Adventures in Potty Training

Over the past 12 months my wife and I have been peed on, pooped on and cleaned up more human waste than a janitor in an elementary school. The only thing missing from our potty training adventure is the large yellow industrial bucket and those flakes the custodian uses to cover vomit.

This month marks the one year anniversary of toddler’s foray into potty training and it’s been a roller coaster ride — rather, it’s been like being caught in the swirl of a flushing toilet. We’ve whirled around and around and around, wondering when or if potty training would finally stick.

So far, it hasn’t.

It has provided us lots of levity and new lingo, though. Phrases like “muddy poopy” and “snake poopy” have entered our lexicon. Toddler also told me the other day that “Sometimes my underwear switches from dry to wet.” Funny stuff.

But what isn’t funny is being responsible for someone else’s potty activity. We’ve cleaned pee out of clothes, car seats, dining chairs, rugs, off the floor, playmats, playmates and even his brother. In fact, the sight of pee no longer bothers us. It’s liquid. He gets wet. We get wet. So be it.

In some instances, it has become a weapon of defiance for him. On occasion, when toddler has been punished for misbehavior he has urinated on the floor as an act of war. We’re glad that phase seems to have ended without the need for peace (or is that pees?) talks.

There have been lots of successes. He’s number one when it comes to number two. Boy, are we grateful for that. But he often gets so busy playing and running and having fun that he forgets to go pee. It’s more work than we expected and we’ve tried to straddle that fine line of making potty training a positive experience while still being firm on our demands that he use the potty and focus on the task at hand.

There have been rewards aplenty — “Thomas” trains are not cheap, by the way — and lots of other incentives. But we simply can’t get over the hump.

I know that conventional wisdom says that boys are tougher to potty train than girls but gee whiz this is taking forever!

What are your potty training experiences? How have you handled it? Is it true that boys take longer to get potty trained that girls?


The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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  1. James Hudyma says:

    I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule but in my experience girls train faster than boys. My daughter was trained and in underwear by 18 months. The last accident she had was when she was 2 and ate too much watermelon before bed. My son was in underwear the day before his 3rd birthday. 5 months later and he has about 1 accident every 2 weeks usually because he was too busy playing and by the time it was urgent, he didn’t make it to the toilet on time.

    With both our kids we didn’t push it. We just put them on the pot at least once a day. We showed them the underwear. My daughter was immediately interested. My son didn’t show any interest until he was nearly 3.

    • Happiest Daddy says:

      Wow. 18 months? That is quick. I love what you said about not pushing it. We definitely got swept up in keeping up with our friends with our oldest. We saw other kids working on potty training long before their 2nd birthday and didn’t want to be left behind. We’ll take a different tack with our youngest.

This is what I think...