April 11, 2011

SuperMommy and the Potty

"The Afterbath"
I've been spending a ridiculous amount of time in the bathroom lately.

No, this isn't actually due to my ongoing battle with the disease I've dubbed "Mystery Dysentery" (which is actually, according to my team of doctors, more like "Mystery Gall Stone").  This is in fact due to two new developments in my life.

DD and SI in the bath
The first is the reinstatement of a routine that puts my children to sleep at night.  The nightly bath.  They LOVE the bath.  DD, having recently learned to use the word "no" conversationally, will now respond to the questions, "Are you ready to get into your pajamas?"  "Do you want to go to bed?" and "Ready to get into your towel?" with a resounding, "No."  SI is more than happy to follow suit and stay in the water until her lips are blue.  While splashing me, or DUMPING WATER OUT OF A TOY BOAT onto me, and laughing uproariously.

Add to this that they now take out ALLLLLLL the washcloths and "help" me clean the tub, that is, drop all the clean washcloths they can get their hands on into the water, or "scrub" the fixtures with them, or "clean" themselves with them...

Bath time, all by itself, generally takes about forty five minutes.  The clean-up takes substantially longer.

But it's not just my own illness and bathing that has me spending most of my days in the bathroom.  No, we've embarked (haphazardly and clumsily, but nonetheless we have embarked) upon the long awaited mission of potty training.

Yes, SI and DD are just over eighteen months old.  Yes, I know they're hardly too old to be using diapers.  I don't care.  YOU spend all day, every day, changing 15-18 diapers (our service gives us an inventory receipt that lets us know just how much of our children's feces they're cleaning up for us) (and that's roughly 2.25 diapers/hour of grubling consciousness) and then you tell me that they can take all the time they want before they poop in the potty.  Please, please do this for me.

Okay, so we've started potty training.  I did buy a book, but I never read it.  I've got so much reading for school, I've got a WONDERFUL book I'm reading with my family book club, and I just don't have that kind of time.  So, no potty training book.  Even if it is only sixty pages long.

I've been playing it by ear.  The first thing that I did was to buy a potty.  I installed it into the house, and every time the girls saw it I made a point of telling them, "This is a potty!  It's for pee and poo!"  The next step was to buy a few picture books to switch in with our regular bedtime reading.  "Once Upon A Potty" was an instant favorite with SI, but DD was terrified- THIS explained the mysterious potty!  She would sit stock still, eyes wide, turning pages with speed and vigor, breathlessly hanging on every word.  She began to treat the potty with reverence and terror.  While before the introduction of the book, she would sit on it like a chair, stand on it, or put her toys in it, now it was some sort of holy object.  Dangerous, powerful, and not to be trifled with.

SI's reaction to this book was, for the most part, the exact opposite.  Much to DD's dismay, SI wanted it read every night.  I had to start reading two books a night, because if I tried putting them to bed after "Once Upon A Potty," DD would have panic attacks.  Seriously, panic attacks.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the book, it has these charming illustrations of Prudence, a little girl (just like you!) using the potty.  On every page without elaborate pictures of Prudence and her mother, there are pretty flowers.

SI LOVES to smell the flowers.  And she LOVES the story of Prudence and her many nice and useful body parts, and she LOVES that this is a nice, small book, that she can manipulate with her clumsy little toddler hands.

So sniffing this book became very important.

In fact, it became very difficult for me to actually READ the book, as each page looked like the back of SI's head, as she frantically sniffed every inch of each page once it had been turned.

And when we got to the picture of Prudence bending over so you could see her nice useful bottom, with it's nice useful hole for making poo...

Yeah, that page has flowers to sniff.  Sniffing every piece of that page is a matter of life and death.  She will not be stopped.

And if you dare laugh, you're in for more trouble.  Anything that makes a grown-up laugh is something that DD has to get in on.  So then you've got two toddlers frantically sniffing Prudence's butt.

Every night.  It's practically a tradition.

Slowly but surely, DD lost her terror of the potty.  SI got more and more excited, demanding to sit on it whenever it was in sight.  I was sure SI would be first.

This child demands that I live in the bathroom
DD memorized my commentary on the book, still not too sure of actually sitting on the potty.  I'd read, "Was it a hat?" and DD would shake her head and say, "No!"  "Was it a milk bowl for the cat?"  "No!"  "Was it a flower pot?" (SI begins sniffing frantically) "No!"

In addition, DD began adding her own, ominous commentary.  Whenever I read, I would follow the line about Prudence peeing and pooping on the floor by saying, "And that's okay!"  DD started pointing at the little picture of a puddle and a pile and saying "No no no!"  I have no idea how she decided on that, but okay then.  I'm still telling her it's okay to make mistakes.  SI does it all the time, after all.

So about a week ago, DD started letting me know when she had gone to the bathroom.  No matter whether she had peed or pooped, she started pointing to her diaper and saying "Poo!"  And I started taking her at her word.  Before long, I had made the decision to start plopping her on the potty before changing her diaper, to give her a chance to associate pee and poo with going in the potty.

Almost instant success.  There was DD, lips pursed, straining to go in the potty.  And she managed to squeeze out a few drops for me.
SI practicing on the potty

I was elated!  I hugged her and exclaimed over her tiny drops of pee, dripped it into the toilet, and helped her flush the toilet.  Then, just like Prudence, we waved and said, "Bye bye pee!"

She didn't pee in the potty today, but yesterday AND the day before we had success!  And today- today SI managed to squeeze out a few drops into the potty for me.  And DD managed to tell me each time she peed or pooped (and differentiate between them) today.

While that's all well and good, it still doesn't explain all the time I've been spending in the bathroom.  No, DD has learned that she gets a lot of special attention and one-on-one mommy time if she announced that she needs to use the potty.  I'll take her in the bathroom, sit down next to the potty, help her get on the potty, and coach her to pee or poo in the potty.

This child is about to poop on the floor
And then this conversation begins:
"Are you going to use the potty?"
"Do you need to poo or pee?"
"Can you try to poo or pee for mommy?"
"No no no Mama!  No poo!"
"Let's wait.  Do you want to read a book?"
(nods) "Book!"
"Here's a book."
(holds up book) "Book!"
"Yes, that's a book."
(points at door) "Door!"
"Yes, that's a door."
(taps SuperMommy's knee) "Knee!"
"Yes, that's mommy's knee."
(points at bubble bath bottle) "Bubble!"
"Yes, those are the bubbles."
(points between her legs at the potty) "Potty!"
"Yes, that's the potty.  Can you poo in the potty for mommy?"

And then she gets up, pantsless, and tries to give me a big, mostly naked hug.

And this happens every time she sees the bathroom door.

So if she pees or poops, I put her on the potty and we try to go a little more.  If she tells me she needs to poo or pee, I put her on the potty and we try a little more.  And if she sees the bathroom, I put her on the potty and she laughs at me.

And in the meantime, SI keeps peeing and pooping on the floor after she gets out of the tub.

And that is why I spend so much time in the bathroom.

The Adventures of My Family of 8 Tuesday Blog Hop


  1. bwahahahaha! You crack me up! Good on you for starting early. Mine is 2 1/2 and we are just starting and I think she is a little too aware of it all. She peed once on the potty and then the next day she decided "I didn't like that very much". So there we are. She is excited to wear the undies instead of a nappy though, and that's something! If you need me, I'll be here as well, in the bathroom!

  2. Mr Rogers Going to the Potty book was terrific for us.

  3. Hello! I'm now following from the Tuesday Blog Hop!



  4. Hi! I'm following from the Tuesday Blog Hop and hope you can follow me back at http://vintagelovingmom.blogspot.com.


  5. I'm a new follower! I'd love for you to come say hi sometime! Have a great day!!

  6. I know I don't comment or read much, but this one was especially hilarious and adorable. I am very proud of your potty skillz, they are like mad cool.

  7. New follower from BloggyMoms - hope you'll come by and say hello! :) TheCaffeineCoquette dot com

  8. Had a good laugh! Each of my kids were different. My youngest potty trained with real "big boy" under wear and a book called "Chugga Chugga Poo Poo," because he loved trains. I wish I had known about this book!

    New follower form the Tuesday Blog Hop!

  9. Hello! I hope the potty training goes well for you! For me, I waited and both my boys were over 3 when they trained, but I totally get why you'd want to start early. Good Luck!!

    I'm your newest follower and hope you'll follow back at http://thatsoundslikecrazy.blogspot.com


  10. Hello! Good luck with the potty training! Stopping by from the TTT Blog Hop! I am your newest follower and cannot wait to read more! I hope you will stop by and follow me back! www.divvyupdiva.com

  11. Im potty training my 2 1/2 year old, fun, fun. My two boys have those same bath towels and love them! Following you as part of the travel through thursday blog hop. Hope you will follow me back!


  12. aww those pictures are so cute!

    I am following you from the blog hop, you have a great site. Would you like to follow me back? Susan's Family
    thank you :)

  13. Ha ha ha. Love this! Sounds like quite an adventure. What a cute book! It sounds like you're already getting some successes in potty training. Fun!

  14. I am a new follower via GFC, Facebook, Networked Blogs and Twitter. I Hope you can stop by and check out my blog and follow back.

  15. I finished potty training my 4th child and my hubby and I had a dinner out to celebrate the going away of diapers! We have been diaper free for about 6 months! Woo hoo! Stick with it!

  16. Haha so cute! I love the pictures too! My oldest daughter loves the bath, my newest one... not so much! My oldest is 18 months and I plan on starting potty training soon. We have a potty and she'll sit on it but she's yet to use it!

  17. Stopping over from the It's Almost Friday Blog hop. Liking what I see. I can't wait to look around some more when I get some time, I hope you can come visit me.

  18. soooo funny!!! It's just amazing how our kids know how to turn everything into their interests.

  19. ROFL!! I am a new follower. Please visit my blog and follow back at http://my-2-cents.blogspot.com

  20. Oh my goodness! That is hilarious! I had to read my husband the part about the sniffing. Good luck with the little rugrats. You know some people call the bathroom the "room of inspiration". You're in for a lot of inspiration.

  21. I can SO relate to all of this! Two year olds are really something, aren't they? You just have to laugh!!! And HI! :) I'm your newest follower from the Thirsty for Comments bloghop!

  22. Hi,

    I am delighted to invite you once again to the Positive Blog Hop.I hope you will be able to stop by.
    Leave a comment and you just might be selected to be next week's guess hop. I hope you will gain new readers.


  23. Came by from the Blog Hop and am now a new follower and would love a follow back. What interesting bowls or vases those are at the bottom of your page. Do you collect them or make them? I love the blue ones the best. Have a great weekend now that GFC is back!


  24. Cute Blog! Happy Sunday! I would love for you to stop by and check out my blog as well! If you like it you can follow back! Thanks! Hope to blog with you again soon!


  25. First, I must say I enjoyed your illustrations for your blog..great idea..Next I did follow you and your last entry made me go..if it not TMI. .reason being, I have a little one and she is not ready for potty training, but I do recall potty training with my other 3..it a time of long suffering and a being a mother of twins- I must commend you starting so early..the freedom of no stinky diapers will be a blessing itself..as long as they are not like mine and have to go to the public bathroom in every time I take them too..well Sorry for the late follow..restarted my Blog. Follow me back at http://mentorjames.blogspot.com/ regarding parenting, family, and life qualms. I'm also on twitter and Facebook

  26. Haha, love the part about the flower/ butthole page that MUST be sniffed!! :)


  27. Stopping by from the Finding the Funny Party! http://queenofsavings.com

  28. LOL Potty training...one bane of my existence! I literally *just* posted about this and linked it up at Finding The Funny! http://fortheloveofshorties.com/potty-training-101-this-stinks/

  29. This was so funny! I can't get over the picture of the little hole for poo. Ha! So glad you linked this up with us for #findingthefunny!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Vote for me!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!