Potty Power

I’m gonna be brutally honest here, folks. We don’t have Potty Power at our house. (The picture below has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m talking about here, but I love it. It’s just perfect in so many ways, and shows what a delightful girl Addie really is.)

Anyhow, I’m preparing an Addie post right now (no really, I am!) that will cover the last six months of Addie’s busy, busy life, but we won’t be talking about potty-training. Because…yes, I have a 3 1/2 year old whom I cannot claim to be potty-trained. Yeah, never thought that would happen. We’ve been trying for the last year, and have tried everything: going pantsless, timers, sticker charts, treats, toys, cute underwear, videos, books, rewards, bribes, threats, guilt, punishments, etc. Every one would work for a couple of days, but no more than that. 

She was actually doing really well once school started in September, and after a couple of incidents of trying to get to the potty in time and peeing on her pants and on the floor (and having to be brought home by her teachers to change), I think she was too embarrassed to try at school anymore. Then she decided not to try at home anymore, either. Then acted downright afraid of it.  

My little girl is beautiful, funny, imaginative, smart, artistic, happy, and affectionate. She looks so grown-up to me, now. Except for that one thing.

Now, if I had been insistent, consistent, and persistent, would things be different? Yes, I believe they would be.

But let me tell you about me and potty-training. This is what it does to me:

Yes, potty-training has turned out to be like gamma rays to Bruce Banner. It turns me into a scary monster that I neither like or recognize. I’ve made my kids afraid of me. I’ve gotten into actual fights with a 3-year-old (which I didn’t used to think was possible–but oh, it is). I’ve done things that I’m not even going to mention because it’s embarrassing, and I just hope Addie forgives me for it. If you were to ask me what my worst moments in parenting are in the last 3 1/2 years, this would be it.  I don’t know what it is, but it’s scary. 

So, if ignoring the potty-training thing and letting her wear pull-ups is the way we keep the green monster at bay, believe me, we’re all better for it. And I may just wait until she decides herself to be done with the pull-ups. Judge me if you like, but I sometimes forget how fragile little girls can be, and at this point it’s more important that we like each other. Because we finally do again.

There, now that’s done. And we won’t discuss it again. (But I do promise more updates soon. And funner ones, at that.)

3 Responses

  1. I have loads of sympathy for you! I remember when Max was almost 3 1/2 and still not potty trained. I sat on the couch and bawled the day before I went to the hospital to have Ava, knowing that I would have three children in diapers. My mom got him completely potty trained while I was in the hospital. I still don’t know how she did it.

    One thing that saved my sanity was using plastic pants over training pants. The Dappi brand worked the best. That way they still feel wet, but it doesn’t get everywhere. I have friends that use the fancy cloth diapers with the water-proof outer layer. I’ll probably try those when I get brave enough to start with Ava…

    maryann - December 5th, 2011 at 4:10 pm
  2. You are such a good mom. I need to learn from you. Love the picture!

    Tera - December 7th, 2011 at 5:14 pm
  3. You’re doing a great job! So what if she’s wearing pull ups?! Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it! You do what you’ve got to do as a mom. And for the record, my green monster is out and about way too often lately… like today when Natalie poured an entire big gulp cup of water on me while she was in the bath tub, and I was not. Or later when I left her alone for a minute and she squeezed a half full bottle of baby shampoo into the tub with her… green monster alert!!!!

    Emily A - December 13th, 2011 at 3:53 pm