Potty Training, Round 5

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When we completed potty training with our third child I remember shouting from the rooftops (OK, not really, it was just Facebook) that we were ‘almost’ a diaper free house. Little did I know that we would be embarking on potty training again … and then again.

Yep, I’m currently on round five of potty training and I’m over it. It’s exhausting and truly the only thing that keeps me motivated is the fact that my child needs to do his business on a toilet before kindergarten. Not even the savings from the diapers encourages me at this point. I have several girls approaching the teenage years. The funds for diapers will just transfer to meet their needs.

Let me preface this with the fact that my child is two, well two and a half, so we are within the normal potty training time. Typically, I would be super ambitious with this milestone and have a plan in place. However, this is kid #5. He’s lucky I remembered that he needs to use a toilet at this point. So, after contemplating this journey for several months, we finally took the plunge and began.

As with most potty training journeys, the beginning was good. He was working for Skittles like a champ and everyone was on board with the potty routine. And then, the Skittles became less rewarding, the accidents became more frequent and we started to wonder where it all went wrong.

We upped the ante to chocolate rewards with M & M’s. It turns out chocolate isn’t as rewarding to him as it is to me. We even tried the ‘you’re a boy, you can pee outside’ trick, but would often find him hiding behind a tree with the face of a kid hard at work. ‘Spray all the leaves’ we’d say, but he preferred to hide out to do his business and then notify us, after the fact, of his accomplishment.

That face tells me exactly what’s going on.

We bought new underwear to encourage him. Since he has three sisters, he called them ‘panties’.  Clearly the first step was giving him the manly term ‘underwear’. Thomas and Mickey became known as ‘underwear’ or ‘undies’ and they seemed to motivate him for awhile. Then, like the Skittles, that faded. He no longer cared that he just peed on his beloved Mickey.

We still had glimmers of hope as he would often disrobe himself, race to his potty and successfully use it. Of course, sometimes he would snag the iPad on his way and entertain himself while executing the task at hand. Again, I probably would have never allowed this with child number one, but if this is what it takes, go for it kid.

Diaper on the floor, dog by his side and iPad in tow..just get the pee in the potty please.

I have stooped so low as to promise money to any child in my house who gets their brother to do number 2 on a toilet. I’ve done this long enough to know that an accidental, successful pee in the toilet and even consistently peeing is the easy part. It’s being fully potty trained that seals the deal.

We are only a couple weeks into this and are already breaking all the expert advice. There’s no book that would advocate the way we are going about things, but the beauty in having experience is that we no longer stress about this kind of thing. He may not be the first to the potty training finish line in our house, but he’ll get there in his own time. In the meantime, this mama will keep snacking on his potty M & M’s at night.

I mean someone might as well get to eat these.
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Missey Calcutt is a follower of Jesus and wife to her best friend for 16 years. Together they have five amazing kids who range in age from one to 13 years of age. Born and raised in Columbia, she earned a BA in Speech Language Pathology from Columbia College. She then attended USC where she earned a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. After working in a variety of settings for eleven years, she became a stay-at-home mom to her growing family. Now, she juggles hectic schedules, carpool lines and nonstop meal preparation. In addition to her love for writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, serving in her church, reading, and exercising. She hopes her posts bring encouragement to other women in the trenches of motherhood.

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