who does? No one wants to admit their perfectly normal 4-year-old child isn't potty trained.

I'll admit that I was incredibly efficient at cleaning up his poopy underwear. He's my 3rd son. I've been changing babies and toddlers for over nine years, when you add up the time they've been in diapers or training pants. That's a lot of changes.

I say that to illustrate the point there was absolutely no inconvenience to EB whatsoever when he pooped in his underwear. It took me about 30 seconds to clean him up and send him back to play smelling like baby wipes and fresh laundry.

Last week, I did what a stronger woman might not be able to do.

I made him responsible for cleaning himself up after he pooped. He had to walk to the bathroom, carefully take off his clothes, put the poop in the toilet, wipe himself and wash his hands. I expected a huge mess. But, he was tidy, good natured and proud about it through the whole process. I could almost see him thinking, "Finally! She's letting me be a big kid!"

It lasted four days. Then, he pooped in the toilet! And, the next day, he pooped in the toilet again. Twice!

Then, we got our carpets cleaned.   


  1. doesn't it just make you smile when they *get it* I find little boys are slower to the draw with potty training. I have two and even much beyond that they struggled with staying dry, I think it is just part of being a boy.

    they grow. and new things become what we need to work on...someday we will look back and chuckle.

    bless you and enjoy your clean carpets!

    mama to 8
    one homemade and 7 adopted