Why I Enjoy Potty Training

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You might be disappointed if you’re reading this because you think I’ve found the answer or have learned a new trick for easy potty training. I can, however, offer perspective (not a Pollyanna-ism) and a little commiseration. 

It’s inevitable that, at some point, you’re going to have an unexpected mess at the most inopportune time. Once I got over the fact that pee was going to happen, no matter how long I stared at my child in anticipation as I pushed popsicles in their face, I could finally RELAX.

You might be asking… what makes this experience remotely enjoyable?! 

The greatest satisfaction for me was experiencing my children’s first independent learning experience. Now that I am on the other side of two potty-trained littles, it has been enlightening to see how they learn and how it reflects their individual personalities.

I also had to come to terms with the fact that in this particular situation, I’m the follower, not the leader.

I can’t command them to pee, the classic parent vs. child power-play is futile, so ultimately, it’s nice to sit back and be impressed by their initiative.   

First Pottier:

(2 years and one month at the start of training)

My daughter is resolute. Her subtle intensity and determination are a force. She’s the oldest and always has to do things her way (usually early), which started at birth. For example, and to my dismay, she never let me put a bow in her hair. I had to wait until SHE could do it and ignore the wild hair-dos until she figured it out!

Potty training was no different.

She was in charge and would do it her own way, and it would most likely be the right way. In fact, I half expected her to do it right the first time, but alas, she was not a potty-trained genius.

Yes (*sigh), pee on the couch and carpet.

She did, however, decide that once I presented the potty, there would be no more diapers or pull-ups — not even on our upcoming car trips. She was going to tackle this obstacle and never look back.

She did. 

Second Pottier:

(2 years and four months at the start of training)

Though a darling and easy-going little fella, I had set much lower expectations with my second child. People were concerned when I started potty training him because he was such a late walker (rightfully so, he had only been walking for four months at this point). He didn’t display any desire for independence, but I didn’t want to miss the proverbial window. 

“Mom-tuition” prevailed. He was a potty-trained genius!

I was so shocked after half tarping my house, thinking this would be a potty-training hurricane, but he got it right the first time. I guess he potty-trained himself?

Before you either don’t believe me or are so put off at my stroke of luck, I must admit it was short-lived… or at least half-baked. Sure my son could do his business in the potty, but he refused to pull down his pants. I’m not sure if you can count it as potty-trained if you always have to be there for the assist, but I’m going to take the win and continue to cheer him on. 

Still in the thick of things, worrying about full nights without pull-ups and occasionally having to de-pants a toddler, I try to remember that one day soon, they will be totally potty trained. Until then, every diaper dollar saved is a diaper dollar earned. Every hilarious inconvenience and each small mess will surely make for great stories down the road.  

A few tried and true tips:

  • Skip the cute potties and opt for something light and mobile. At some point, you’ll have to leave your house. 
  • Talk up the potty but keep it casual. Kids can sense your pressure! (They can sense everything) 
  • Waiting until they are older won’t necessarily make it easier. I can’t attest to 3+ years, but once they started talking about it or pointing to it, I took that as a sign. It, of course, needs to work with your availability, but this seemed to be the sweet spot for us. 
  • The M & M trick doesn’t work for everyone (pretty sure there is nothing that works for everyone) 
  • A book that helped me immensely, “Oh Crap! Potty Training” by Jamie Glowacki 

Good Luck! 

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Mallory can come across a tad soft-spoken, but she quickly warms up, and you’ll learn she’s an open book. She grew up in Pensacola and finally returned four years ago with her husband, Jake (many thanks to the Navy.) They now have two kids ages 3 and 1 (plus an 8-year-old cockapoo pup!) Mallory values connection, deep conversations, and the right to change her mind. She owns her own design business, MALWEST design, where she does visual branding for small businesses as well as designs + illustrates invitations, stationery, home decor, gifts, and more. When she’s not chasing babies, painting, or designing, she can be found boating on the bayou, strolling through East Hill, or dreaming up home improvement projects for the family (mainly for Jake!).

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