Potty Training (and Why It Majorly Sucks Butt…)

I feel that I’ve alluded to this on here, but we’re going through the whole potty training thing with Miss Gabbie…still.  We initially tried, wow, about seven months ago?  But that was totally a non-starter because she first time she actually pooped in the toilet, it scared the crap out of her (possibly literally), and she set to kicking, screaming, and thrashing about whenever you tried to take her near a toilet for the next few days.

So, we did what all books suggest–we put that on the back burner for a bit, deciding instead to focus on going to sleep on her own and sleeping through the night by herself in her own bed.  Bwhahahahaha!  Sigh.

Now, we’re back at the potty training again, and ugh.  I just hate it.  I’d forgotten how all-consuming it is–taking extra clothes everywhere, constantly asking–to the annoyance of yourself, your child, and anyone else within earshot–if she has to go to the bathroom, making vague threats about what will happen if she goes in her pants again, withholding food until she’s at least tried to go on the toilet.  It’s exhausting and irritating and frustrating and why can’t we all just be cats and pop out knowing how to use a litter box?!  I mean, seriously, we’re an evolving species–is this too much to ask?

What makes it worse, well two things that make it worse, is 1) Maddie was, looking back, really quite easy to potty train.  That girl could be bribed with one, ONE, M&M to go to the bathroom in an appropriate place and manner.  It took four months from start to finish to get her trained, and two months later she was completely trained, through the night and everything.  2) She gets it.  Gabbie, that is.  She gets it, she gets it, she totally, completely, without a doubt gets it.  And yet…  She will be dry all freaking day, and then at dinner, after she has told you more than once that she is dry and you have asked if she has to go potty more than once and she had said no, you will ask her yet again if she is dry, and she will look at you with this shit-eating grin* on her face and say nothing.  Your face will fall, and you will flatly ask again, “Are. you. dry?” and she will giggle and reply, “No” and just smile at you, as if this is all some funny game and not massive amounts of time and money that you are weekly throwing away on pull-ups and butt-wiping.  While she was staying with my parents for a few days over the winter holidays, she actually took to changing her own poopy pull-ups, complete with wiping and everything!  There’s no way in the world you can tell me she just doesn’t understand.

And it’s different this time.  We don’t have as much time as we did when we did this with Maddie.  We don’t have days to stay home and let her wet herself over and over again until she understands that it’s uncomfortable.  Also, you can’t bribe her with just one M&M. You can’t bribe her with five M&Ms.  Hell, you can’t bribe her with five whole, entire marshmallows**, if she’s not in the mood. She goes when and where she feels like it.

Within the last week or so, I’m beginning to feel like maybe, maaaaybeee, we’re getting closer.  She’s down to about one “accident”*** a day at home, and we’re edging away from the reward-every-time-you-go system into a sticker chart wherein she gets a reward every three times she goes, hoping to reinforce the idea that you need to do this ALL THE TIME.  She’s just so freaking stubborn.

This just in:  Contrary to prior statements I may have made, we are NEVER getting a puppy.

This is from the first day we tried to get her to go on the toilet.  She sat on this potty for quite a while.  Then she got up and pee'd on the floor.

This is from the first day we tried to get her to go on the toilet. She sat on this potty for quite a while. Then she got up and pee’d on the floor.

* Yes, shit-eating.  I know, I know, she’s two, and you’re not supposed to speak ill of the two, but just you wait until you see it.  There is no other way to describe a smile wherein she knows she’s done something wrong, and she’s not even going to be the least little bit sorry about it.  Also, this entire post is about trying to get someone to do the business, both of the businesses.  It’s not like I wasn’t going to say “shit” at some point.

** Yes, I have tried this.  Multiple times.  Because I’m a really awful parent, that’s why.

*** Meaning that “accident” translates to I was too busy doing my really, terribly important mini-human stuff to be bothered coming and telling you I had to use the bathroom.  Nevermind that I will routinely make you leave your as yet untouched plate of hot food in a restaurant just so I can pretend that I have to go as a time-waster.  If I am watching tv or pretending to be a warrior princess, I will be peeing in my pants.  The end.