There are Puddles in My House and It’s Not Even Raining

Little girl potty training her teddy bear

Cropped image. Manish Bansal, Flickr. CC License.

I’m very grateful for our hardwood floors. It’s much easier to mop up pee than to clean it out of a rug.

We started potty training our boy/girl twins in November. It’s now January and we can’t claim victory. I’m not going to lie. It’s disheartening.

When we started out on this adventure, I would’ve told you that one kid was ready and one wasn’t. That same kid was going to be a breeze to potty train. Good thing I’m not a betting person because I would’ve lost. Big time.

We read up on potty training toddlers. We took the kids to the store to pick out their own undies. We got a jar of M&Ms for rewarding going on the potty. We have a little stool and potty seat to make everything as little-tushy friendly as possible. We thought we were set.

One kid did really well. In fact, within about a week, we were accident free. Hooray! Granted, this kid still expects an M&M sometimes after a bathroom trip, but it’s a small price to pay.

However, the other kid just isn’t having it. There are good days (really good days), but then there are days where we’re changing wet pants minutes—sometimes seconds—after reading books for 10 minutes in the bathroom. We’ve learned that the kid must wear pants with the undies every day. Just undies alone won’t work. The pants absorb more and we have to clean up less. Gross, right?

So frustrating. But when I think about it, if I’m frustrated, the kid must be insanely frustrated. I know this is about control, but I just don’t know what to do about it. Any ideas?

I’m just holding out the hope that by the time the kids are in junior high, we’ll be able to put this in the “success” category.

– Rebecca Calappi, Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health System and adoptive parent of multiples

4 Responses to “There are Puddles in My House and It’s Not Even Raining”


  1. 1 Katie January 13, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for sharing, Rebecca! I wish I had other ideas for you but sounds like you’re doing everything right. My 2-1/2 year old daughter has been peeing on the potty since she was 23 months so we thought it would be a breeze. Fast forward 7 months later and she’s still in pull-ups because she refuses to go #2 in the potty. Sometimes she’s just as surprised as anyone that she pooped! Maybe it’s a combination of a control issue, as you mentioned, and maybe it’s still lack of muscle control … either way, I feel your “pain” and am also disheartened and frustrated.
    I’m anxious to see what other parents may share about their struggles and ideas for a successful potty-trained toddler!

  2. 2 Rebecca Calappi January 13, 2015 at 11:27 am

    It’s just nice to know we’re not alone!

  3. 3 Shelby January 13, 2015 at 11:52 am

    You guys are doing great! What I jave gathered is that toddlers need to make the connection for themselves. Their body needs to send a signal to theor brain telling them they have to go potty, then they have to make the connection to go and sit on the potty. I think once the connection is made pee will go in the potty! Until then, just relax, encourage, and in their time it will happen, their just learning, much like us parents.

  4. 4 Anonymous January 14, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Hang in there, Rebecca! You guys are doing a great job! This theme will continue to play out over and over again throughout the years…each child is amazingly unique in how they master day to day life. Your incredible patience and wonderful humor will help sustain your sanity during these “puddle” days. Wishing you a puddle free week!


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