Potty Training Progress….NOT

Well, it has been a few months since I have written about the joys of potty training a little boy.  I’m back with an update on our progress – THERE HASN’T BEEN ANY.  I personally think it is his mission to postpone this milestone as long as possible just to see how long I will be willing to wipe his smeared poo-butt (the result of breakdancing on the floor after hiding in the corner to do his business in his diaper) or pick up the pieces of poo that fall out of his diaper/clean the floor (also the result of breakdancing and then running away from me when finished with his corner business).

I even broke down and went to the library specifically for books about the potty since the dvds have done squat (I even checked out a few books directing me how to coach him, even though I have been through this 2 times before and I’m fairly certain I have already read everything there is to know, none of which is helpful).

We found 3 picture books with different stories: one about a defiant princess (whose attitude seemed vaguely familiar to my little guy) that didn’t like her potty; one about a pirate who crossed the sea to get to his potty, pirate underwear and all; and a Little Critter book about getting a new potty.  Here’s how those books went over:

Book #1:

*Me – The princess didn’t want to use her potty.  That’s probably because she didn’t have a cool Cars potty like you do (I make the books say what I want them to say when my big kids aren’t around to correct me).  Don’t you think she would like to use your Cars party? Vroom, vroom!

*Big Trouble – Ooh toys!  (Of all of the pictures on the page, he bypasses the potty and notices that the princess is playing with toys).

*Me – Yes, she has toys, but she would rather have a Cars potty.  Let’s see if she gets one on the next page when all of the townspeople bring her new potties!  Ooh, she got a potty with polka dots! And one that glows in the dark!  That would be fun to use!

*Big Trouble –  Ooh stairs! (someone was climbing stairs to hand over a potty).

*Me – Yep, there’s the stairs, but look at how she got new underwear so that she could use the big girl potty!  You have some new underwear that you can wear when you use the big boy potty!

*Big Trouble – Princess went pee-pee and poo-poo. (WAIT, WHAT?!)

*Me – THAT’S RIGHT! (yes, I screamed it because I was so shocked that he finally tuned in)  Don’t you want to go pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty?

*Big Trouble – ooh, cookies.

And, that’s how that book went.

Book #2:

*Me – Look, here’s a big boy pirate who wants to find the potty.  Do you see the potty?

*Big Trouble – ooh, pirate! yeah!

*Me – There’s his potty!  See how the pirate uses the potty?  He doesn’t like diapers.

*Big Trouble – ooh, bird. (FOCUS KID!)

*Me – yep, pirates who use the potty get a bird.  (wait, did I just kind of try to bribe him with a bird? oops)  And here’s his cool hat that he wears on the potty.  We have a pirate hat you can wear on the potty if you want to.

*Big Trouble – ooh, mouse. (oh well, at least he didn’t catch my accidental bird bribery).

*Me – yep, that’s a mouse.  But look here at this fun pirate potty!  The pirate uses his potty like a big boy!  You can be a big boy like the pirate if you go to the potty and not in your diaper.

*Big Trouble – oh no, he cry. baby cry.

*Me – no, he’s laughing, not crying.  He’s happy he is a big boy using the potty.

*Big Trouble – oh no, he cry.

*Me – no, honey, he’s not sad, he’s happy!  Potties are fun!

*Big Trouble – Buzz! Rex-y! Woody! Bullseye! (He was no longer concerned with the crying pirate as he had already moved on to a Toy Story book that was on the floor next to us)

Book #3:

Me – Hold on sweetie, Little Critter is going to get a new potty in this book! That’s more fun than Toy Story!

Big Trouble – I say NO! (he got off my lap and ran off to find his farm animals).

So, as you can see, great strides in the art of potty training are being made here at our house.   Sigh.

You Say Potty Training, I say Dear God!

Yeah, ain't gonna happen

Yeah, ain’t gonna happen

Once again I have reached one of the worst milestones of parenting: POTTY TRAINING.  I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.   I have done this twice before, each with different techniques and results; and yet, even though I have written about my previous attempts with my 3rd, months later here I am, still at a loss as how to proceed with this one as he is quite different from my other two.

My older son was convinced that he must rebel against his evil mother who was trying to deprive him of the joys of sitting in his own excrement for the rest of his given life and would only consent to go once I had thrown up my hands in defeat and told him that he would just have to wear Depends (this was approx. 1 1/2 years after we began the process – not exaggerating).

My daughter, who is extremely prissy in most instances, was a potty training enigma because she was one of the only kids I knew who didn’t mind a bit o’ nasty in the big girl panties as long as she could keep playing.  So gross and totally disproving the theory that girls are easier than boys to potty train (although she was done a few months sooner than my son).

I had heard that subsequent children become interested in the potty earlier because they see their older brothers/sisters using it and want to be big like them.  Much like the falsehood that is “girls are easier to potty train than boys,”  this rumor has also proven to be unfounded.  My little guy turned two in October and could care less.  He just can’t be bothered to take time out of his busy schedule to pop a squat and deposit his goodies in the proper receptacle.  He doesn’t want to stand and aim at anything either, even though I have provided big brother as an example of the proper way to dispose of bodily functions.  He would rather try to reach into the toilet to grab the Cheerios or throw a boat in there to play with.  He is just a non-stop whirlwind, and a large one at that. Quite the dilemma.

Trying to learn from my older son who took longer to train because he was resisting me telling him what to do, I have been actively attempting to incorporate the idea of the big boy potty without forcing it on the little one.  For example:

  • I bought him an amazing Cars potty which makes an awesome VROOOM sound.  This was a mistake as the button that makes the noise is the only part of the toilet he is interested in (unless he feels the need to disassemble it and attempt to put it back together improperly).  Glad I could accidentally find a way to distract him even more from the task at hand.  Smack to the forehead for my stupidity and punches to the faces of the makers of the stupid Cars toilet.  Clearly the designers are old men who have never dealt with the attention spans of 2-year-old boys.
  • I re-purchased Elmo’s potty time.  My older two had this and we passed it on to my nephew when they were done so we were due for a new copy as I can actually deal with hearing the funny songs over and over (unlike nearly every other children’s dvd we own).  I had hoped that seeing Elmo on the commode and hearing about the joys of using the toilet, and even the ups and downs of having accidents, would make him want to at least try out his potty or the big potty.  No such luck.  All he has taken from it are the many different ways you can say “Pee” and “Poo”.  If you have seen this dvd, you know what I am talking about.  He has even murmured “I call it pee-pee and poo- poo” in his sleep.  Lovely.  People are going to start thinking he has Tourette’s if he keeps yelling out all of these terms. His new favorite song is “You’ll do it, you’ll use the potty” from this dvd.  How ironic as I have my doubts as to whether he ever will actually do it, although he does tell me that I am a big boy each time I successfully make it through the bathroom process so I know he gets the concept more than he is letting on.
  • I have tried letting him wear a pair of big boy underwear.  He is not a fan of the “constriction” and immediately strips down to his birthday suit and takes off streaking through the house.  This act of going commando is not a bright sign for the future.
  • I was going to bring the potty out into the living room so that he could just sit on it and get a feel for it while watching Super Why or reading a book, but then I had a dream that he was 30, sitting on his Cars potty all day watching Sports Center and asking for a beer and now I just can’t bring myself to follow through.

    using his Cars toilet as a neck brace, clearly headed down the right path

    using his Cars toilet as a neck brace, clearly headed down the right path

Now, it’s not just the stubbornness of my kids or the lackadaisical attitude that drives me nuts, but it’s also the fact that now I have to revert to the newborn phase and keep a “just in case an accident happens” bag ready each time I dare leave the house.  And, accidents will most definitely happen – Elmo told me that, usually during the one time I manage to forget the “just in case” bag (I will not go into detail but let’s just say that a rather large and messy accident occurred while out to dinner with my oldest one night and our “just in case” bag was nowhere to be found- we haven’t been back to that restaurant in 4 years and we shudder with horror each time we drive by at the very memory of this accident).  Also, if you have a boy, it may not be an accident at all when they randomly decide to whip out their boy parts because they had been told it was fun to pee on a tree.  A TREE, BUT NOT THE TOILET!

You find out quickly that if you are brave enough to venture beyond your own front yard on a regular basis, you will be forced to visit each and every public restroom in the city, mostly for no reason other than to allow your child to check out the sinks.  God help you if you have more than one young child and the handicapped stall is taken.  My older two are less than 18 months apart and, on numerous occasions, I found myself squeezed inside of a regular stall,  propping my butt against the stall door hoisting one kid over the toilet while trying to prevent the other from crawling out, using only my knees and big toes.  Also did this once in an airplane bathroom.  It was exhilarating.

Once you finally manage to make it out of the bathroom 15 minutes later (usually after a “false alarm”), you will inevitably find yourself in aisle 7 with a cart full of groceries hearing the magic words, “uh oh!” This causes you to quickly debate whether or not to just get the heck out of dodge or do the right thing and let some poor, unsuspecting employee know that your kid isn’t housebroken yet so they will need to take of the business that you so kindly left for them.

I’m not even going to mention all of the people who are silently (and sometimes not so silently) judging you to be a poor parent because your kid isn’t out of diapers by age two like their child was.  (sidenote: it is not helpful to the potty training cause to point out these facts and once the kid gets older, who really gives a crap? I mean this both literally and metaphorically.  Just be sympathetic because I’m about to lose it over here!!!)

save it for your resume

save it for the resume

I tremble in fear at what is headed my way in the very near future and I remember feeling this desperate with the other two so I know eventually it will pass, but it is still such a daunting process right now, especially as I glance over into the corner as I am typing this very post to notice a little head peeking out of his “poo spot” (yes, he has a spot that he goes to and it is not the toilet) and smiling a mischievous smile at me, taunting me with the knowledge that my fear of eternally changing diapers will not be ending any time soon….

My Own Clorox Moment

I was in love with this Clorox commercial from the first moment I saw it.  It’s totally disgusting, but also totally something that I could see happening at my house.

Guess what?  A slightly less nasty version of this finally did happen here a few days ago.  (And by using the word “finally”, I am not in any way saying that I was looking forward to this moment, I am merely admitting that I pretty much knew it was coming and, sure enough, it did.)  No, I did not document this catastrophe with pictures (count yourself blessed) but I will relive the moment now for your reading pleasure.

I recently started attempting to potty train my 22-month-old; nothing hardcore yet because he appears to be more interested in taking apart his new potty seat than actually using it, but we’re introducing it and trying to get him to really understand the concept. His big brother recently demonstrated how to properly “aim” into the potty since he didn’t seem to be responding to the girlier method of sitting while peeing (and I obviously didn’t have the parts to show him an alternate route).  He seemed to take it all in.

Then, a few days ago, he randomly stripped off his diaper, came up to me and said, “I go potty?” in the form of a question, which is unlike the, “I go potty!” exclamation that occurs every time he enters the bathroom as if the act of walking into the same room as the toilet constitutes actually going.  So, naturally, I was thrilled to help him out!  I quickly ran into the bathroom to retrieve his new Cars potty and attempted to bring it out to him.  Apparently, the 10 seconds this took was 9 seconds too long because as I sprinted out of the bathroom with the mini toilet, I saw him purposefully aim his boy parts toward a tiny folding chair that belongs to his brother and just let go.

I let out the dramatic slow-motion “NOOOOOOOOOOO” as he turned to give me a confused look.  Seriously?  The kid has been obsessed with the toilet for months but he chose to decide that the chair would be a more suitable place to begin the journey toward effective peeing techniques?!  He stood there staring at me, then he smiled and gave his usual, “I go potty!” cheer and waited for me to praise him.  Meanwhile, I’m standing frozen, toilet still in hand, trying to decide the best way to start cleaning the mess while being able to get him out of the way without spreading the bodily fluids over more territory.

As if anticipating my next impulse, he suddenly took off, pee feet and all and headed toward the bathroom.  Great.  Now he figures out where he should have been all along.  I ran to grab a towel to place over the chair and floor until I could clean off my little guy and get some pants back on him and when I returned, I notice that he had now confiscated 3 toothbrushes from their holders on the sink counter and was threatening to use all of them for other non tooth-related purposes.  Are you kidding me, kid?!

Somehow with my mother-in-crisis-mode adrenal rush, I managed to catch him, save the toothbrushes from their imminent death in the big toilet, and get him settled in his booster seat with some graham crackers (AND A DIAPER) while I went to survey the original disaster zone.  It was quite unsettling, but I knew in the back of my mind that it could have been much worse (my dear older son set a high bar for disgusting during his potty-training years…in public…while we were eating…but that’s a whole other story for a day when you have a stronger stomach).

Once I was done cleaning everything up, my mind immediately went to the Clorox commercial and I had to laugh because I knew it was just another disturbing  fascinating story from my ‘never-a-dull-moment’ life as a mother!  Can’t wait to see what kind of “fun” my kids come up with next!

Birthday Treats – Linking Up

What’s your favorite birthday party treat?

I’m so excited about this special post because I was invited to “link up” with my friends, Tami and Lauren, the creators of Side By Side Design, who are celebrating their 1-year blogging “birthday” this week!  The theme for the link-up is “favorite birthday party treats” so here’s a few ideas based on my favorite party treat: LOLLIPOPS!


Since I attend/plan mostly kid parties and baby showers at this point in my life, the choice of lollipops should be no surprise.  But, I have noticed that even the adults that attend these shindigs seem to really enjoy the lollipops so I’m going with the idea that they are a universal treat.

My goal when I use the lollipops at parties is to incorporate them in a fun way, fitting of the theme of the party.  For example, at my daughter’s recent Alice In Wonderland Party, we made a lollipop mushroom (for the “who are you?” caterpillar/butterfly themed table) out of styrofoam and dumdums.  We used it as a centerpiece for one of the tables and for a party favor for the kids to add to their stash as the party ended – a win, win because Lord knows I didn’t want to bring 100 dumdums back home with me for my kids to fight over!

lollipop mushroom – you could tell the shape better in person, but you get the idea

As I said earlier, I have planned and have been asked to help with the planning of numerous baby showers over the last few years.  As a mom of three, with ages ranging from 1-6, I know what new moms need and don’t need, based purely on trial and error experience, so I like to go the practical route.

I started by making trusty old diaper cakes in an attempt to make practical baby gifts more exciting, but after a while, the diaper cake ran its course so I tried to get a little more creative with my gifts by making sandwiches, sushi, cupcakes, and, you guessed it, LOLLIPOPS, all out of baby supplies!  They’re fun gifts and very useful once unwrapped.

sadly, I’m not a great photographer, but here’s a glimpse at some of my early washcloth lollipops

Usually these types of crafts are reserved for the baby shower or a hospital gift once the baby is born, but a few years ago, a long-distance friend of mine was hosting a “Splish-Splash” (bath/pool) themed 1st birthday party for her son.  Since the majority of children attending were young babies, WAY too little to enjoy a real lollipop, she asked me to make the washcloth lollipops to display on the tables.  When the party was over, each child got to pick a washcloth “lollipop” and a rubber duck filled with child-friendly bubble bath, which he/she could then use at home!

**SIDENOTE, I also made a diaper/swim diaper cake with the duck theme as a present for the birthday boy (which she also displayed) and she said it REALLY came in handy as several of the babies soiled themselves immediately upon arriving at the party so she had plenty of backups and thus no pool contamination! :)**

who knew she would need the contents of this “cake” before the party even got started?!

Anyhow, the point to my ramblings about cute baby parties and practical necessities is that the lollipops (or cakes, sandwiches, sushi, etc.) don’t always have to be edible to be a treat and a way to incorporate fun into a party!  You can even make faux lollipops for adults as a housewarming gift or bridal shower gift by using dish towels and mixing spoons.  So much more fun than just wrapping them up!

Here are a few other easy lollipop ideas that I like for the future:

Another example of a fun, non-edible lollipop idea for a candy-land themed party!

alien spaceship lollipops, perhaps for my son’s upcoming space-themed party?

homemade flower bouquet with lollipop centers, perhaps for valentines?

There are so many ideas out there and these are just a few.  I hope you are inspired or at least amused and I hope you will check out the other ideas submitted to the Side By Side Design blog on their feature Friday!  I am all always interested to hear about exciting party planning ideas from others so please feel free to share your favorite treat ideas with me, too!

Special thanks to Tami and Lauren for inviting me to be a part of their link-up!

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Diaper Dilemma!

I have 3 children, 2 of whom have been potty-trained for quite some time.  You would think that I would be an expert at diapers by this point, having spent 90% of my married life changing them.  However, I am thoroughly convinced that the manufacturers of diapers like to randomly change how they make diapers just to throw parents off their game from time to time (and probably to get us to buy more packages or the more expensive kind).

With my oldest son, I registered for Huggies because my mom always used Huggies with my much younger brother and sister and they seemed to do quite well.  When it came time to actually use Huggies with my son almost 7 years ago, they weren’t so great.  He had a natural flair for having runny poop that would only stay inside of Pampers diapers (I learned this after trying many different brands and throwing away numerous outfits that were stained beyond repair by his nastiness).  He also had the ability to pee up and out of the diapers if I tried a cheaper brand.  Good thing I had coupons.

When my daughter was born 17 months later, I stuck with the Pampers Swaddlers for her and Pampers baby dry for him.  As she grew out of the Swaddlers, I decided to try the cheaper brands with her to see if a girl could handle those a little better than a boy.  After testing numerous brands again, we decided to go with the Target brand diapers and they were great for her (though my son could still only be leak-free with Pampers)!

Now I have a 3rd kid in diapers and I have done some more testing.  I used the Swaddlers again, in the beginning, because they are so soft on little newborn hind parts.  Those were great.  I tried the Up & Up brand once he outgrew the Swaddlers and to my surprise, they worked really well.  I’m guessing those manufacturers changed something over the last few years to make the diapers work for boys too!  Hooray for cheaper, and still effective, diapers.

A few weeks ago,I got some great manufacturer coupons and Target coupons in the mail AND I learned that our Target was clearing out some of the name brand diapers with the older wrappers on them – still brand new, just a different baby on the front, but for some reason that means the diapers are worth 50% less – not complaining; I’m totally into the discount, especially when coupled with 2 coupons!

So, I was able to get a box of Huggies and a box of Pampers for $10 total!  SCORE! The Huggies worked surprisingly well this time around (they must have changed something too), but since they are by far the most expensive diapers, we won’t be buying them again unless I find another awesome deal.  But, I was really disappointed with the Pampers Baby Dry, which had been my go-to diaper in the past!  The diapers immediately sagged upon the smallest introduction of pee so we were having to change them way too often (and this was in addition to him using the potty several times a day with a dry diaper) and they leaked EVERY NIGHT!  Anyone with kids knows this is the biggest pain in the butt, especially if your kid is a light sleeper anyway.  I don’t need one more thing waking him up at night!  What happened to Pampers?!  Did I just get a bad batch somehow or did they change their “formula” to make it worse since my last kid?

Ultimately, I am just sticking with the Up & Up diapers for my son because they must have adjusted their formula – for the better, unlike Pampers – between my 6-year-old and my 1-year-old to make them work better for boys and even though Target has raised the prices since my daughter wore them, they are still vastly cheaper than the other brands and quite effective. (*Just for the record, Walmart also has a brand called parents’ choice that is pretty good for day-time use and even cheaper than Up and Up, I just don’t enjoy shopping with the crowds and lines at Walmart unless absolutely necessary – they are pretty good diapers though*)

Has anyone else experienced the weirdness that is deciding which diaper to use for your baby/toddler?  Is it just because every kid is made differently or do they really change how they make the diapers from year to year?  One thing is for sure, I will be SOOOOOOO happy when diapers are a thing of the past!….Though hardcore potty training is one of my least favorite things in the world so I may take that statement back in the very near future.

I Am the Baby Wrangler

This is not an accurate representation of the events that occurred

You know that moment when you stare at your newborn and you think, “I can’t wait until he can do things”?  Well, the time has come where my son can do things and I sometimes find myself missing the days when he just sat there like a blob.  Now that he is mobile, he is quite adorable, but also equally impossible.

He simply will not lie flat on his back anymore, thus making every diaper change something that should be recorded for America’s Funniest Home Videos.  And, God help me, if he decides to bless me with something more than just a wet diaper.  Yesterday, I spent nearly 10 minutes (no exaggeration) trying to clean up one of those “gifts”.

I laid my sweet, stinky boy down on the changing table where he immediately proceeded to try to flip over like a circus poodle.  I nearly had to sit on him to even proceed with opening the diaper.  Once his bum felt the air, he decided he would hold still just long enough to reach down and grab a handful of the mess and wipe it on me and his shirt.  Then he went back to his “dog tricks”.  I literally had to hold him upside down by his ankles (poo butt and all) to get the majority of it off. 

How did I accomplish this?  I can’t really say other than mommy adrenaline.  Looking back it seems quite impossible with only 2 hands but somehow I managed to clean him up and get another diaper on him before he peed on me (another favorite game of his).  I also had to throw some powder on him while he was on my shoulder so he wouldn’t try to eat the bottle or give me a powder shower.  Good times.

Once the diaper was back on, I looked around at the powder on me and the changing table and floor, as well as the poo still on his shirt and mine.  After approx. half a box of wipes and another wrestling session to get his shirt off, he was au natural with just a diaper but he was back to smelling like a clean baby.  Meanwhile, I had to dash to clean myself off before he got into more mischief. 

Good thing I am fantastic under pressure (and when forced to deal with large amounts of infant feces).  I AM THE BABY WRANGLER.