Thursday, June 30, 2016

Potty Talk

Y'all.  I feel like Dave and I have reached a HUGE parenting milestone.  HUGE.  

We have successfully potty trained all three of our kids.  Yes, ma'am.... all of them.

Let's dive right in - and here's your warning - this post is going to contain gratuitous use of the words poop and pee.  It is what it is. ;)

When Luke was 2 Dave and I did what any "eager beaver parents" of a newly two-year-old do and we jumped on the potty training train.  We bought a bunch of Hot Wheels cars and a fancy new potty and set our kitchen timer for every twenty minutes or so and started "potty training" our baby.  He was a quick learner and pretty soon he was totally trained when it came to pee.  Pooping was another story.  We're talking a story with multiple chapters and volumes.  YEARS worth of writing.  It was torture for everyone.  Looking back we can see what a HUGE mistake training Luke so young was.  He wasn't ready - we took him so often that he never really had a chance to understand the "feeling" of having to go.  He just happened to be at the potty so often that he would go. 


We've always joked that Mason runs on #masontime

He does things (like walking) when he's good and ready and he really can't be persuaded or bribed into doing things.  It's an admirable quality for sure.

In the Summer of 2013 I was on summer break, felt like I was hitting my stride as a mommy of three and I was ready to potty train two-year-old Mason.  Mason had other ideas.  I gave up for the summer and thought that we'd try again in August when things got back to "normal" and we were back in our routine. Miss Lisa was on board and we tried EVERYTHING!  Both of us would literally sit him on the potty at least 6 times a day and encourage him to try.  He would consistently tell us, "it's too hard".


Not wanting to turn him off to the whole experience I would back off and then attempt again a few weeks later.  I offered to buy him toys at Target, we had a bowl of M&Ms out and ready and he even got new underwear.  I tried to get him to "water the flowers" outside, we did pull-ups and he went pantless for 3 days - nothing.  He was TOTALLY not ready.


Fast forward to the summer of 2014.  He was three and it was a full year after I thought he would be potty trained.  At this point he could explain to me in a complete sentence that he would NOT be going pee on the potty.  #masontime


I had almost given up home of him EVER being trained until one morning in July.  He walked into our bedroom, hopped up onto the bed and literally announced to Dave and I that on "this day" he would start peeing and pooping in the potty.  And that he did. No joke.


Last summer we thought that Griffin was ready to try potty training.  She had just turned two and  showed some interest so we bought her the underwear and it literally went nowhere.


This entire past year she's shown off and on interest, we'd sit her on the potty and she would say "it's not working" :)  


Our babysitter would take her and she would occasionally go, but nothing consistent.  We didn't worry about it, having seen how easy it was for Mason when he was ready and so we backed off.  A couple of weeks ago GG started getting out of the pool and going to the grass to pee (#bigbrotherproblems).  We knew then that she understood the feeling and so we set off to Target to pick out a new pink potty.


We made a big deal about the potty and that was it!  She hasn't had a single accident in two weeks!

On the very first day I would ask her if she needed to go potty and she would sweetly reply, "no" and then excitedly announce later when she did have to go and it was then that I knew that we had waited until the right time.


We put a pull-up on her for naps and bedtime and most days she wakes up dry from her nap.  I think twice she's pooped in her pull up before we took it off (right when we started training), but other than that it's been easy!  We started on a Friday and she ran errands with us on Saturday (and told us she needed to potty at Wal-Mart) and she told her Sunday school teacher she needed to go the next day as well.

We keep the little potty downstairs and I picked up a second one to go outside as well.  With it so close by we don't have to scramble to take off her bathing suit, dry her off and rush her to the potty inside.  When she's upstairs she can use the big potty on her own.  A fringe benefit of training later :)


It was painless and easy but I really believe that's only because we waited until she was ready.  We watched for her signals and didn't try to push her (we provided opportunities for her to go, but didn't force it when she wasn't interested).

We are so so so proud of our girl!  And for the first time in EIGHT YEARS we're not buying diapers!  #allthepraisehands  We're buying Pull-Ups for night time, but still!


I wanted to share my experiences with potty training to encourage y'all in listening to your kids (and your instincts!) and not being intimidated or pressured into parenting decisions.  By friends, by books, by the internet or by strangers.

There is NOTHING more humbling than being a mom.  For reals.

When your 5-year old loudly asks, "What are all those bumps on that boys face" while you're standing next to a sweet teenager with acne.

Or when you have to throw away a pair of poopy underwear in the Chick-Fil-A bathroom (while wrangling a toddler and having a newborn strapped to your chest) as another mom watches you and shakes her head in disapproval.

Or when you answer the door holding your newborn and realize that your boob is out.

Or when your toddler has a complete and total meltdown in Sam's and you literally strap him into the cart and laugh/cry while you finish your pizza (and nurse a baby) because what else can you do.

Or when your three year old is running around your house in a diaper and people comment and tell you how "behind" they are because they should be potty trained by now.

Along with being a humbling experience, being a mom has taught me to trust myself.  To trust my instinct and my gut.  Nobody (no matter how many kids of their own they have, how well intentioned they are or how much of an "expert" they consider themselves) knows your kids as well and as intimately as you do.  I've made tons and tons of mistakes in my time as a mom, but listening intently to my kids and their needs and readiness has never steered me wrong.

If you're in the throes of potty training... solidarity sister.  This too shall pass :)

If you're looking ahead and thinking about potty training... trust me, it's not as awful as you think.

If your potty training years are behind you... CONGRATS!  We can start saving our diaper money and putting it toward braces :)

Happy Thursday, friends!  Thank you for walking alongside me in this whole mommyhood thing... for the community, the advice, the ENCOURAGEMENT!  Y'all are the best. 

54 comments:

  1. I SO needed to read this! Thank you for reminding me that "this too shall pass." My oldest was just past his 3rd birthday when he finally "got it." My second is two-and-a-half and I'm in the throes of waiting. Can't wait til I don't have to buy diapers anymore!

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  2. I completely agree with this!! The Slaughter story is pretty similar!

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  3. I am a big believer in waiting until they're ready to potty train. I waited with both my boys until they were ready (age 3) and it was so much easier. Hoping more mommas will do the same and not get caught up in other people's opinions.

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  4. I am the world's worst potty training parent. You know this already. I totally bet this post will help so many today!! #pottytrainingblows #itsucks #theworst

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  5. My son was tough...so tough he was almost 5 till he was completely trained. In fact, I trained him and his sister (who's 2 years younger) at the same time...she also learned to pee on the "pee tree"...lol! I swear I have serious PTSD!!! My youngest, now 3, needs to be trained by fall for preschool (2 mornings a week) but I just give up with every accident! Ugh. I know it will happen...as everyone says - no child ever went to college in diapers!!!!!

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  6. I want to know who was at your door when your boob was out. #inquiringminds And I remember when I tried to potty train Carter and he wasn't ready. He took the potty seat off, put it on his head, and said "Wuht. I'm a cowboy." Ha! :)

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  7. Yes, you are absolutely right. Potty training just goes nowhere until they are ready. You've done a great job!
    I don't know why that mom did that at Chick-Fil-A!! Moms should always help other moms.That boggles my mind.
    Anyway, congratulations! It's a huge deal when you don't have to buy diapers anymore!!

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  8. love this so much. right at the point of feeling out my two year old boy to see if he's really really ready. had an awesome experience with our daughter and you're exactly right, when you wait until *they* are ready, there's really no "training" involved! love this post and love your little stories at the end. (wish we could add emojis...i'd put the cry laughing one here, haha!)

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  9. As someone who hasn't entered the world of motherhood, I think this is an incredible post. Definitely will remember when the time comes :)

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  10. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your candor! Thanks Mama!!

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  12. Yay for you (& Griffin!) you sound like a really amazing mom and your 3 kids are very lucky to have you!

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  13. My 3 year old is 2 days younger than griffin and doesn't seem like he has any interest in potty training even though he knows when he's peeing and pooping. :sigh: I'm so ready to be done changing his diaper

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  14. I'm such a FIRM believer in letting kids do these things on their time. I never let people's opinions get to me. Aj was almost 4 before we was fully potty trained. And that's ok! Someone once told me many years ago, don't worry yourself, your kid won't be going to kindergarten in diapers, drinking a bottle, sucking a pacifier! So so true!!!!

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  15. Yay, Griffin!!!! So happy y'all don't have to pay for diapers anymore. Thank you for this post...I have Ben trying to figure out what to do with my two year old.
    Amen to parenting keeping you humble!!!!!

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  16. My 2 y/o is going through something similar to Griffin's story right now--she showed some interest so we bought all the princess panties & books and potty seats, but she just wasn't ready. I didn't want her to develop negative feelings about it. We tried for just one day and realized it wasn't time, so hopefully we will try again towards the end of the summer! Thanks for sharing this today!

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  17. Great post. Just what I needed this morning. I am in the potty training trenches; #1 has been a breeze, but #2 might be the death of me!

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  18. I am at the point of frustration with my soon to be 4 year old, he has no interest, we have tried bribes, candy rewards, promises of toys, being strict, NOTHING works! At this point I am beginning to think he may just go to college in diapers...

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    1. Hang in there momma! Put him in a Pull-Up, and ignore it! He will get it, and it will all be over. He will not start Kinder in a diaper, I promise! Tell him to let you know when he is ready, give him the responsibility. You can both do this!

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  19. Seriously teared up reading the end of this post! Just what I needed today! My daughter is 3 days younger than Griffin and we've been potty training for about a month-the first 2-3 weeks went GREAT but we're in a bit of a regression now ��. This too shall pass...

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  20. Love this post! We waited until we knew our son was ready and he was trained (all but the wiping part) by 3 and we take hardly any credit for it. He never had a nap or bedtime accident because he literally has a bladder of steel. He can hold it forever just like his Daddy. My daughter will soon be 3 and we haven't even attempted the potty. She is/was a late talker so I just knew we wouldn't even attempt it until she could talk in some more sentences. I know she will be trained before she goes off to school so I'm not worried about it. I love what you said at the end because it is so true and I hope I never become an older Mom/Grandmother who judges another Mother of young kids. You just have to do what you have to do for your kids and you never know what another Mom is dealing with because you don't know her kids!

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  21. Woohoo!!! That's a GREAT feeling!

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  22. No kids, but time with family and in education has shown me, YOU CAN'T FORCE KIDS! Crazy little rugrats are on their own time.

    Yay for extra diaper $$$!

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  23. Love this post - been there, done that... Funny thing about motherhood, when you are in the throes of a stage, you think there's nothing worse in the world and it will never be over... and then, its over and done with and the next "fun" adventure comes along!
    We took a family trip last year, and all of a sudden my husband and I looked at each other and realized that for the first time in 9 years, we were traveling without strollers, diaper bags and everyone was carting their own luggage! #momgoals

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  24. We started potty training this week. It had been awful. Lots of poop in underwear. First kid was so easy, second kid seems to be more difficult. He likes to do this on his own time as well. Thanks for the encouragement much needed right now.

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  25. Yes! All this... yes! Elle could pee on the potty like a champ, but then took MONTHS to go poop on the potty afterwards. She was just past her 3rd birthday when she got a little stomach bug that taught her how to poop on the potty. If I had known, I would have signed up for a stomach bug sooner! I know you said Griffin still wears pull-ups for naps & bedtime. How long did your boys wear a bedtime pull-up? Elle is 4 and still depends on it. She's usually dry, but if we let her sleep in panties, she inevitably wets the bed.

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  26. My daughter was like Mason. She flat out had no interest in the potty. And like Mason, at 3 1/2, she got up one morning, brought me her panties, and declared she didn't need her pull-up anymore. 3 nights later we ditched the night-time pull-ups. She has wet her bed 1 time (ONE TIME!!!!), and had a handful of accidents that were totally her fault for not wanting to quit playing. My sister in-law (who did not have a kid at the time) tried to shame me about it; she also thought that if SHE talked to my daughter, she could convince her. LMBO. I would rather deal with diapers and pull-ups for 3 years, than be chasing a child to the potty every 20 minutes, and cleaning up accidents all over the place.
    Wait till they are 3!

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  27. Great post! Moms can be so hard on each other. You gotta do what's best for YOUR kid and not worry about what anyone else thinks. Let's just all be a little kinder to one another. Congrats on getting all three potty trained! Celebrate! :) Before I had kids (when I did my best parenting) I was SURE mine would be trained by 2 1/2. They were both three before they were ready.

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  28. I completely 100% agree with waiting until the kids are ready. Anything before that is such a waste of effort! My son potty trained fairly early but it wasn't anything I did, he was ready! I try to tell my new mom friends to please just wait and not waste their time. Great post!

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  29. Mother of 2 kids and I agree with all the above!! Waiting till they are ready is the key ingredient. Good job mom!

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  30. Well done Griffin!

    Out of curiosity how old was Mason when he started walking? I have a 17 month old who will cruise, take a few steps, but will not consistently walk!

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  31. YES! Mom guilt is real and can be so hard! My daughter has her own version of "Mason time". I finally realized that I was stressing myself out for no reason by pushing her when I thought she should be potty trained. She had to decide that she was ready, and when she did it was so much easier! As moms, we know what is best for our own kids, but it can be so difficult to tune out all the opinions of others. Good job, Mama!

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  32. I loved this post! We have a 3 year old little boy, whom we are fostering (2 months today) and hoping to adopt. Of course, no one had ever even thought to potty train him and within the last three weeks, he's had no accidents. I believe preschool really helped with that... seeing the other kids go. You know, they pick up everything in preschool (good and bad). :) Also, he is our first child and this post was a great pick-me-up because I feel like most days, I don't know what I am doing. :)

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  33. This is the best. Your words of wisdom are so encouraging! Our second child will be almost two when the new baby comes. The thought of two in diapers is awful but I can already tell she will do things in her own time.

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  34. As a mom of almost 3.5 year old twin boys who are not yet potty trained- Thank You! I know we will get there and I have high hopes that it will click soon for my stubborn boys. They absolutely know (and tell us) but refuse to actually go into the bathroom consistently. Charts, prizes, treats haven't worked for us yet.

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  35. Loved this post! We waited until my oldest, a boy, was 3.5 to potty train and after this new baby brother was born. Four days later done!! I was dreading it but so thankful that we waited until he was ready. He has had a couple of accidents but some were totally my fault. I was nursing the baby and forgot to open the bathroom door before doing so. It really is up to the kids and when each is ready. Potty training shouldn't be rushed because the parents are ready for the kids to be done. Let kids be kids and they will tell you. And mommy shaming is the worst when it comes to potty training. The looks I got and comments said were so sad. Good job momma and congrats! I am excited for that day in our house!!

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  36. The last little bit of this post really struck home -- it was so well written and SO TRUE. Thanks for being so open and honest.

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  37. Wasn't Chick Filet but a poopy accident at Target that leaked onto the floor. Underwear went right in the trash and I left my cart full and told an employee I needed to go home and asked that they put everything back and thanked them for their help. Solidarity sister! I remember crying on the way home but I did have extra undies for him in the car. *sigh* Fist bump-we made it through!!

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  38. Oh gosh, Mason reminds me of our Jacob... he is SO. STUBBORN. I have never met anyone more stubborn than him in my entire life! It's really frustrating. Needless to say, he JUST got on track with the pooping on the potty a few months ago and he's about to turn five. FIVE!! We were sweating it out thinking that we were going to have to hold him back from going to Kindergarten, so thank goodness he finally started doing what he's supposed to be doing!! Sheesh. This post made me feel WORLDS better. Especially since we're now starting to train our 2.5 year old girl. #SendWine

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  39. This makes me feel like I'm on the right track. My little guy is almost 2 1/2. He's shown a little interest and has gone to pee in the potty some but that's it. He popped once and got really scared. I feel like I should just follow his lead and this confirms it! Thanks for sharing...you are an amazing mom!!

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  40. My oldest was exactly like mason. We tried it all and gave up, he came in one morning and said he was ready. He had 2 accidents ever, so I waited on my next. The first day he had an accident here and there but it clicked. Now my almost 2 yr old girl is showing interest but I don't think she understands. She just see's her big brothers going. I can't wait until I don't have to buy diapers!

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  41. Both of mine trained a month before they turned 4. I stressed with my daughter (first child) and finally after multiple meltdowns on both of our parts, I gave up until she was ready. She was like Mason and just one day did it and never had an accident after that, like went straight to panties during nap and nighttime. So, with my son I didn't stress. I waited until he acted interested right before he was 4 and he was trained in 2 days. I had friends and strangers try and tell me they were too old for diapers but you know what, they are happy, healthy kiddos who are just fine :)

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  42. I have a 3 (almost 4) year old and he's gotten the pee down! I can't remember the last accident he's had. He will completely go on his own but the boy will NOT poop on the potty. Any suggestion from your 1st? I am seriously thinking he'll still be pooping in his pants when he's in high school!!

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  43. Yay congrats! We just potty trained our littlest and for month she was okay, but ever since we took her pacifier away, accident city, yikes! I hope it passes soon, poor thing doesn't know how to comfort herself.

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  44. Well put! My husband and I are the last of our friends to have kids and we get all the unwanted advise! The reality is exactly what you said! No one knows your kids better than you! Amen sister! Have a good night!

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  45. Really awesome advice. I have two year old twins to train and do not look forward to it. I have already trained my 7 and 5 year old girls and it was a nightmare. I did the twenty minute thing with them and you know how well that went.

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  46. I actually teared up reading this and I don't know why! Oh yes I do, mommy hormones. I am so unbelievably glad I found your blog a while ago. It makes me feel sane again on those rougher mornings! <3 Lots of love and enjoy this weekend!

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  47. Love this post! Although all kids are different, there is an point where you it can be a concern if not trained. Also they might even qualify for EI services if not trained by 4 which could help overall development.

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  48. This is great!!! So true! Our first took almost 2 years to potty train. We started wayyyyyy too early. My mother-in-law started telling us our daughter was ready when she was 19 months. I look back and think why in the world did I listen to that?! So with our second he literally potty trained himself. We waited till he was good and ready and it was easy peasy! Funny thing is they were about the same age when they both were officially potty trained. It was so much better the second time around.

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  49. THANK YOU!! This was just the encouragement i needed! My daughter was so easy and my little man well he is a #masontime kind of guy 😉. Thanks for the super cute stories you always make me laugh or smile when I read your posts!!!

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  50. We have been potty training for what seems like forever. My three year old will pee on the potty just fine, but will.not.poop. How did Luke start pooping on the potty? Did it just happen one day? How long did it take for him to start doing it? Did you ever share his potty training story? I just don't know what to do to help Emerson poop on the potty. He knows he has to go, but waits until he's in a pull up for nap time. ugh. Help! I feel like we started with him far too early and now it's messed him up. I wish I had gone with my gut and just waited a little bit longer/until he was ready.

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  51. It took FOREVER to train my daughter, but she's finally trained both day & night. She will occasionally have an accident when she gets too distracted (like in a Chickfila play area - talk about embarrassing) but she does really well & I'm not at all concerned that it took us this long to get to this point.

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  52. This is greatness!! I love the end and all of the "happenings." Oh I'm sure at some point I will answer the door only to realize my boob is out! At least there is solidarity in it!

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