a.k.a. you are no longer fun at dinner parties because all you talk about are your child’s bowel movements.
Congratulations! You have tried all traditional methods of toilet training, and have now “decided” (been coerced) into becoming “child led” in this department. How very enlightened of you. I mean, why force the issue? We’ve all heard of children who weren’t potty trained until they could change their own diapers, but we’ve never actually seen one, right?
Don’t worry, I’m sure he/she will get it just as soon as you ease back on saying things like, “Why do you hate me?” and praying “Dear God, please just make my child go poo where I ask.” Try to relax, and let them take the lead for a little while. Just don’t be surprised if your child “leads” you there later than any child you have ever heard of. Ever.
How (Not) To Potty Train Your Child from the Experts (who sucked at it)
1. Do not toilet train in areas where there is no toilet. This may sound like a given…but to those of us who didn’t think things through properly–it is a revelation.
2. Do not potty train your child on a boat. Specifically do not put your child in the V-berth (sleeping quarters) for nap time without a diaper and expect the walls not to be smeared with feces afterward. They will be. Oh, they will.
3. “Let’s say” you have a child who “for the purposes of this article” screams like a wild banshee when you try to sit her on the toilet. Know that it’s not your fault. You’ve been very open about bodily functions thus far. Well, there was that time you said something along the lines of, “What is wrong with you? Are you afraid a snake is going to come out of the toilet and bite you or something?” Oh.
4. Do not have M&M’s customized with the words “pee” and “poo” on them to entice your child to sit on the potty like all the other children have been doing for a year and a half. This will indicate to your savvy child that you are getting eager/desperate for her to try the potty, and that now would be a super good time to fuck with your mind.
5. Do not enroll your child in “diaper free” preschool when they are not potty trained. You are a liar. When the teachers look at you, from now until the time your child graduates from that school, they will be thinking “Liar”. Your lies smell like poo, Liar.
6. Tell her that other people go to the potty, and poo on the potty, but DON’T tell her that all the doormen in her building go poo on the potty too. Unless you want to launch into a loud conversation, every time you walk through the lobby, about how often Jerry and Al poo, and where, and for how long.
7. Furthermore, refrain from saying things like “Pooing is the best thing ever!” and “Pooing rocks!” After a while you’ll start to feel sad because that’s what you used to say about your social life.
8. If she happens to ask you how astronauts go potty in space, change the subject immediately or distract her with shiny keys. Nothing should give the impression that there are other acceptable options for going to the bathroom.
9. No rewards for farting. Not even half an M&M. It’s natural and everything, but it doesn’t justify a reward. Way to go; look at that Pandora’s Box you opened that one time when you laughed at your partner’s fart.
10. Also, maybe don’t have another baby right around the time that your first baby (who is no longer a baby) starts changing her own diapers. That’s right, I said it. Changing her own diapers. Deal with it.
10.5 And don’t EVER go on parenting support message boards to discuss the problems you are having. People will send messages of hate across the internet to you that will melt the eyeballs out of your face. (You may begin drafting comments…now)
And finally, don’t feel bad if you ended up eating that sack of M&M’s emblazoned with the words “pee” and “poo” all by yourself, even if it was big enough to feed an entire Boy Scout troop. You’re still a good Mom. We love you anyway. We really do.
Love Sam and Allana