I Will Not Lie About Potty Training

I was checking out my photo album. I realized I have been lying for a long time. I’ve been telling people forever that my son was potty trained at 3. Lie. Big fat lie. My son was 4.

Dancing Diaper Dandy at 4

So if your son is 4 and he’s not potty trained. Sorry, but it’s no big deal.

I tried, I really did. I tried SO hard.

For a while Hershey’s kisses worked, we kept a bowl in the bathroom. Then at some point, he decided he’d rather pee in his diaper than have a Hershey’s Kiss. I KNOW!

Right about that time I saw someone post on Facebook about potty boot camp. I was like “what the heck is that?” This lady guaranteed she’d have your kid using a potty in 8 hours. Wait, what? We were going to be at your house for 8 hours with 8 other kids in need of potty training? Why did that not sound appealing?

I knew she couldn’t have made it up herself, and I am nothing if not an ignorer of a thief and a go to the original – kind of gal. I found the paperback book of Toilet Training in Less Than a Day
on amazon for 6 bucks and I was on my way.

This was a list of the tools I would need to potty train my son in ONE DAY. (she says skeptically)

  1. Buy a baby doll who pees (preferably a boy for a boy, yeah, try finding one of those)
  2. Buy lots of salty snacks (to encourage drinking)
  3. Buy lots of favorite beverage (to encourage peeing)
  4. Have a list handy of all of the people you know who go potty in the toilet (to guilt the child into using potty)
  5. Have a list handy of all of the people who will be so proud of your child when he/she goes in the potty. (to shame the child into going potty)
  6. Get hunkered down in a room the child cannot leave, that has no distractions and easy access to a toilet. (to torture yourself)
  7. No toys allowed (to torture your child)

Now go. OK, mini version, this was what I was expected to do. (Oh yeah, always in a really sweet loving voice unlike any voice he has ever heard come out of my mouth before)

  • Hey sweetie, see this baby doll? This baby doll goes pee pee in the potty. See? Let’s give her a bottle. And while you’re at it, why don’t you eat some of these cheesy poofs?
  • Oh you know what? First lets wash those poofs down with some yummy passion tea.
  • I think baby has to go potty in the toilet now! Let’s run and see! Now we run run run to the toilet and rip babies diaper off as we hold her over the toilet and a little pee runs out.
  • Good job baby! Good potty! Look Isaiah, baby went potty in the big potty! Isn’t baby such a good girl!

“Mommy, baby is a doll. She can’t go potty because she’s a doll.” (put babydoll away, that was a dumb idea anyway)

  • OK, well – let’s go have some more snacks. How about more cheesy poofs? ( I say using a really sweet voice masking my exhaustion after only 10 minutes of this)

“I’m tired of cheesy poofs, can we go in the other room?”

  • Now sweetie, let’s have something else, how about some potato chips. (completely ignoring his request)


  • And let’s wash it down with some more tea, ok?


  • Do you feel like you have to go potty?


  • Let’s talk about all of the people who go to the potty.
  • Does mommy use the potty? “yes”
  • Does poppy use the potty? “yes”
  • Who goes pee pee in their diapers? “I don’t know”
  • Babies, babies go pee pee in their diapers. “Oh”
  • Where do you go potty? “In my diapers?”
  • No you’re a big boy, you go pee pee in the toilet right?

Funny look.

  • Let’s go potty now. “NO”
  • Come on baby let’s try.

These are the steps:

  1. We’re going to run run run to the potty.
  2. Then we’re going to pull our pants down, sit on the potty, try to go, pull our pants up and run run run back to where we were.
  3. Sit down on the floor and do it again.
  4. Run run run to the potty pull our pants down, sit on the potty, try to go, pull our pants up and run run run back to where we were.
  5. Sit down and do it again.
  6. Rinse and repeat 10. (TIMES YES YOU HEARD ME) Eventually he did pee in the potty and boy did we heap up the praise.

Then we went back and started again… do you want some pretzels? Do you want some lemonade?

“I’m full mommy”

Come on baby don’t you want a little more to drink? A little more to eat?

“I want to go. I want to leave this room and see Poppy! I want to leave this room now!”

One more try sweetie, one more and I promise we’ll leave. (I lied.)

I made him do this for about 3 hours. IT WAS TORTURE! (for me) (He was fine; I let him play with the doll which was against the rules)

He totally knew I was messing with him, he would answer all of my questions with the enthusiasm of a dying earthworm. When all was said and done I said “Who do you want to call to tell them how happy we are that you are potty trained?”

Do you know what he said?

“No one.”

And the moral of this story is. All you have to do is lock a kid in a room with a bunch of Cheesy poofs (which stained my carpet orange), a pitcher of passion tea (which stained my carpet red) and a maniacal mom for three hours straight and your kid will potty train himself to get the HELL OUT OF THERE!




p.s. the book really did work, as horrid as that whole day was, Isaiah was potty trained in one day. If you are having trouble potty training, I highly recommend it.

30 thoughts on “I Will Not Lie About Potty Training

  1. This sounds like pure torture – I would rather change diapers than put another kid through potty training. The best is the phase where the child has the idea about using the bathroom on his/her own and then has to leave the table in a restaurant five times in an hour to go potty.

  2. Poor You, poor buy, poor carpet 😉 We so far avoided really “potty training” the girls. Lily was 3.5 years old, and her kindergarten teachers started pressure, so during summer break, we put the potty in the living room, and put a string of lolly pops on the wall, which she loved. And she was potty trained in no time 😉 Violet started using the potty around age 3, had a few set-backs, but is now fairly good about it 😉 Yay for Isaiah being potty trained so quickly!

  3. I say they’re ready when they’re ready, and it’s made life a hell of a lot easier. I’ve never stressed, and mine have all been potty trained by 3. Of course, I’ve only got one potty trained and the other hasn’t yet gotten to the age of 3, so I’m no expert…haha

    • Shay I can just see you, cigarette hanging out of your mouth beer can in your hand, yelling at yer kids to “GO POTTY! OR I’ll sick a Chihuahua on you!”

  4. Thank you for sharing this! We’ve been “potty training” my 2 year old for MONTHS. We put big boy pants on the boy. We sit him on the potty. Every now and then we (by sheer chance) catch something. We cheer like maniacs. He gets a treat, goes in the other room and pees on the floor. I clean it up for the 900th time. I’m forever reading, “my kid was potty trained when he was only 9 months old.” It makes me feel like such a loser! It’s so refreshing to hear that I’m not the only person in the world that has had potty issues!

    • I say walk away from it completely and go revisit in a year. My understanding is at 2 you’re not actually potty training you’re conditioning. And conditioning is always reversible, especially under stress.
      Don’t feel bad, and don’t make your son feel bad for being a failure. He’ll be fine! He won’t not graduate high school someday because he wasn’t potty trained by 3!

  5. I am exhausted just reading about it! My son was 4 by the time he was completely using the potty…no accidents, dry all night. My daughter was also nearly 4. I say, when they are ready, they will do it. And where in the heck did you find a baby doll with boy parts that peed??? LOL! Visiting you from the Friendly Friday Hop! Have a great weekend.

  6. I don’t even remember how we potty trained my son. For me, it’s like childbirth- you forget what it’s really like. We start with kid #2 in a few months, ill have to remember this if things go south. 🙂

  7. Love this – thanks for sharing your experience. I am in the middle of potty training my 2 1/2 yr old daughter and she just has no interest so far. She communicates well and just says no when I ask if she has to go. No, she doesn’t want a treat for trying. No, she is good. =) I haven’t gotten any of the books yet, guess I will start reading up. I am like Jean, I don’t remember the process of potty-training my 9 year old. In my mind it just magically happened. I remember a few M&M’s and that’s about it. =) Thanks again for expressing that all kids are different and they will get to it when they are ready.

  8. LOL Jen! That kid was just too smart, even then. Um, that’s a baby doll, it can’t pee. Of course.

    Someone once said to me that the way he looked at potty training was this: Go to Yankee Stadium. Look around. All of those people learned to go in the potty. Yours will, too.

    I hope I can take his advice when the time comes!

  9. Whoa. Brutal. Effective, but brutal.

    My youngest potty-trained herself out of spite at her older cousin. She didn’t want him to be able to use the toilet when she couldn’t. Then again, that’s how she rolls.

  10. Bookmarking this. And I saved six bucks, thanks! It seems I have a lot of other paraphernalia to go buy now. I think potty training is way more traumatic for the parents than for the child hands down! Very funny post!

    • Rachel you are so right. If it wasn’t for the outside stressers, I think we’d handle it just fine. But there is soooo much pressure!

  11. I don’t miss those days!! After “training” three kids the one thing I can tell anyone who is going through it is if you are really ready you kid will be too. I think they know when mom is really done with changing them. Glad you had success!

  12. You must have the patience of a saint because I might have been banging on the door crying to get out. I can’t remember how we got mine to use the bathroom but he eventually did, it was bleak for a while.

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