batman undies to the rescue


Good news for us. Bad news for Pampers. Sorry, Pampers. My kid won’t be going to college in diapers after all. Release the confetti and pour Mommy a glass of Champagne. It looks like big man Austin is finally potty trained.

I’m not sure what changed to lead to this success – whether it was time, a new method, or truly by the grace of God. But, based on our previous experiences, I might chalk this one up to a miracle… or, the new Batman undies. Yep. Pretty sure it was the undies.

Our last attempt was in the fall. Frankly, after that bout, I was feeling chicken about trying again. We made lots of excuses about it not being the right time. I didn’t want to deal with meltdown after meltdown or mopping up tee tees and poo poos in the middle of the floor produced out of downright defiance. My sanity would not survive. So, we continued to put it off… until we received the registration paperwork for Austin’s Mother’s Day Out program for the fall.

Apparently, they are not interested in changing diapers on three- and four-year-olds next year. Ha. I can’t imagine why. For Austin to move up, he has to be potty trained. And, not “We’re working on it” potty trained, but experienced potty trainer. That’s the kick I needed. As soon as he recovered from the flu, we started training. Cue the Rocky theme song.

I borrowed “Potty Training 1-2-3” from a friend that recently had success potty training her son. And, I loved it! If you are having trouble potty training, pick this book up. Now. The method around the book is primarily rewarding your child for staying clean and dry, not for producing on the potty. Obviously, you still reward for using the potty, but it’s not the emphasis. Most of the methods we had tried focused on using the bathroom. That was a dead end for Austin. Once he decided he didn’t want to sit on the potty, it was a lost cause and power struggle. This methods puts the control in our hands and sets him up for success.

Don’t get me wrong. It was still hard and frustrating, even with a method that seemed to work for Austin. We didn’t leave the house for two days, and in that time, we focused on Austin and patience (LOTS of patience), and attempted to keep Everett from climbing on, playing in and eating the potty chair.

Plus, we watched The Potty Movie on constant repeat for 48 hours. I’m quite certain I will never be able to rid the tune or images of toddlers singing “Bye bye pee pee. Bye bye poop” from my head. Ah, parenthood.

But, a successful weekend has led to a triumphant week. He’s still not 100 percent trained, but there are rarely accidents and he no longer pees on himself when I announce it’s time to sit on the potty in an effort to avoid sitting on it. Progress, people. Progress.

This child will be attending school next year.



Last night, as I crawled into bed, I took a brief inventory of the collateral damage surrounding my bed.

I noted a significant spot of dried spit up in the middle of my side. Animal cracker crumbs trailed from end to another. And, a large pile of clothes – clean or dirty, I don’t even know – heaped across the end of the bed. You know what I did? I brushed the crumbs slightly closer to the hubs’ side, snuggled underneath those clothes and atop the spot, and went to sleep. Ew. Ew. Ew.

I just didn’t care. There was no energy to change sheets or decipher whether those clothes were, in fact, headed to the closet or the laundry basket nor did I desire to vacuum the carpet where I suspect the cracker crumbs continue. Not even an ounce of energy to care.

Last night, I waved the flag of defeat. The children have won, and I am sleeping in spit up. I think this would be considered a low.

Recently, I feel our days more resemble snippets from war documentaries than Sesame Street episodes. Austin rebels and cries, and there have been few outings that have not ended with me carrying him out like a football. And, then I nag and shout and talk like a broken record to a brick wall 99 percent of the day. It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase.

I fear the three’s might just be the end of me.

But, today, he surprised me. I took him grocery shopping with me. Something I have vowed never ever to do unless we are going to starve to death without that trip right that second. And, even then, it’s a coin toss.

Things were going semi-smoothly. I had only told him to sit down in the basket 59 times and not to touch anything 112 times. Out of nowhere, a big grin creeps across his face, and he says, “You’re fun, Momma. I love being with you.”

What?? I actually thought I had mistakenly heard him, and asked him again what he had said. He repeated, smiling and staring up at me with his big brown eyes. I just couldn’t understand. I scold. I nag. I shout. I’m constantly distracted by cleaning or laundry or errands. And, here is this child, thrilled to just be with me… or, thrilled to torment me. And, I’m fun.

He made my day. He made my week. As mothers, we are exhausted and feel unappreciated. We put everyone and everything before us. We often take the brunt of the chores, and it’s hard when Dad is always the “fun” one.

But, take heart, mommas. We are fun. We are amazing. We are loved beyond measure. And, our children recognize it long before we do.

Maybe three isn’t so bad.

But, let’s not take our chances. If I tell him he’s four, will that take care of things?

all aboard the potty train

Before I had children, I always marveled at the older two and three year olds who were still styling diapers. With a disapproving look, my smug self would wonder why their parents did not potty train their kid. They were OBVIOUSLY old enough. If I could go back in time, I would smack myself.

Here we are two weeks from my child’s third birthday… And, I’m still wiping his rear and changing out diapers. Welcome to reality. It’s not that I haven’t tried. We’ve tried a whole realm of possibilities – bribery with candy, toys, stickers; positive reinforcement; peer pressure; big boy undies. But, he’s uninterested, and up until this point, his “perseverance” has beat out mine.


Last year, about this time, I had big plans. As soon as he turns two, we are going to get this kid toilet trained… along with ditching the paci and evicting him from the crib in preparation for little brother coming in January. Ha. I’d like to blame that “optimism” on pregnancy hormones, but, really, I just get delusional about these things.

Now, to be fair, we did accomplish two of the three things before baby brother arrived. But, that left us nowhere on potty training. Several friends ushered warnings of regression after the baby, so with an ounce of convincing, the excuses began for putting off potty training.

As A’s preschool came to a close in May, it finally hit that my kid is not potty trained. And, he will be THREE in a few months. I became the mother that I judged and suddenly was filled with self doubt and embarrassment. Sure, life gets in the way, but how does everyone else do it?

I recruited my mother for moral support, and we issued Phase 1 of Potty Training. A was already accustomed to the plastic kiddie potties, as I had purchased one almost a year ago when I was feeling so ambitious. And, he had used the potty on a rare occasion. With those past successes, I was feeling pretty good about how it would all play out. And, we had even picked out these:


We were good to go. Ha. There was a lot of crying and frustration and moping… and, A, was even worse. By the end of the day, my mom and I both threw up the white flag and clothed him back in a diaper. Peace was restored. We’ll try again in a few weeks, I thought.

A few weeks came and went, and I was met with an equally awful disaster. That’s it, my kid is gong to college in diapers.

I haven’t tried again since the middle of summer and since then have made excuses using our travel plans. Which leaves us here: two weeks from turning three, starting preschool and a strong attachment to wetting himself. All aboard the Potty Train. There will be no turning back this time.