I cried “uncle” to potty training

Warning: there’s a lot of pee talk here. A little poo too. So now you’ve been warned.

I’d been planning this for a while. Potty training the boys. They’re in pull-ups at daycare, and they’re using the potty pretty regularly there. At home, they’ve used it occasionally, but then again, I only put them on it occasionally. So I knew it’d be rough, but I thought they were ready, so away we went. I stocked up on Lysol, candy corn, and underpants festooned with various Pixar characters.

Day 1
I go get the boys out of their cribs. I nervously let them pick out some underpants and get them dressed. Miles pees on the floor an hour or so later.

My friend Terry comes over with her two girls to help. The girls’ job is to cheer for the boys when they have a victory. Sadly, they don’t get much of a chance to show off their skills. We have several accidents within a five minute span, including one that involves pee hitting a mirror ten feet away and my glasses. We can’t help but laugh, but I also learn if they’ve started peeing in their underpants, just let them finish in their underpants. I swear, those things are like firehoses!
 It was at this point we had the only real success of the weekend. But sitting in a tiny bathroom with three toddlers on potties while reading books or showing flashcards for half an hour isn’t really a practical method of getting them to pee.

The day goes on with more accidents but also a few hard-won potty successes.


After the boys go to bed (in diapers), Terry and I go to the pub and I have a few too many adult beverages.

Day 2
When I go in the boys room, I am hit with the most horrific stench. Miles and Linus were saving up their doo-doo for Mommy. Oh my god, the horror.

Noon rolls around and Miles and Linus have had accidents but Oliver hasn’t peed at all yet. Finally, after much begging and pleading and bribing, he pees in the potty. The first and only “success” of the day. (He only made about half of it in the potty.)

We tried bribing them with the “jumpy”, but in the end I gave in and just let them jump. This was before Oliver finally peed. I swear, even jumping didn’t make him wet himself!

There are a few more accidents, but the last one was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I knew Miles had to pee, but even though he sat on the potty through practically an entire viewing of Finding Nemo, he didn’t go on the potty. It was while he was standing up and eating crackers that he decided to let loose. And he just didn’t care.

That was around 4:00, and I had enough. They weren’t ready. I was exhausted and frustrated and had done all the things I swore I wouldn’t do (begged, pleaded, yelled, got upset, got mad, threatened punishment) and so I admitted defeat and put diapers on the boys. We went to the park, got a little fresh air, and came home. For pretty much the first time ever, Miles and Oliver fell asleep on the couch, they were so tired.

So I may put them in underpants tomorrow and see what school can do. Or maybe I won’t. I just don’t know yet.

I’m tired.

PS We aren’t training them to pee standing up. Just FYI because I’ve gotten a lot of “aim at cheerios” suggestions, which makes me nauseous to even think about. But I’m sure when we do get to that point, we’ll find some other non-edible target.

10 thoughts on “I cried “uncle” to potty training

  1. Christina

    I’m anxious to see how this goes. I’m trying to PT my girls 32 months old……we tried around 18 months, not ready. Again at 2, not ready. And now they are both seeming like we could try a bootcamp type day, but we’re moving!!! 😦 I’m frustrated.


  2. Stephanie

    I have ONE daughter the same age as yours and I feel your frustration. I know she is ready to do it but she just WON’T. I know when she has to go and we could sit on the potty all day but she just WON’T go. I wish you all the luck and just keep trying.


  3. Tonya

    I have twin boys that are 3 yrs 4 months. We tried several times before 3 to PT with no success, only a lot of frustration. We put it on hold again and just recenlty tried it out. It’s been 3.5 weeks, only 3 pee accidents, and no poo accidents. I think it’s really a timing thing – try too early and it will be a nightmare – wait too long and you may have missed your perfect time. Sounds like you should wait a bit yet. In the meantime, make sure they are getting exposure to other kids going potty, and your husband too. You can save the cheerios for snacks instead of targets! 🙂


  4. Beth

    Hi! Here’s my observation on PT. You have to be consistent. And you have to ask them and remind them to go. When we started with my trio, we started back in Feb, so they were 2 1/4. They had just started preschool where they were adamant about getting them trained. We bribed them with candy at first, and toys for big accomplishments. We would just take them in and let them sit for a few minutes – if something happened, we’d celebrate. They started to get it. We went to Disneyland in May (at the 3 month mark in PT timing) and because we were lazy, we put them in pullups – and they knew it. The school reamed us when we were back because the kids regressed. They HAD been potty trained, and we untrained them in a few short days!!! So now we just do underpants and if we’re out somewhere, we just take them to pee pretty regularly. We haven’t had many accidents in the 5 months since. We still wear something at night (funny – two are in pull ups, but Bryce has the biggest bladder ever and needs to be in a diaper). I figure we’ll conquer that one later – but we rarely have nap time accidents and we are pretty free to go where ever we want during the day! Good luck!!!


  5. Helen

    Stick with it Pam! It’s rough at first and honestly I think 3/4 of potty training is the parents being committed and ready to do it. Stick with it and they’ll follow! If it’s really stressing you out, pick the one showing the most promise and just focus on him for a week. Peer pressure is a wonderful thing 🙂


  6. Erin

    I potty trained my girls over the summer. We did bootcamp weekends like you just did and it was a whole lot of accidents which wasn’t encouraging. But, I kept giving them opportunities to figure it out. Daycare put them on the potty at every diaper change, and when it worked out, I put them in undies in the evenings. At some point it clicked with them, and from there on out we were undies only (during the day). I really do think that if they have pull-ups on, they’ll pee in them. Sometimes that’s okay, but if you are looking to make the push at some point know you have to just put the undies on and go for it.


  7. Pingback: Adventures in potty-training (take deux) | pyjammy's blog

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