Will it ever happen?!?

by: Monica B, a happy but somewhat desperate mommy

Since becoming a mom 2 ½ year ago, my life has changed in ways “they” never tell you about. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved (ok, mostly loved) every second of my “new” life…but there’s one thing about it that very well could be the end of me.

Pooping. In. The. Potty.

I truly had no idea how much this seemingly IMPOSSIBLE feat with my son had consumed me, until I found its become the topic of EVERY CONVERSATION I have with fellow moms and (let’s be honest) ANY human being who is kind enough to let me rant. Just a few days ago, I was talking poo right before an awards banquet at work with an acquaintance who I’ve known casually (at best) for a year. By the end of the 20 MINUTE CONVERSATION I felt a bond with her that somehow allowed me to sorta forgive myself for not knowing how or when or why I couldn’t conquer this potty training thing with my son, B.

I’m an A personality with slight OCD tendencies (poor, poor, B.) I’ve been pretty good at almost everything I’ve ever tackled in life. In fact, I tried golf ONCE and that was it because I WASN’T GOOD at it. Don’t judge. I knew after a few swings of the stupid club, golf wasn’t for me. So I just decided no need to continue on. I guess some will call me a quitter, but to each his own.

As for B and this whole poo-poo in the potty thing though- there’s no walking away, no giving up. It’s got to happen at some point right? I mean, could I really be the only mother in the world who one day has a 10-year-old still in diapers? That’s absurd!?! (right? That is absurd, right? I mean short of some sort of medical illness or disease that doesn’t happy with a perfectly healthy little boy, does it???)

B sleeping standing up in diaper

Poking out in all its glory! Yes, my kid can sleep standing up.

I’ve tried it all. I’ve done positive reinforcement, M&Ms, stickers, offered up an unnamed SUPER prize, hell I’ve even tried to just sit down and reason with the kid:

Mommy: B you can’t go to pre-school if you don’t go poopy in the potty

B: No mommy, I poopy in my diiiiaper (he just LOVES to stretch out the word)

Mommy: Then you can’t go to pre-school with your friends

B: Yes mommy, I bring LOTS of diapers with me, BIIIIGGG ones (the stinker knows he needs big ones for all poo that leaks out of him)

I’ve had people tell me ‘don’t stress, he’ll go when he’s ready…..’ Will he though?

B: (in the middle of building a tower) Mommy I go poopy. I be right back.

Mommy: You’ll be right back? Where are you going?

B: Go away mommy. I poopy in my diaper.

Mommy: B let’s go on the potty, it would make mommy so happy.

B: (pause) mommy happy? No mommy. I happy pooping in MY diaper.

How is it that he can have this ENTIRE conversation with me, reasoning and all, yet I can’t get him to poo in the potty even if my life depended on it. WHY DON’T THEY TELL YOU THIS STUFF WHEN YOURE PREGNANT?

My friend told me she became SO OBSESSED with getting her little one to poo on the potty that she quickly found herself in a dark, dark place. She felt like she wasn’t a good mom because potty training had consumed her every waking moment.

I know there are books upon books about this stuff out there, but I wasn’t supposed to need THOSE books! This mommy thing was gonna be a walk in the park! I was gonna have the smartest kid on the block who would just KNOW how everything was supposed to be done. I know potty training isn’t necessarily tied to intelligence (because honestly, at this point, he’s outsmarting me by refusing to use the toilet) but come on kid! I’ll take you Disney World if that’s what you want!

So, I’m putting it out there. Hopefully I’m not the only parent in the world who has struggled with this. Do I just back off? Do I keep pushing? Do I bribe? Do I encourage? Do I just plain have a breakdown? (ok, I’m being a little dramatic….ALRIGHT, a lot dramatic) Please, help a new mommy out and let me know what worked and didn’t work for you.


B proudly STANDING on his potty in order to reach the sink and brush his teeth. I am thankful he enjoys good oral hygiene if nothing else!

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to ask the same question to my 2 ½ year old that I find myself asking a gazillion times a day: WHY WON’T YOU POOP IN THE POTTY KID? PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE!!!! Your toilet seat has ELMO cheering you on for crying out loud. If not for me, do it for Elmo please? (GULP)

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