Retro Post: UnPotty Training

Tomorrow’s my daughter’s birthday and I had the fantastic idea to her party here at the house instead of, well, having it at Jumpy Gym or Chuck-E-Cheese or somewhere else where they do the cleaning and prepping and cooking and decorating for you. So, let’s just say it’s been a crazy week. And, since it’s been crazy, my brain has no ability to think of anything witty, funny or in any other way interesting to say. So, I’m re-posting a retro post– this one from my blog back in June of 2008. Here you go:

Do you think it’s possible to unpotty train a kid?

I know, I know. Potty training is a milestone… a rite of passage. I should be proud that my son is now a big-boy and has tiny blue boxer briefs to show for it.

But being a mom of a potty trained kid isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Take yesterday for example. I was kind of on a roll. I had both kids out the door and in the car at a reasonable hour. Both kids had clothes on (so what if Joey’s shorts were a bit dirty) and both kids had eaten breakfast. I think I even combed Kate’s hair.

Before you start patting me on the back, let me just tell you how the cookie crumbled (or the Lighning McQueen underpants unraveled if you will…)

About five miles down the road, Joey said those six dreaded words: “Mommy! I have to go potty!”. Gulp. I squeeled into the nearest gas station and ran into the mini-mart with a kid under both arm. I grabbed the key and raced to the bathroom.

My pride in making it that far without an accident was short-lived because when I stepped inside the tiny bathroom and saw the dingy, brown toilet and the filthy, wet paper towels on the floor, I wanted to turn and run. Of course, by now, Joey was doing the dreaded “potty dance” and I had no choice.

As I piled fourteen layers of one-ply onto the seat, Joey grabbed the roll of toilet paper and spun it around, pulling a long string out before I grabbed him and held him haphazardly over the toilet, begging him to pee quickly without so much as touching a single thing. Not a single thing.

We stood there for nearly an eternity, with me balancing a pantless two-year-old on one knee with a baby in my arms and a grimy bathroom key between my chin and my shoulder. I oh-so-calmly cheered my son on as he squeezed out the teeniest, tiniest dribble of pee. I swear. Had he peed his pants, I doubt I would’ve noticed.

When he finished, he asked for a sticker.

I scrubbed him down with anti-bacterial gel and left before we all caught some deadly infection or worse, he decided he had to pee again.

I’m seriously considering weaning him off the big-boy draws and putting him back into pull-ups. Maybe the under-draw fairy can come get them and trade them for a fancy, new box of diapers. I figure that after a few weeks, he’ll forget all about the potty and I can switch out the pull-ups for regular old diapers and go back to my safe (and easy) diaper-changing world. I’ll even give him a sticker every time he goes in his diaper without telling me about it.


  1. Girlfriend…I am SO with you! My son..(who is almost 4 mind you) is FINALLY well on his way to potty trained…he woke me up at the crack of dawn the other morning and insisted we had to get up NOW so he could use the bathroom. Don't even get me started on how many times he has to go while we're at the store….I'm down with un-potty training too. We must be nuts!

  2. I live in the country… so don't take this the wrong way. My little guy learned to be in (abandon or empty) parking lots with the car parked "just so" and a door open for protection if there weren't decent bathrooms available.

    I totally remember those days and not looking forward to seeing them again… only this time with a little girl so my old tricks aren't gonna cut it.

    Being 30+ minutes from the nearest Target, Walmart, or Kroger has it's disadvantages.

  3. I'm about to give birth in less than 11 weeks, and thinking about potty training again at some point kinda makes me kooky. But with my first, I let him lead. I didn't force it on him on the day he turned two, and we just kind of gradually let him show us he wanted to participate. And he was totally potty trained by 3 years and like 2 months. But I gotta tell ya, I might just let this kiddo wear pull-ups forever…that's how much I hate the toilet training…

  4. Oh, I can totally relate to your story. I have been there before. It is really funny when you look back at all this. I love how you described everything in details, I can totally visualize you holding the baby in your arms and your 2 year old. Potty training can be challenging for both you and the child. Thanks for sharing and visiting my blog as well.
    Have a great evening!

  5. Oh boy…I'm gearing up to start potty training. Not sure I'm ready for this. :)

  6. Hi Erin,

    Very funny story! Oh my gosh! I remember when my son was in pull ups, and there was a time when I wished he wasn't potty trained because under certain circumstances it's easier for them to remain in diapers. But don't worry, as you know that was/is only a short season. My son is now 15 years old and in the 10th grade. I don't know where the time went. I miss that little guy who was so cuddly and cute. Enjoy your children while they are still young and impressionable. The time flies.

    BTW … thank you for visiting my blog again and commenting on my latest post Waiting Upon the Lord. Your response really ministered to me. I appreciate it. If only I can stop feeling so anxious and impatient! I'll be talking with you soon. I am now a follower of your blog! :-)

    Take care,

  7. What is with the – I gotta pee,I gotta pee! And then a little dribble comes out?! And ugh -nasty mini-mart bathrooms -Luckily we haven't had to use too many. Great retro-post and Happy Birthday to your daughter!

  8. It's attractive and nice write-up…..well explained.i liked your way of telling it.
    Please visit my blog is—
    Best wishes.

  9. Funny! I had a situation in the pick up line at school with my three year old once. I know what you are talking about!

  10. I hear you– long car trips are also much more streamlined with a diaper. Our estimated trip length changes drastically when you consider stopping every 45 minutes for someone to go to the bathroom.

    And you won my contest at my blog!

  11. Hoo boy! I'm not a mom yet but it sure sounds like this whole potty business is NOT for the faint of heart :)

  12. Today Jacob and I went to the park. We were there about 10 minutes when he decides that he needs to pee. He's spent plenty of weekends at his grandma's farm so he just dropped his pants and peed next to the jungle gym -I was mortified. Thankfully we were the only people there. (hang my head in shame)

  13. My almost 3 year old boy is hanging tight onto his diapers and after reading this I'm thinking…as long as he's out of them by high school, right?

  14. my 5 year old is really having hard time with the potty thing. Seems happy in diapers right now. Might just stay with Life is less stressful this way.

  15. man where do i find women like you


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