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Take a seat? Potty training not for babies

This column appeared in The Bryan Times on Monday, Sept. 23. 

I am so tired of changing diapers.

Done. Over it. Finished.

In fact, I’m so sick of changing them, buying them, or packing them into my daughter’s bag that I’m tempted to let her walk around naked — cleaning the mess on the floor might be easier to handle at this point. Actually, I’m told that’s one method of potty training — one of the thousands.

Because you see, potty training is such a difficult concept that in all the centuries of human existence no one has nailed down a sure-fire way to get it right. Kenlee is nearly 2 and a half at this point.

I realize she’s not a “late bloomer” on this milestone, but we’ve been working at this for so many months I’m starting to wonder if she’ll go to college in Pull-Ups.

I think I was set up for disappointment, however. My mother claimed girls were easy to train. My sister and I were in underwear by our second birthdays, she told me, and she had very little problems compared to what she went through with my brother. My niece added to the illusion by being way easier to train than my nephew.

 When we bought Kenlee a Mickey Mouse potty seat for Christmas, she loved it. In fact, on her first day, she used it three times. I thought to myself, “My child is advanced! She’ll be trained well before 2.” 

I was so proud of her accomplishment that I posted about it on Facebook: “You know that thing that toddlers do when they are training to be big kids? You know, the thing that no one really cares about except their parents? My kid did it — she did it three times today, actually. We're going to need more M&Ms in this house!”

Rookie mistake.

You would think I learned not to brag about my kid’s habits back when Kenlee was 6 months old. I was so excited to have her sleeping through the night and napping so well that I posted about it online.

Then came Kenlee’s first cold. And second cold. And no one slept in our house for about three months.

 So naturally, when I posted about Kenlee's first venture in potty training she decided she was no longer interested.

Take it slow, I told myself. Give her time. Don’t push it or it’ll be worse.

We tried the M&Ms — she would scream if she didn't get them on unsuccessful attempts. Plus, they were a mess. I was already wiping a butt; I didn't need to wipe her hands and mouth, too.

We tried putting coins in her piggy bank. It worked for a while, but they lost their appeal. Apparently she'd rather have cash, and momma can't afford to meet those demands with all the money she drops on Huggies these days.

We've tried asking nicely, and often. Sometimes we forget before it is too late, sometimes she just plain refuses. "No, I NOT going potty!" she says, with a corresponding foot stomp on the NOT.

Of course, today I started writing this column at the office and then received a report from the baby sitter that she went potty not once but twice this afternoon. Then by some miracle she went twice at home tonight.

But she's played this bait and switch before. A really good day is usually followed by a day of foot stomping, with extra poop on the side.

These days usually end with me plotting my revenge. When I'm in Depends someday, I'll throw myself on HER living room floor and loudly demand, "Change me!" Bonus points if I do it while she's trying to cook dinner.

I'd request that readers send me their best potty training tips, but I'm going to bet I've tried most of them already. Instead, you can just send diaper coupons. And wine.


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