The potty training journal

I kept a potty training journal of the last 9 days.  I don’t have any golden tips or magic tricks.  On the contrary, all you’re going to see is where I really struggled.  At the end of 9 days, we’re still not 100% done with the training, but we’re pretty close.

Day 1

I’m not sure if I’m just totally crazy.  I decided that we should try the 3-day potty training method.

Cliff and I booked this long weekend (Thanksgiving, which also happens to be Cliff’s birthday weekend) to be home, devoted to this potty training method.  I bought Joshua some really cute Cars (Disney movie) underwear.  The two potty seats have been in the bathroom for over a month now for him to get acquainted with them.  We rolled up our rug and stocked the fridge with groceries.

The training material indicated that Day 1 will be the most frustrating, and it certainly is true.  Joshua peed everywhere, at least 8 or 9 times today.  Good thing Cliff and I were both home all day, so one can watch him while the other one cooked or cleaned or walked Sam.

I think towards the end of the day, Joshua was getting the clue when he needed to pee.  He still couldn’t tell us before he went, but I think he was trying.  One of the last times he peed on the floor, he had told us a few minutes before that he wanted to use the potty.  We rushed him there and he sat on it for 1/2 a minute, but nothing happened.  So we took him off the potty and went back to reading a book, then he peed on the carpet a few minutes later.

Right now I’m not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel, other than 3 loads of laundry so far in one day.  So far tonight he has wet the bed once.  We’ll probably be doing a couple more sheet changes at a minimum.  It’s going to be an interesting few days!

Day 2

It was a crazy, up-and-down, heart-breaking, and mixed kind of day today.  Joshua wet the bed late last night.  Then Cliff tried to take him to the potty around 2 am, but he didn’t pee.  Then he stayed dry for the rest of the night.

He came to our bed around 5:30 am, stayed dry for almost an hour, then at 6:15 am said he needed to pee.  Cliff took him to the potty, he sat down, and peed in the potty!!!  We were soooo proud and so excited.  Joshua got a new toy for peeing in the potty.

Then a couple of hours later, he wanted to poop, and he actually pooped in the potty.  We cheered and clapped and gave him a new truck toy.  Don’t worry, I won’t show you a picture of that event.

Just when we thought things were going well and that maybe he’s all done with potty training, the rest of the day went all the way down hill fast.  He had diarrhea, so 3 very messy accidents in a row.  Each time he would ask to go to the potty, but cried when we put him on the seat.  He would struggle and want to come off the potty, put his arms around my neck and just wail.  It just killed me inside when him hanging off my neck and crying, while obviously struggling with something.  Then he would come off, and have diarrhea in his underwear a few minutes later.  Obviously he knows his body is doing something, but he couldn’t time it well enough to go while he’s on the potty.

At the end of the day, he did pee in the potty successfully once and got a loader truck toy, but then proceeded to pee in the bath tub while having his bath.

So, that’s what I meant by it’s a very mixed bag kind of day.  On top of that, it was Cliff’s birthday today, so I made all the meals, and made cupcakes, and did all the cleaning and dishes.  I am exhausted.  I guess it’s really good enough that Joshua did go in the potty a few times today.  Apparently most kids don’t really get it till the third day.

I think for me, the most exhausting part today wasn’t all the clean-up and rushing to the potty.  It was the uncertainty of it all.  I have no idea what I’m doing!  It reminded me of when we were sleep-training Joshua when he was 6 months old.  It broke my heart when he cried in his crib with his big teary eyes.  I felt like a bad mother just leaving him to cry and not picking him up and comforting him.  I wondered if 6 months was too soon to sleep-train him, and what if I was causing him emotional damage?  Today was a lot like that.  Maybe 23 months is too soon for potty training.  What if he is holding his pee in and get a urinary track infection?  What if he is permanently damaged by the experience will never function properly as an adult when it comes to his bowl movements?  What if he grows up hating me because I forced him to do this?  What if I am doing something wrong and there’s a study out there showing evidence of my ignorance?

Even though I’ve done the research, I am still just doing the best I know how, without ever knowing the consequences 20 years down the road.

Day 3

So I’ve decided in my head today that I AM STUPID AND CRAZY to try this potty training thing.

Joshua peed in his underwear half the time, and peed in the potty half the time today.  And he’s refusing to poop.  I can tell he wants to go, but every time he sits down on the potty, he gets up right away.

This is not what the book promised about the 3-day potty training method.  Everything is supposed to be done by the end of the 3rd day.  So what have we done wrong?  I have NO FREAKING CLUE!

After a long weekend at home with the potty training, I am totally stressed out, on edge, exhausted, and grouchy.  I am questioning my sanity right now.  Why did I think we should try this?  Why is it not working?  WTFFFFF?

I am heart broken and feeling so guilty.  I feel like I am torturing my child.  If he wants to poop in the diaper, why should I not just let him?  What if he holds in his poop for so long that he becomes constipated and have other problems later?  What am I supposed to do now?  Go back to diapers?  Or keep trying this training thing?  I wish somebody can just tell me what to do.

Day 4

After the long weekend, I went back to work totally exhausted and on edge.  Cliff took Joshua to the doctor today, and the doctor said it’s probably just a virus causing Joshua to have the runs.  While at the doctor’s office, Joshua told Cliff he had to go pee.  Cliff rushed him to the washroom, set up the folding potty seat, and Joshua actually peed in the potty.  I got a text message from a very proud daddy.

The rest of the day was many messy clean-ups because of the runs.  I was totally useless because I was at work.  I wondered how Cliff was doing with all the clean-ups.  When I got home, he kind of just shrugged and said it was not that big a deal.

We decided to keep the message consistent with Joshua that #1s and #2s go in the potty. It may mean more clean-ups while he has the runs.

Day 5

Another day for me at work.  Joshua managed to get all the pees in the potty, and a few of the poops too.  Still had a few messy #2s.  The poor guy still has the runs.   I am feeling VERY bad for Cliff.  He looked tired and worn out when I got home.

Day 6

First half of the day, Joshua peed and pooped in his underwear.  Second half of the day, everything went in the potty.  Maybe he’s “getting it”.  We decided that we need to buy him a backpack to carry his stuff, and get rid of the diaper bag.

Day 7

After my doctor’s appointment this morning, I stopped at MEC and bought Joshua a kids backpack.  I dropped it off at home for him, and told him it’s a “big boy backpack”.  We put a change of clothes in it, the folding potty seat, and a few toys.  We told him no more diaper bag because he is a big boy now.  He loved the backpack.

Today was a glorious day.  ZERO accidents.  Joshua still has the runs, but he managed to get EVERYTHING in the potty.

It was a bit unbelievable for me.  I mean, having the runs is pretty difficult (even for adults)! My little dude has learned his body’s cues enough in a week to communicate when he needs to use the potty.

Day 8

At 6:30 am, Joshua woke up.  I figured I’d test him with purposely NOT asking if he needed to use the potty.  A few minutes later, he said he needed to go but has already started to pee in his underwear.  That was really my bad.  I should have reminded him the option to use the potty.  It was first thing in the morning; his head was probably still foggy.

For the rest of the day, he used the potty like a pro and had no accidents.  His diahrrea seems to finally slow down a little.  We had brunch at a friend’s house.  He asked to use the potty twice and actually went twice.  We were invited to another friend’s house for dinner.  We brought a portable potty with us on the one-hour drive.  Almost at the end of the drive, Joshua said he had to use the potty.  We pulled over in an empty parking lot, set up the potty in the truck, and put him on there.  He actually pooped.  It felt a little ghetto to put my kid on a potty in the back of the SUV, but hey, it worked.  Then at the friend’s house, he would ask to go use the potty when he needed to.

Day 9

It was almost an accident-free day.  Joshua is quite good at telling us when he needs to go use the potty.  We did have 1 accident today when he was throwing a temper tantrum.  He was crying hysterically, then started coughing and gagging, then proceeded to throw up all over me, and at the same time peed on the floor.

I had vomit on my shirt and pee on my socks, just as a friend arrived to pick up something from us.  I actually really wanted to laugh.  Sometimes life can be so comical.

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