Forget about that 3-day potty training nonsense. I am pleased to present to you my foolproof 15-month potty training method!!! Follow these steps precisely for best results.
Step 1: Allow yourself to feel like a bit of a failure as a mother when your child, a few months after turning 2, is proudly sporting diapers, of which he seems to be quite fond and in no hurry to be rid of.
Step 2: Allow your parenting guilt and embarrassment to push you to interpret your child’s very minor interest in the potty as training readiness.
Step 3: Spend a small fortune allowing child to hand-select a plethora of ridiculously overpriced character underpants to fuel potty training excitement, ignoring every cell in your bargain-hunting body that screams at you to buy the cheap, boring underpants. This is also a good time to purchase roughly 40 pounds of sugar in all of its delicious forms (bear-ed, worm-ed, twizzle-d and M-ed) to serve as potty treats.
Step 4: Summon every possible molecule of excitement to transform yourself into the world’s most enthusiastic cheerleader who finds nothing more thrilling than peeing in the toilet. (That cheerleading summer camp you attended in first grade is finally paying off!)
Step 5: Clean up pee on kitchen floor.
Step 6: Clean up pee on living room floor.
Step 7: Clean up pee on bathroom floor.
Step 8: Clean up pee on bedroom floor.
Step 9: Consult the almighty Google: “what to do when potty training child is begging for a diaper????”
Step 10: Clean up pee on family room floor.
Step 11: Dry heave while disposing of pooped-on Superman underpants because you are not prepared to handle that cleanup situation.
Step 12: Try one last time to convince your sobbing, devastated, borderline depressed child that the potty is cool! so cool! he’s such a big boy! this is fun! stop crying! stoooop cryyyyiiiiing!!!!!!!
Step 13: Give up. Accept that diapers may be a permanent part of your life for the next 15 or so years as you pack away the underpants.
Step 14: Wait.
Step 15: Wait more. This is a good time to singlehandedly consume the remaining 39 pounds of potty training treats. You deserve it, that was the worst.
Step 16: Keeeeeeep waiting.
Step 17: Consider trying again.
Step 18: Nope.
Step 19: More waiting.
Step 20: Awkwardly field comments and questions from friends who wonder why your child is now 3 years old and still not potty trained.
Step 21: Wait again.
Step 22: Maybe this is a good time to have another baby, since you’re becoming such a diapering pro.
Step 23: Perhaps you should consider buying stock in a diaper company?
Step 24: Okay. You can do this.
Step 25: No you can’t. Let’s just wait one more month, for good measure.
Step 26: After all, you have another baby on the way now. You certainly don’t want to have to potty train while you’re pregnant, for pete’s sake.
Step 27: And look at that, now you have a newborn on your hands. There’s certainly no sense in potty training now.
Step 28: Might as well give it another few months, just to be on the safe side.
Step 29: Re-purchase a plethora of overpriced superhero underpants, since the first batch no longer fits.
Step 30: Start again with the big boy pep talk, the overly-enthusiastic cheerleader routine, the calling of the grandparents to brag about even the teensiest droplet of pee making it into the toilet.
Step 31: Clean up pee on living room floor.
Step 32: Throw away another pooped-on pair of Superman underpants.
Step 33: Hold on . . . is that it?
Step 34: Really?
Step 35: Dare I say it? . . . I think . . .
Step 36: . . . just maaaaybe . . .
Step 37: Success!
( ^ my lovely sister-in-law sent some goodies for Darcy, but good luck convincing Mr. Fancypants here that the flowered headbands were not, in fact, intended for him)
It only took roughly a year and a half of procrastinating and half-hearted efforts, but we (I. It was me. Let the record show that I did this alone.) finally got Forrest potty trained, and whoda thunk it, if you wait until your kid is pushing 4 years old, potty training is actually pretty fast and simple. I’m talking in the range of 2-4 accidents and he had it figured out.
Of course, there was a bit of a poop strike when he was nervous to go #2 on the potty but equally horrified at the thought of me throwing away another pair of his beloved Superman underpants if he pooped in them instead, and held it for almost a week. That was fun. Sooooo fun. But I am cautiously optimistic that this parenting hurdle has been successfully hurdled.
Bring on the next one.