Potty training is a nightmare, but potty training boys is worse than that! Before I had my son Gabriel, my only parenting experience was pouring some Friskies in a bowl and scooping the kitty litter box. The only potty issues I ever dealt with was Gir my cat staring blankly into my soul waiting to take a dump in the fresh litter. When I got pregnant, I never thought about potty training. I mean, everyone told me it would be hard. But how hard could it be?
Hard! That is what is. HARD! For the longest time I was oblivious to the intensity of having a boy. I was spoiled. Gabriel was a delightful baby and we never had any issue with him. As a first time Mom, I smugly turned my nose up at the mom’s at the local park trying to keep their boys from pissing in the middle of the playground. “OH MY, what an awful mother, why can’t she just handle that child”
Well, I am that Mom now. Potty training Gabriel was a fricken nightmare. Seriously, I would rather slather myself in meat and sit in the Louisiana bayou than do it again. But alas, I have two others to contend with soon. See, we made an age old first time parent mistake with Gabriel…we pushed him too early. At 1 ½ years old we slapped him on the toilet and told him to go. All of the older women in my life we CONSTANTLY telling me how their kids were potty trained at 4 months old and shit. Really??? Well my kid needs to do it then.
Fast forward to Gabriel at 3 ½ years old and I was sitting on the floor wiping the bottom of a child who by all rights should be potty trained. I was distressed. I thought I was a crappy Mom. Well…we finally did it right around 3 ½ , I was fed up. I didn’t care how much he pooped on my floor; he was going without a diaper. Ok, this was the hard part…dealing with accidents. And they happened. ALL THE TIME. I seriously thought about getting brown carpet to mask it. My whole house smelled as if Mr. Clean exploded his lemony scent all over. There was nothing worse than walking into your kid’s room to see a steamy pile of poop on the floor…with him painting with it on the walls.
Speaking of that, what the hell? Is poop some sort of high quality paint? Who knows? Moving on.
1. Don’t start too early
Allow them to make the move first. Let them express interest. If you do it too early, they will likely back off and it will take even longer.
2. Don’t EVER get mad about poop or pee. EVER!
If there is an accident, say something like “Uh oh, we had an accident, can you help me clean it up”? Seriously, making Gabriel clean up his own messes helped a great deal.
3. Have an “open door policy”
Particularly with Dad. Since we are dealing with boys, seeing Dad go helps them understand how to go.
4. Get a potty seat for the toilet; don’t get the kind that is stand alone.
Seriously, it is just a neat place to store their cars and dinosaurs. Once it is a toy receptacle, it will never be a potty again.
5. Get a potty book.
Grandma got Gabriel a Dora the Explorer book that was kind of like Where’s Waldo. He was too busy trying to find 17 bananas to worry about pooping.
6. Get a lot of cleaning supplies.
My go to was Oxy-Clean. That stuff is amazing. Oh and Fabreeze, otherwise your house will smell like a barn from accidents.
7. Get them multiple kinds of underwear.
We got Gabriel all sorts of underwear with characters on them. He loved picking out what big boy underwear he would get to wear
Seriously, this is one of the best ones. Give them a treat (I know some people don’t agree, but it worked for us). It could be a gold star, a cookie, M&M’s, a cheap Hotwheel’s car, whatever makes them eager to poop and get it.
These are the top things I used to FINALLY get Gabriel potty trained. Still working on Emilia, she is being just as difficult. But thankfully Micah is still too young for me to worry too much.