So I was cleaning up the mess in my living room for the umpteen time and I came across what i thought was a chocolate chip. The boy had been eating trail mix earlier so it was a given that half of it would be strewn across the floor. I grabbed the chip and it immediately squished between my fingers. I knew instantly that it was NOT a chocolate chip…and then the smell hit my nose. O…M…G! This is NOT a good way for anyone to start their day.
Me: Dude, why is there poop on the floor?
The Boy: I don’t know.
Me: Did you poop on the floor?
The Boy: No. It wadint me.
Me: Ummm…who else would poop on the floor?
The Boy: I don’t know. Jackson maybe.
Me: The dog? Really?
We have been trying to potty train my son since he turned 3. It has been a constant roller coaster ride for a year and a half. He turned 3 in July so we waited until then to even broach the subject since he showed absolutely no signs of wanting to use the potty. He was perfectly content to stew in his own stench all day long and we all know what the experts say “don’t force the issue” so we didn’t.
My daughter was nowhere near as difficult as my son has been with this game of potty training. Granted, I sent her to her first day of preschool with my fingers crossed, but overall she did fine, especially once she was around other kids. My son, on the other hand, had a different plan.
I sent him to preschool with my fingers crossed…and toes crossed…and arms…and legs…and anything else I could think of crossing. I think I needed more things to cross, cuz none of it worked. His typical MO was act like he totally got the potty thing down, going days without an accident, peeing and pooping like a pro. Then, boom…it was like he completely forgot the concept. He’d pee his pants 17 times in a day and don’t even get me started on how many pair of poopy underwear I had to wash out.
I talked to the peditrician. She said ‘he’s not ready. Back off and see if that helps.’ So we did. We talked to the preschool teacher. She said she would work with him at school. We put him back in pull ups (to give the poor teachers a break and my washing machine one too!) We bought fun potty chairs that sang songs, we let him pick out cool Ninjago underwear, we made sticker charts, prize boxes, and bought out the Dollar Store of sleeves of giant gum balls for bribes (I mean, rewards). I downloaded an app that rang every 30 minutes to remind him to take a break and go potty. NOTHING worked. So we just gave up and stop everything…..and I dealt with the accidents, biting my tongue, hiding my frustration.
It’s all a blur time wise, but one day he asked to go back in underwear. I didn’t make a big deal of it. Just said sure and put him in underwear. I told him there was no going back. If he wanted to wear underwear then he had to do what people who wear underwear do….use the potty. He agreed. And things went very smoothly….for a time. Then wham….we got sucker punched again and I was back to mopping up pee and washing out undies. I thought I was past that time of carrying a huge bag filled with clothes and wipes and plastic bags, but apparently not. I never left home anymore without several changes of clothes and an extra pair of sneakers (ever try to clean pee filled sneakers?) Not fun.
People would smile at my tales and say ‘don’t worry, nobody has gone to college in diapers. He will get it’, but I’m starting to feel like he’ll be the first kid who has to ask his buddy to hold his place in the keg line while he goes out to change his pull up!
So here we are, 4 years, 2 months, and 12 days later (but who’s counting) and we haven’t gained an inch. It’s like constantly living in a haunted house. You know you are going to be scared. You are prepared to get scared. You expect to get scared. And even though you know it’s coming, it still surprises the living crap out of you (no pun intended) when it happens.
Most days, it is just me and him so I live with my house smelling like a porta potty on a hot June day, doing endless laundry and hiding my frustration. My pediatrician says the next step is the Potty Training Clinic at a nearby hospital (yes, this does exist…really). Sad thing is he is at an age where kids are starting to notice. Combine that with his speech delay and he is a prime target for teasing. It’s happened a few times and my heart breaks for the little guy.
So for now, its status quo. Taking one day at a time, wringing out underwear and waiting for him to “get it”. Until he does, I guess I’m stuck cleaning up the mess. And if I come across anything that looks remotely like a chocolate chip, you can be damn sure I’ll be using a tissue to pick that sucker up!
As always, we would love to hear your comments. Please feel free to leave a funny experience, a philosophical point, or a frustrated rant. We are all in this thing called parenting together. Let’s support each other, no matter what our differences are. Laughter is cheaper then meds!