Do the *clap, clap* potty dance!

Hello, friends! Believe your eyes, this is not a hallucination – I am back in the blogosphere! I have not been abducted or been swallowed up by kindergarteners, nor have I gone amiss in the soon-to-be-very-tall wheat crops surrounding our town, nor have I fallen into one of the many small, green Ikea potties lying around our house.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and there are several reasons that I would like to share with you.

1. Nothing really awesome has struck me as blog-worthy that I can ACTUALLY write about without offending someone who is highly likely to read this. That would be capital B-a-d. Many times I’ve thought, “Oo, I should write about that! Oh no…wait…”. So instead of writing I’ve been not-so-quietly seething. But it’s all good. I’m making peace. And don’t bother asking, I won’t go into detail. No, not even for you..
Or you.

2. Between teaching kindergarten (Fun! Love it! Awesome! For the first time I’m actually *gasp* looking forward to school starting!) and starting my own business (Arbonne, baby! Now this I WILL tell you about! So ask! Ask! ASK! Love it, love it, want to marry it and have tiny little Arbonnette babies!) and having a toddler I’ve had one or two things to do and haven’t made this a priority (but NO MORE!).



Ok, I guess there was really only two reasons, but things are always better in odd numbers.

So now that I’m back I’m going to make a more conscious effort to blog more. Why? Because it’s my catharsis, my creative outlet, I like the feedback, I like knowing that people are actually reading what I write (maybe a little arrogant (?) but it’s the truth!) and I can do it in my jammies. And anything you can do in your jammies is great, don’t’cha think?

After that lengthy Prologue it’s time to get down to business…

We are potty training at our house.
More accurately, Monkey is potty training. Hubby and I have been “accident free” for a significant period of time now.
If you know me personally and well you may know that I am a big researcher when I decide I’m going to do something. As soon as I decide that I want to buy a Mac, move to a new town (not that that’s my decision, who are we kidding?), buy a new phone, train a dog, teach a new grade or do pretty much any new baby “phase”, I google it up. Hard. I mean, I google the hell right out of it. Do you have any idea how many people write blogs strictly devoted to single topics like potty training, classroom organizing, and toddler activities? Many of them are excellent (while others are simply…like…those really long Facebook statuses that leave you thinking, “Hey! Buy a journal! And learn to spell!”).

Anywho, back to potty training. So we ordered Monkey four pairs of cloth pull-ups (to go along with our cloth diapers, of course. Seeing the cloth ones makes me wonder why anyone would buy disposables (Or “sposies” as many people in the cloth diaper or “CD” world would say….talk about researching a topic, my Bestie, Miss J and I were months and months and MONTHS researching cloth diapers to the point where I was literally dreaming about it!) when you can have cloth that is so soft, chemical free, washable and just so gosh darn cute!). I put him in his cloth pull-ups, purchased 3 identical little green potties from Ikea ($4 – BARGOON!) which we realized after trial and error were easier to use than the fancy-dancy Cars one which had several parts including the cushy seat part which Monkey liked to put on his head and exclaim, “Hat! Mommy – HAT!”. We realized fairly quickly, though, that Monkey would pee in these pull-ups just as in diaper so by lunch time all 4 were dirty. Hm.

So then we went out and bought “big boy underwear” thinking this would help. It did not.

So for the past 2 hours I have been reading website after website, blog after blog, about different potty training techniques. It’s really a lot like house training a puppy. We taught our first puppy, Tucker, to ring a bell when he had to go out to pee (which we later removed because he was taking advantage of the bell and ringing it every 2 f-ing minutes just to enjoy the outdoor weather, which happened to be sub-zero at the time). Anyway I have very distinct memories of Tucker first peeing then running to ring the bell, and the best memory is me glancing over at him, at the door, nosing the bells furiously as he peed all over the place.

If you’ve ever potty trained a child I’m sure you see the similarities, no?

Also in common are the facts that you should use huge, exciting praise when he gets it right, and pretty much ignore the accidents. “Rubbing his nose in it” so to speak helps no one and now you have a puppy or a toddler with a good ole’ fashioned pee nose. And who has to clean that off? You do. And so who is this helping? No one. Please also refrain from swatting your puppy or toddler with a rolled up newspaper. Either one is inclined to chew up the paper then pee all over everything that is important to you. Again, a lose-lose situation.

So back to my research. Methods I have come across include variations of these two main schools of thought:

1. Let the child decide when he is ready. Put out potties, encourage, but don’t rush. Sure, he could be filling out university applications when he’s finally night and nap time trained (gosh those napping 17 year olds are just precious, aren’t they?) but he will get it in his own good time. Oh, and Smarties and sticker charts help, too.

2. Lay the smack down on potty training. Open up a can of potty training a$$. Let the good times roll and the fun begin (so is the fun rolling, too? And good times are beginning? That sounds right). Buy 45 or more potties. Put them everywhere. Even in the fridge and inside the litter box. One can never be too prepared. Your child must go completely bottomless for 3 entire years. Put your child on the potty every 3.25 nanoseconds. You must spend 3 months without leaving your home. Ever. Not for any reason. You must also be bottomless to model how it is done. Your child will understand in 3 days but the bottomlessness must continue for the remainder of the 3 years.

It is, of course possible that I have exaggerated or slightly fictionalized some of these methodologies. But the main points are there. And just like any other topic I have researched, there are pros and cons to each method, as well as that random pornographic website that pops up no matter how tame your search subject was. And just like anything else, ultimately it comes down to what we decide. At this point we are considering doing the old 1-2-combo by taking suggestions from a few different methods and putting together into something that makes sense to us and something that we hope will make sense to and work for Monkey.

We’ve been doing some sort of potty training approach for about 2-ish weeks now so we’ll see how it continues!!

I’d love to hear what your potty training experiences are – tips, tricks, techniques, or ideas that you’ve read or come across yourself even if you haven’t had the opportunity to try them out.

Just remember to be bottomless while you reply.
Pictures are unnecessary.

🙂 Mel


  • Had to chime in for this one! There are a million different potty training techniques because there are a million different children. I have been a part of potty-training over a dozen times and not one of those children responded in exactly the same way as another. Finding what works with your child is the biggest struggle but once found it is that a-ha moment! Also the readiness of the child is super important. I have seen parents want to potty train their children too early because they are tired of diapers and this just makes it harder on the child, they're more resistent and it takes waaaaaaaay longer. I have also seen parents who were not ready to "say goodbye" to their "baby" and have put off potty training far too long. After all of that I will say the method I found that worked the fastest was one I picked up while working for a pediatrition while potty-training her youngest (and fifth child): when he was ready (staying dry for long periods of time etc) we switched to diapers (not pull-ups) for sleeping and big boy underwear while awake. Pull-ups work for some children but can prolong the process in others. We did A LOT of laundry. And used one of those waterproof blanket things on the couch during storytime. Also having a routine (eating, napping and snacking at roughly the same times every day) and knowing his regular "diaper" habits helps. Frequent trips to sit on the toilet, and actually sitting for a few minutes each time helped. I have never potty trained a child using a "potty" it has always been done on a regular toilet. A potty chart and stickers has helped. This has been quite the ramble! Stick with it! It can be frustrating, there will be lots of laundry, there will be tears from everyone involved, but stay positive because it WILL happen! Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to ask!

  • Glad you started writing again Mel! I'd like to think I had a small part in your decision! ha! Now, on to your novel….
    My brilliant potty-training suggestion: permanently duck tape the kid to a light-weight but sturdy portable potty. This solves problem 1 and 2. Let me explain: Lucas deciding when he's ready, even if it's when he's 17…problem 1-check! Bottomless for 3 years and sitting on a potty every 3.25 nanoseconds….problem 2-check!
    Your welcome Mel.
    I'm going to be such a great Mom.
    Stacey K.

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