Well, that was a FAIL

Today we tried potty training.

It didn’t go well.

I think my reasoning that she might be ready for it was fairly sound.  She doesn’t like being wet or dirty and asks for diaper changes.  She knows what the potty is and the general idea that you sit on it, pee/poop, wipe and wash your hands.  She’s indicated interest.  She can push her pants down, for the most part.  She doesn’t poop at night, which indicates some small amount of control on her part, according to the stuff I’ve read.

So today we got out the potty, took off the clothes and diaper and began our experiment.  Unlike our first try a few months ago (she had interest, but wasn’t indicating when she was dirty), she actually sat on the potty for minutes at a time.  We had her go try every 15 minutes or so.

I didn’t see it when she peed on the floor the first time, I just glanced over and saw the puddle.  Of course it happened about 2-3 minutes before we were going to try again.

I shrugged and we cleaned it and Elanor up.

The second time she peed, she slipped in it (we have marble floors, which are slippery as hell when water-or urine-is spilled on them) and cracked her head on the floor.  This resulted in a big red spot on her head, a small goose egg and a river of tears.

Not 5 minutes later, I look down to see her about to pick up her own poop.  Her hands were a little poopy and there was some debate about if she’d ingested some.

This was the point where I declared an end to the experiment.

On one hand, I’m not sure she’s ready-she knows that she’s gone but may not understand what the urge to eliminate feels like.

On the other, I’m not sure I’m ready for the commitment that is potty training.  E is very good at playing by herself, and I’m used to dividing my attention between E and the tv, E and my laptop, and E and my phone.  E didn’t want our helper in the bathroom with her…only me.  With my back, I can’t sit on the hard marble floor for long periods of time, and sitting on a regular chair means I have to lean over to read/interact with her on the potty, which also results in pain.

I can’t help but think it will be easier as her language progresses.  Not that she might not be capable of potty training right now, but rather that I’m not sure the trade-offs required to potty train her now are worth it.  I’ve taken on some additional commitments and am trying to work a portion of each day in the bedroom or office and am strongly considering working at a library or Starbucks as it never seems like I get stuff done (or enough done).

I’m curious what your thoughts are on potty training.  Does anyone know how this works if the child is in a daycare center…I’m curious.  Do you believe in the idea that “it only takes one day to potty train, you just have to pick the right day?”–I’m not sure that I do, or rather that if you wait for that day, you’re possibly changing diapers far longer than you need to.  On the other hand, waiting for that day might be easier, and I’m nothing if not a fan of “easy” parenting.

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3 Responses to Well, that was a FAIL

  1. Rachel M says:

    I don’t have any answers to your questions since we haven’t started yet but I know our daughter’s have a similar temperament so based on your experiment I’m not even motivated to try! I read Backpacking Dad’s blog a few months ago and he trained his 3 year old in a day. It worked because she was old enough to understand that peeing on the floor is bad. So I’m waiting for that “easy” day.

  2. i also have no answers since we’re not trying yet either, but i can tell you that my approach to the timing of potty-training is similar to my approach to getting rid of the bottle and the binky: he’ll let me know clearly when he’s ready.

    i know it sounds sort of optimistic, but it has worked for 21 months, so i have no reason to distrust it. while i stressed about bottle-weaning from the time he was 12 months, turns out he pretty much did it on his own (with some help) at 15 months. (i started offering a cup. if he said yes, cup it was. if he insisted on a bottle, bottle it was. eventually, he stopped insisting on bottles.)

    he does still use a binky, but it’s wicked infrequent. pretty much bedtime only and even then, he could fall asleep without it. i stopped offering during the day, but when he asked, he got it. eventually, he stopped asking at home. then i did the same thing in the car.

    so, i’m going to wait on potty training until he’s into it. we offer it sometimes when he’s naked and is looking like a pee or a poop might be coming (boys give a little more physical warning than girls…) but i don’t really have any imminent plans to potty train hardcore.

  3. Saffy says:

    Ugh. I didn’t read that in the glossy brochures about motherhood :p

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