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  • BM For 3M

    January 22, 2007

    Earlier this week I was visiting with a friend whom I had not seen for a while. I was catching her up on all things Sean when she asked me if he was potty trained yet. I said good heavens no, but we were kind of working on it. Sorta. Maybe. And then she said, “Oh really? What do you think the problem is?”

    Problem? PROBLEM?

    For some reason that word got my hackles up. I did not think I had a problem.

    And to be clear, this is a dear friend who meant no offense and none was taken. But still. I felt defensive.

    And then I felt defensive about being defensive.

    While continuing one conversation with my friend outside of my head, I was having this one with myself inside my head: “He’s intelligent, he’s funny, he’s cheerful and he’s a good boy. So what if he’s still in diapers? Who cares? And another thing! It’s not like being potty trained at two is something you’re going to put on your resume.”

    Nonetheless. I do notice that many of the kids in his class are potty trained. But I’m pretty sure they aren’t nearly as funny as Sean. And when you are busy making your mother laugh, you can’t be bothered with stopping to defecate.

    I am convinced that when he decides that he’s done with diapers, it will have very little to do with me or anything beyond his own readiness. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

    In the meantime, I’m doing all I can without making it an issue. I am encouraging him with rewards from big boy underwear to a basket full of the coolest poop prizes you’ve ever seen including an entire new roll of Scotch tape! I mean really! Who wouldn’t poop for their own personal role of Scotch tape?!

    Just this morning I showed him the sugary array, the gummy splendor, the bounty of plastic that could be his if only he would just consider… He reached in the basket and fondled the roll of tape for a moment and then handed it back. “No thank you. I like to poo poo in my diaper.”

    And all you can say to that is, “No problem.”

    76 Comments »

    1. karen says:

      My son refused to be “trained” too. We tried and tried, and everyone ended up upset and frustrated.

      He decided to start using the potty when he was 3 yrs, 6 mos exactly. He (literally) woke up one morning and said, “I’m ready to use the potty.” And that was it. No more diapers and no accidents.

      January 22nd, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    2. lisa h. says:

      wonderful! my son was 20 days before his 3rd b-day when we trained him. i recommend the baby bjorn toilet as we went through 4 others before realizing it’s the best one for boys (with the shield and all. it’s very simple, you just dump it…no it doesn’t turn into a stool or a bookcase or anything fancy, it just works! we also brided him with getting a trip to the store at the end of each week (for a month) to get a new toy if he went potty all week (of course accidents are allowed). the key for us was for ME to be ready to go cold underwear! pullups only for nap & bedtime. that was hard, cause when you’re at wal-mart and your kid has an accident you have to deal with it. at least wal-mart sells extra socks, underwear, and pants! he’s 3 and a half now and is great and we even wear underwear to bed now!

      January 22nd, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    3. An Iowa Mom says:

      No use in trying if he doesn’t want to. You’ll just drive yourself crazy. It sucks, but the child is in total control of this aspect of things … the only thing you can do … is sit back and wait.

      Every now and then I’d offer the basket of goodies to see if he’s enticed by it. Ya never know when that might be.

      One thing I did with the three I’ve trained, is take them to the store (I know how you love Wal-Mart) and purchase “big boy” underwear. That is the ONLY thing you should buy. Let him hold them, hand them to the cashier, hold the bag on the way out … etc … this got my boys REALLY motivated.

      Good luck!

      January 22nd, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    4. His Singer says:

      We had a really hard time with son #3. Finally Hubster had enough of the poop, and came up with his own solution. He got a big bag of Skittles and a flyswatter. He held one in each hand, then said, “You can have one, or you can have the other. You choose.”

      Son was potty trained the next day.

      Funny how that works.

      January 22nd, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    5. Big Mama says:

      For what it’s worth, I think you’re handling the whole situation beautifully. If you try to force the issue, he’ll just end up all strung out on scotch tape with poop in his pants.

      January 22nd, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    6. SG says:

      When I had my first child a wise mother of four told me about her potty training experience. She said with her first she started trying at 15 months. It was a horrible struggle that lasted 20 months and then finally he was potty trained by age 3. With the second she waited until age 2…12 months later she was potty trained. The third she waited until age 2.5… again by age 3 totally potty trained. With the fourth and last baby she never tried. Three weeks before his third birthday he announced he was going to wear big boys and that was that. By his third birthday he was trained and 99% accident free. The moral of the story…3 is the magic age so why worry before then!

      January 22nd, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    7. Lena says:

      You have to appreciate that kind of honesty.

      My daughter wasn’t PT until she was 3, so no hurry!

      The sooner he starts going in the potty the sooner you’re going to have to rush to find one in public every ten minutes. So, really. Take your TIME. 😉

      January 22nd, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    8. chilihead says:

      Big Mama is cracking me up!

      And? I hate having to find a bathroom RIGHT NOW. For God’s sake, don’t they know I’m shopping here?

      January 22nd, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    9. Kacey says:

      IMHO — your Sean is the smartest little dude I ever heard of, but he does seem to know that you are being held hostage by the poo-poo diaper thing. He is capable of thinking outside the box –“It must be you” when the smell was suspicious. A nice talk about the relative merits of pooing in public and having other kids or people aware that he is the stinky one might help. Not changing him immediately might help — it cannot be comfortable sitting on a lumpy pile of poo. That and the Skittles or Scotch tape vs. fly-swatter is another good thought. He is so smart that I really think he has something in mind with the poo pants stuff. My only son had a broken leg at two and didn’t get trained until two and a half at night. However, his baby sister asked for “silk pants” at 18 months and when she put them on — it was all over both day and night. She loved the feel of the silky panties against her skin — just like big sis and mom. They all have agendas!

      January 22nd, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    10. Mommy Dearest says:

      Love that title! I got the book Toilet Training in Less Than a Day (sounds impossible, yes, I know) with my first child, and have used it with all eight. It is brainwashing, pure and simple, but it works. The good thing is that it doesn’t drag potty-training into a months’ long ordeal.

      January 22nd, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    11. Jennifer says:

      2!!!!!

      Oh my word — what an utter failure I am. I don’t even try until 3. SIGH…

      January 23rd, 2007 at 12:32 am

    12. Nicole says:

      Mine is 2 1/2 and I already am feeling the pressures. They are subtle, but they are there. It is easy for me to say, Oh it’s OK cause I am really talking to myself. Good luck with the poo. Sounds like you’ve got a great attitude. HA!!!!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 12:56 am

    13. Sandy says:

      Every single of one my kids were well past 3 when they were potty trained, although I began forcing the issue at that point. But there’s always a challenge: first going in the potty, then WIPING, then taking baths (I’m talking about my 13-year-old son here… he would go months without a bath if left to his own devices!) It just never ends…

      January 23rd, 2007 at 1:04 am

    14. jen says:

      At least he said Thank you….look at it that way.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 5:55 am

    15. Sarah S. says:

      Here’s what I’m thinking — he was VERY polite in expressing his wishes to poop in his diaper. IMHO it’s WAY easier to potty train than to teach manners. So, stick with the manners and when he gets to kindergarten and realizes he’s the only one in diapers, he’ll decide it’s time. And he will say ‘please’ when he asks to use the potty!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 6:41 am

    16. Antique Mommy says:

      For the record, Sean turned three in November, so I guess we’re behind the curve in that regard. But behind the curve is a nice place to be. It’s not crowded there.

      I don’t think it’s my style to use a flyswatter, at least not for this issue. I’ll check out the book someone upthread mentioned. But really, you can lead a boy to the toilet but you can’t make him poop.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 7:10 am

    17. Lisa M says:

      We had a terrible time with our son until we came up with something he really liked as a reward. Hotwheels cars. He loved them at that age so we told him he had to earn 10 stickers to get a car. At first if he even tried to go potty we gave him a sticker and it didn’t take long after that before he was trained. He was 3 when we started. I remember being concerned about how the other kids in preschool were already trained. It was a stressful and frustrating time but don’t worry – it will happen soon!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 7:20 am

    18. Babystepper says:

      Same struggle here with my almost 3-yr-old. He’ll go if I take him, but cannot remember to go on his own to save his life. My husband was potty-trained at 13 months. 13 Months!!! Luckily, my mother-in-law doesn’t remind me of this. (She doesn’t have to, who could forget that kind of pressure!) =)

      January 23rd, 2007 at 7:43 am

    19. liz says:

      My boys both waited until they were 3 1/2. It was easy once they were ready. The grandmas could hardly stand it. They are 15 and 17 now and use the potty just fine. They’ve also stopped nursing and stopped using the binky, other issues that concerned the grandmas.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 7:44 am

    20. LaVonne says:

      Oh this made me smile. I am convinced that out of all the parental stumbling blocks that exist, potty training is by far one of the worst. It is so frustrating in the midst of it all, but he will eventually get it. You are wise to not push him. I wasn’t so wise with my first two and about stressed myself into the ground about it! They went when they were ready (shortly after they turned 3) and so will your little man. Good luck!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:08 am

    21. janet says:

      all my boys were trained before two. you’d think I was bragging but I’m not. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I found that if they potty train early they still need pull ups at night. If they wait to train, it seems to happen all at the same time. Now, this is no scientific study and I amm sure this isn’t the case with everyone. Relax and know when the diapers are over they will hopefully be totally over.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:12 am

    22. Christy in TN says:

      As others have said, I wouldn’t push it. Just makes everyone’s colon tighten up! My son decided on his own when he was ready. We’d suggest it every now and then but didn’t force the issue. ANYhoo, he just up and decided he was ready and everything was fine after that. My daughter is almost 2-1/2 and she’s kind of interested. She’ll go sometimes on the potty and sometimes not. Whatever. She’s not going to be 20 and not potty trained. It’ll all work itself out. (Puns partially intended. :-D)

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:16 am

    23. nicole says:

      I hate potty training. My oldest didn’t decide to go in the potty until she was 4 1/2!!!! My MIL actually asked us if we considered taking her to a psychiatrist to see why she wouldn’t go. #2 trained along with her and was 3 1/2. #3 (a boy) is 3 years and 3 months and has no interest. I learned my lesson though. I’m not worrying about it until he wants to worry about it. Sounds like Sean is comfortaable with himself and that is way more important than what age he goes potty.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:22 am

    24. Mombo says:

      Seems like your boy really knows his poop. Just have to say, “Strung out on Scotch tape,” was a great comment. Same issue with my son. It turned out fine letting him go (pun intended!) at his own pace. He’s an amazing 14 yr. old now, so apparently something went right.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:23 am

    25. Beck says:

      My son was toilet trained shortly before his third birthday (when I was horribly ill with morning sickness, too. Boy, that was fun.). We enticed him with exciting Big Boy underwear. Bribery – the mother’s friend!
      I’ve read that children often have their toilet training schedules set on a sort of genetic pattern – that if their father was later getting trained, they will be, too. Something to do with bladder maturity.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:25 am

    26. Laura says:

      Hilarious!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:38 am

    27. Everyday Mommy says:

      Don’t worry about it. I assure you, no child ever started school in diapers. He’ll get it. He has a smart mom.

      And, for heaven’s sake don’t go through the torture of 6 months of potty training!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:40 am

    28. Barbara H. says:

      LOL @ his response! I have 3 boys and they were all 3 before they were trained. I talked to my dr. with the first one, and he said what Everyday Mommy said above — no one has ever started kindergarden in diapers. When they are ready, they are ready.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:49 am

    29. momanna98 says:

      My boys were both 3 when they were trained. With my next boy, I don’t plan on trying to train him until then. I spent so much time frustrated trying to teach them. Sounds like you are already wiser than I was. 🙂

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:52 am

    30. Stephanie says:

      My second ds wasn’t potty trained until he was a week before his 4th b-day. He just liked having mommy take care of the poopy stuff. We struggled for 6 months prior to get him trained (using all sorts of rewards/bribes/punishment) and gained nothing. He decided he was ready one day and that was it. He did it all – even wiping. I learned – they won’t do it until they are ready. Wait for him and ignore the comments from others. One thing to try if you think he is ready, but just feeling lazy, is preschool. With my dd, we found a preschool that would not take children in diapers, and took her for a preview to the school in the spring (which she absolutely loved). All summer we talked about how she couldn’t go to preschool in diapers – it was her choice. She potty trained herself the last couple weeks of summer (nothing like waiting until the last minute LOL). She was 3 and a couple months. Potty training is all about them, not you. Good luck!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:59 am

    31. wordgirl says:

      The man knows what he likes….and when he stops liking it, he’ll know that, too.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:59 am

    32. Peanut Butter's Mum says:

      I hear you! We have a similar thing here, but it’s not the potty, it’s the bed. PB wants NOTHING to do with his “Big Kid Bed.” N O T H I N G ! ! ! And even though I (think) I’m fine with that, I get defensive whenever the topic comes up. I guess it comes from our own insecurity in our parenting abilities? Or maybe our need for our kids to be “over-achievers?” We’re human! If there’s one thing my kid has taught me, it’s that he’ll do things in HIS time. Not mine. Not the “experts'”. HIS. Good luck with it. It’ll happen. When. He’s. Ready. Right?! *wink*

      January 23rd, 2007 at 9:19 am

    33. jeana says:

      So did you tape this conversation?

      January 23rd, 2007 at 9:38 am

    34. Brandi says:

      I can offer no advice (my little one is not even 8 months yet)! But I am learning a lot! Thanks! It’s too hard to be stressed about what he’s doing/not doing when you’re laughing so hard!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 9:47 am

    35. Deanna says:

      For what it’s worth here’s my philosophy on potty training and pacifiers…I’ve never been to a wedding where either the bride or groom were wearing diapers or sucking a passy and if my kid ended up being the first then it would be up to their spouse to deal with it from there on out! 🙂

      Every pediatrician we’ve had has always said that there is something developmentally that doesn’t kick in until around age 3 that makes them finally get the whole potty training deal.

      I remember when my first child was a little over a year I had friends who swore their child of the same age was wanting to use the potty – personally I think they were the ones who were being potty trained more than she was. I think it had something to do with their need to feel like they were better qualified as parents or something.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 10:00 am

    36. Paulette1958 says:

      Let me tell you that potty training both boy and girl, I felt exactly the same way. In his time he will go. There is no rush and If you do push him you both will be very frustrated. Sean is smart and when he doesn’t want to poop in a daiper anymore he will let you know. Enjoy this stage of his life,he will be much more content if he figures it out in his time. I love your philosophy and Spirit you have with him. Great Job mom!!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 10:12 am

    37. whimsy says:

      DO NOT — I REPEAT — DO NOT do anything to try to force or coerce him! This is one thing I take a pretty hard line on. Learn from my mistake.
      When ds turned 3 I figured I better get with it. I did it in the most non-punitive, non pressure way too. But he felt the pressure and it led to a whole host of problems that we are still resolving at 5.

      Try googling encopresis. It’s not pretty.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 10:16 am

    38. dcrmom says:

      Argh! Potty training. The bain of the mother’s existence. Sounds like you’ve got a great attitude.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 10:27 am

    39. Jodi says:

      Just to add to what seems like the “pattern” my oldest and youngest didn’t potty train until age 3 either, and when they did it was one of those “I think I’ll stop wearing diapers now” things too.

      My other daughter didn’t train until 7, but that is b/c she has autism. By about age 5.5-6 I had her trained how to change her own pull-up though (she has sensory issues and couldn’t feel the urge to “go” which is what delayed it so long). So, she was “self-sufficient” long before she was fully trained. I’m not sure I’d want a 2-yo changing themselves though LOL!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 11:02 am

    40. Rabbit says:

      Both mine were just past 3. It happened on their terms. You can bribe, cajole, beg, scold, and wheedle till you and your child are a bundle of potty training nerves, or you can wait until they are truly ready and it will happen with much greater ease. That’s just my unsolicited two cents. 🙂

      January 23rd, 2007 at 11:21 am

    41. Kara says:

      LOL. We haven’t even tried with our 2yr old yet, I figure when he’s ready he’ll let us know.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 11:33 am

    42. abogada says:

      For what it’s worth, everyone has told me that when kids are ready, they will go. Otherwise, it is just a long struggle before they are trained (which probably doesn’t occur until they are ready anyway, IMHO). My daughter is 2 years, 5 months old. So far, she will only pee on the potty at bath time. She refuses to poop there. I’m like you — I just figure when she’s ready, she’s ready. And I totally ignore my mother’s comments (as well as anyone else’s comments) about how everyone else trains earlier. I just don’t think diapers are a big deal, I guess.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 11:42 am

    43. Susan W. says:

      No worries. My son (now 11), who was very much like Sean, did not pottytrain until 34 months. And when he did? It took place, start to finish, within a 2-day timeframe. Ready? Set? Done. No more accidents–no struggles–no nothing. He decided it was time, and he took care of it. Simple. Easy. And plenty young enough.

      You’re right–when they’re so busy being funny (and brilliant, too), who has time for worrying about stopping to sit on a potty, for crying outloud?

      January 23rd, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    44. Jennifer, Snapshot says:

      My friend pointed me over here. I’m glad she did. I need that encouragement. My guy is 31 months old. He’s had mild interest in the potty, but usually his answer is, “NOT! Not go potty!” I fluctuate back and forth between, “He needs to do what I say,” and “He’ll do it when he wants to do it, and yes, as they say, it will be before he goes to Kindergarten.” A friend of mine whose son is the same age met complete resistance. He didn’t want to go on the potty when she told him to. Then last week, he started going on his own. Completely. All the time.

      I take comfort in the fact that my guy knows what to do and when you’re supposed to do it, and I’ve sort of backed off.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    45. Elise says:

      I don’t have time to read all of your 44 comments!!! But I do have this to say: With my first boy, I tried to train him when he was 2. Then 2 1/2. Then at 3, he just did it by himself.
      Second boy: I didn’t even try until he was 3, and he took off with it as well.
      Don’t worry! Funny is better anyway! 🙂

      January 23rd, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    46. Addie says:

      This post was too funny, and then Jeana and Big Mama are cracking me up as well!

      And if it makes ya feel better, my two oldest were almost 3 1/2 before they got it, and they are both girls. (Supposedly they’re easier to potty train…snort!) So, if the baby gets it all figured out before she hits Kindergarten, I’ll consider myself a success!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    47. Crazy Working Mom says:

      I remember when we were trying to potty train my little girl, she was 2 I think and she was sitting on the couch reading a book and she peed all over the couch. She thought it was funny!! I asked her why didn’t she go to the potty and her reply was that she had to finish her book (no, she could not read)!!! Then it was like a light flipped on and she just started going, never peed in her bed at night or anything…like most everyone else said, in their own time!
      My little boy is 18 months, and sometimes when he has to poop, he’ll tell you and we’ll run to the potty and all do the potty dance afterward. He’s done everything early ’cause he wants to be like big sister…but he’s stubborn, so I don’t figure potty training will be an easy task. I dread it like the plague. ):

      January 23rd, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    48. Julie says:

      Oh my, don’t we mothers love to tell potty training stories. My son potty trained at 3, mostly because he couldn’t move into the 3 yr old room at daycare until he was. They helped a lot during the day. About 9 months after that he totally reverted and was having accidents every day – because he didn’t want to stop what he was doing to pee. That was torture and I thought I’d loose my mind.
      My daughter, at 27 months completely potty trained herself in about 3 days. I did nothing but play along. It was HEAVEN!
      BTW, son still wore Pull-Ups at night for a long time. Daughter just got out of them at night a few months ago at 4.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    49. txmommy says:

      I never potty train my kids. I tried with #1, it went poorly. We quit and when she was ready she said to me one day “I want to go to Walmart and buy mermaid panties.” She was almost 3. I told her she couldn’t wet them, she said okay and off we went. She never had an accident. Second baby I waited and waited for her to declare her readiness. SHe never did. On her 3rd birthday I asked her “would you like to wear panties like D?” She said Okay. We bought some…never an accident. Same story more or less 2 more times. I have one with issues that are health related and not her fault and baby is only just 2 but I think she’ll do the same. Don’t worry. He’ll do it.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    50. Lari says:

      I’m currently in potty-training mode w/ my 3rd son who’s 3.5. He will pee in the potty but will not poop in it. He waits for the naptime or bedtime pull-up. All 3 of my boys were “resistant”…it just took up too much of their fun time and they had better things to do LOL! Mine all averaged 3.5-4 before they were completely day trained. They all eventually figure it out.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    51. Angela says:

      Whew! You hit a hotspot topic!!!
      “I am convinced that when he decides that he’s done with diapers, it will have very little to do with me or anything beyond his own readiness”
      If every mother realized this, there would be a lot less heartache on the subject of poop. Good for you for realizing this, and go with it. People will ALWAYS have an opinion and it will probably always make us feel instantly defensive, when it comes to our children. My experience was totally positive because I waited for my son to dictate the timing and it was no effort whatsoever. Well, I lie–a few Thomas Stickers from Wal-Mart—that was a little effort. 🙂

      January 23rd, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    52. Lisa says:

      They will learn when they’re good and ready…and not a minute sooner! And you’ll still have, um, “incidents”. My daughter was trained for about two weeks when she decided to empty out her toybox and drop a load into it. No rhyme, no reason. She just felt like pooping in the toybox instead of the potty.

      …Don’t worry. By the time they reach kindergarten, they’re all trained!

      Take good care,
      Lisa

      January 23rd, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    53. Chris says:

      Phooey. So long as you’ve got him potty trained by his wedding day.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    54. Karen says:

      Gee, I didn’t know there was a time table on potty training. Both of my daughters trained at the age of two. My son, however, was not ready – like yours, he still liked his diapers…maybe it was the thought of dangling it all out there that terrified him, I don’t know. Never the less, he was potty trained in plenty of time to start going to the “3-5 year olds Sunday School class” at church. And besides that, if you can afford the diapers…why rush it?!?! It’s so much easier when you leave the house, to be honest, if they ARE wearing a diaper.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    55. Mandi says:

      My oldest son was so “difficult” to train. He was 4 years old before it happened.

      My second son is 3 and still not trained, although he is much more interested than his brother was.

      When it happens, it happens. And I think being funny is so much more important!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    56. Linds says:

      Just a thought… my older 2 trained early, but then they wore towelling nappies (diapers) and they were very uncomfortable when wet. My youngest was in disposable ones, and they kept him dry and comfortable, so he was not at all bothered. I had visions of him still wearing them when he was 21. So one day I left him in a dirty nappy for a while, and he hated it, and that was it. Trained in a day.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    57. Marian says:

      That was one curiousity grabbing title =)

      January 23rd, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    58. SG says:

      HA! I taught kindergarten and I had a little boy in class who wet his pants everyday during recess because he would rather be wet than stop playing to pee. So I started making him go, need or not, before recess and he got a little bit better. His mom sent three pair of jeans, underwear, and socks, two big zip-lock bags, and an extra pair of shoes in his back pack every day. What a pain for her! He was a stinker…figurativly and literally!

      January 23rd, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    59. Zoe's Mom says:

      Antique Mommy,

      You have comforted my soul with this post. I’m 42 with a 3.5 yr old (my first). She has peed in the potty for some time now but will not discuss pooping there. We have gone through numerous bribes to no avail. She will wear panties until she has the urge to poop, then she begs for a pullup. If I try to make her to go to the potty – even just stand in the bathroom, it becomes such a dramatic and emotional experience for her. If I withhold the pullup she will just hold the poop – I mean for days. Eventaully I get scared that I’m physically causing her harm and give her a pullup. Then the experience is horribly painful when it finally comes out. I let this really bother me for a long time.

      I have stopped stressing about this. Now when she begs for a pullup I give her one. I suggest that she go to the potty and “do her job” of making the poopy go into the potty. If not, then it’s her decision.

      Maw Maw (my mother) is the one stressing about it. Every day she gives me suggestions and tips she has researched. Today she asked me if I watched “SuperNanny” the night before. Apparently there was a child dealing with this same issue and all the parents had to do was exercise some consistency and buy “big kid” undies! Well, good for them, I say!

      I, like you, feel my cutie pie has lot of other things happening in her favor and not pooping in the potty is her one last grasp on “baby life”.

      I mean, my Lord, she told me yesterday morning as I was enjoying 3 whole minutes of The Today Show before switching over to PBS Kids, that it was “oppressive” that she could not watch her show right away. If she can master those kind of words at 3.5 I think pooping in the potty is just around the corner. Whew!

      Best of luck to you on this one. Whenever it happens I’ll certainly celebrate with you!

      Wow. I just realized I wrote several paragraphs to a complete stranger about poop! Life is strange.

      January 23rd, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    60. Jeanette says:

      I have no experience whatsoever with potty training. Except my own — and thankfully, I don’t remember the whole cartin’ poop in my diaper thing. I was either very young then or I’m very old now.

      But, boy, have I enjoyed the comments here about poop. 🙂

      January 24th, 2007 at 1:45 am

    61. Laura W. says:

      I started with my daughter one week before her 2nd birthday. She has resisted ever since. She is now 3 and a few months and still she will not train. I have tried everything and I mean everything. Nothing is working. It has become a strain on my mind and my days are filled with worry and wonder if she will ever get it. If I was to do it all over again, I would tell her that when she is three she can use the potty because she wanted to at an early age, but she just is so active and fun that she can’t bother to stop playing long enough to use the potty. Don’t let others tell you that you need to start so early, that is what I did and I regret that I listened to all these other people saying that she needed to be potty trained, that “potty training in less than a day” works wonders, that something is wrong because she isn’t potty trained. She will figure it out, but I regret that I started at two and have had a year filled with wet pants, lots of laundry, and tears from her and me.

      January 24th, 2007 at 7:01 am

    62. Antique Mommy says:

      Zoe, unfortunately the vocabulary bone is not connected to the poop bone. I offer Sean as exhibit A.

      January 24th, 2007 at 7:53 am

    63. Susan J. says:

      Goodness, you really touched on something here. Since I have not read all 60+ comments, I don’t know if someone has already suggested this, or I may have told you this before myself, but here is my thought if you are really ready to “train” him: If he only wants to go in his diaper, what would he do if he was bare-bottomed? Seriously, that is what finally worked with Jonathan. He was 3+ and could stay dry, but would not poop in the potty. We knew he knew he was going to do it because he would hide to do it.
      Knowing that Sean is a smart and pretty neat little guy, he will not poop on your carpet.

      January 24th, 2007 at 8:24 am

    64. Antique Mommy says:

      Okay Susan, I just fainted at the thought of naked baby butt and my new carpet. Maybe we’ll try it this spring when the yard needs fertilized! Or! How ’bout we come to YOUR house and try it?? 😛

      January 24th, 2007 at 8:30 am

    65. Mary says:

      I am here to tell you that this issue is mostly an ADULT one. It is normal for kids to be potty trained anywhere from 2-5 years! I am a Family Medicine PA, and also the mother of two sons; one of whom was trained at 3 and one at 5. This caused my slightly anal friends and relatives great amounts of distress, but I largely placated and ignored them – feeling confident that my son(s) would not be in Pull-Ups when they graduated from high school! Live and let live, I always say…I LOVE your hilarious blog!!!!

      January 24th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    66. edj says:

      Don’t even stress it. No problems. Oldest boys are the HARDEST to potty train, and intelligent and verbal oldest boys are harder still. He’ll do it eventually, have accidents for years, and then you can embarrass him by bringing it up later.

      January 24th, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    67. Wendy Boucher says:

      Age 3 for Girlie and she of course is brilliant. No worries.

      January 24th, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    68. JennyK says:

      Antique Mommy,
      My son was very uninterested in potty training. He knew how to do everything potty related – he had pooped and peed successfully in it dozens of times. He just didn’t care. He’s as smart as a whip, but he’ll totally let me do everything for him, if I’m willing. Can you say “male”??

      When he was 3 1/2 and started that school year of Mother’s Day Out, at orientation (5 days before classes started) I kind of hinted to the teachers that he still had “accidents”. He was actually still in Pull-Ups full time. He would often pee in the potty, depending on his mood, but pooped in his Pull-Up. They weren’t negative about it, but it was clear that the expectation was to use the potty – no changing of diapers.

      So, we just went cold-turkey the very next day. I did the whole thing of making a special trip to Wal-Mart to get the super-awesome character undies. But I took it one step further

      January 24th, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    69. misslionheart says:

      He’ll surprise you one day! My girls were a challenge. My son who is also two, is going that way too. I’m not pushing the issue, he’ll go when he’s ready…

      January 24th, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    70. Ranee says:

      I hate to be the only person who goes against current schools of thought about this, but if we had not forced the issue with our first son (who is now 8 1/2), he still wouldn’t be potty trained. Our second son was exactly like the books say, he told us one day at around 3 that he wanted to wear underwear and that was that, no more daytime accidents. Then, he said he wanted to wear underwear at night, no more wetting. Our next son was somewhere in between, we had to work with him, but once he got the hang of it, it was fine. Our daughter is in the middle of it now. However, our eldest wasn’t showing any signs of being interested at 3 or 4 or really 5. If we hadn’t made him do it, he still would be wearing diapers. We still have to make sure he goes to the bathroom when he needs to because he’d rather not deal with it. So, I agree to a point that you need to wait until they start showing cues, but when they don’t care at all at 4 or 5, I think it’s time to step in.

      January 24th, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    71. AM says:

      My husband just reminded me that we had promised our son a toy fire truck when he used the toilet. My son told him he could have the firetruck.

      January 25th, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    72. HolyMama says:

      Sean says ‘no thank you, i poo poo in my diaper?’ that’s waaaay better than actually being potty trained. (Especially the ‘no thank you’ part. love that! wish we could do that!)

      January 25th, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    73. Christal says:

      My son was 3 1/2 when he finally trained himself. I gave up at 3. We had to hose him down in the tub. We gave that up too. He did it all himself, even running his own water and dealing with the clothing. Finally he decided he was bored with poop-induced baths and voila, became “trained”.
      You are so-o-o funny, Thanks for the chuckles!
      ~C

      January 26th, 2007 at 2:45 am

    74. Shannon says:

      A few months before Maryn was 3 we really kicked the potty salesmanship into high gear. As a result, she held her poo for 10 days. Freaked me right out. We backed off, didn’t really say a word after that. Grandma read her a few potty books now and then at her request, maybe a potty movie I think, too. She told me she thought she would use the potty when she was 3, or maybe 9 (yes, she actually said that, exactly). Then one day, just before she turned 3 I was changing her diaper and she refused to let me put the next one on. So we declared it naked time. Took some naked pictures in front of the tree. Then, as we went into the playroom, where her potty resided, she said she thought she might like to use it as more than a handy chair. And wanted it put back into the bathroom. She’s used only the potty or the toilet since, with only two accidents – both of which were deeply traumatizing to her, or could have been without a lot of hasty soothing and reassurance from me.

      January 28th, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    75. Shannon says:

      uh oh – just saw misslionheart’s post. had a nephew like that. actually had to be catheterized at 3 because he refused to go without his diaper on. two of my sisters, including Josh’s mom, lived together for awhile. so one day when he was 4, my sister told Josh’s mom to leave the house. Then she told Josh he wasn’t allowed to come out of the bathroom until he’d gone potty in the toilet – and she didn’t care if it took all day. needless to say, he’s 12 now, and no diapers. whatever works.

      January 28th, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    76. Nancy says:

      I meant to get my two out of diapers earlier, but both were just about three. I think that waiting that long made it easier. Neither son or daughter wore diapers or pull-ups to bed for more than a week after they were trained in the daytime. (I did put waterproof pads in their beds, just in case, but they weren’t really needed.) Good luck!

      February 1st, 2007 at 11:16 am

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