I’m at the end of my tether. I can’t do it. I’ve failed and I DON’T want to fail but this potty training lark is so hard.
The above message I’ve just sent to my boss and team. I’m sat at Fazakerley train station, sweating buckets thanks to sprinting the quarter mile to try and make my train, trying hard not to cry and pissed off I’m not going to have time to grab a Starbucks (the highlight of my day).
Potty training was going brilliantly! WAS. We got Blake a potty a few months ago and some a toddler toilet seat inserty thingy you put over the main loo seat. He was asking to go to the toilet, dry after naps. Wearing pull ups and they were dry 75% of the time. We were over the moon! He was only 18 months. We got rid of his cot and put his mattress on the floor
We put his potty in the corner of the room and night time toilet trips were a success! It was all going a bit too well. Then one day he crapped on the rug in the front room just as we were about to leave for work and the childminder. It always happens just as I’m about to leave for work. It’s like he knows. Anyway, so he crapped on the rug, touched it, then proceeded to touch his shitty toddler fingers everywhere – the sofa, my jeans, the dog! It was a nightmare. And I shouted. Loud. I was nearly sick with the smell and was gagging. Poor Blake began to cry.
And that ladies and gentlemen is where our potty problems started. It’s all my fault.
Blake stopped doing his poos on the loo or the potty. He much preferred his pants. And he loved to touch it. I’ve no idea why but he loved it and also loved to throw it. He did it at my sister when she looked after him and I was mortified. I did not want a shit-throwing ASBO kid. No way.
I picked up a copy of Gina Ford’s ‘Potty Training in a Week’ book and started to read it. It seems good but I quickly realised it was my fault for shouting at him that he’d regressed. I was also putting Blake in pants with me and then giving the childminder Pull-Ups. I didn’t want to burden her with him having accidents. I had a chat with her and she agreed we were confusing him doing pants one day then pull ups the next and probably holding him back.
So, I went out and bought £25 worth of big boy pants. Cars, spiderman and robots emblazoned proudly on the front, Blake was excited and over the moon.
The first day in big boy pants was with me all day just the two of us. He had a few accidents in the morning but he seemed to understand quickly and the whole day passed without another pair of wet pants.
We’d been lucky so far that there hadn’t been any need to offer him incentives of treats. I’m not a treat giving Mummy anyway (read ‘neurotic food police Mummy’) and I didn’t want to bribe him. He’d been doing too well. Gina Ford advises to start a star chart and that seems to be incentive enough for now. Blake loves sticking his stars on and we make a huge fuss when he uses the loo or potty.
Last night Blake soiled himself, it slipped through his pants, he held it in his hands, the dog snatched it and then there was a farcical chase around the house to stop the dog eating the poo and stop Blake touching anything with his dirty fingers. I was shouting, Shaun was stressing and once again Blake got upset. Remaining calm is the thing I’m struggling with most but I know it’s doing Blake absolutely no good whatsoever and I’m feeling terribly guilty. I’m hoping some kind of super maternal shit force field is going to appear soon. You know, like Sonic the Hedgehog used to have. It will magically appear in times of fecal need – making me invincible and unflappable when dealing with bodily functions. I’ve got to toughen up. Hosing down his pants in the garden last night and this morning whilst wanting to throw up definitely felt like a low moment on this parenting journey!
I’m so tempted to give up and stick him back in nappies. I’m so fed up of it all. I know so many other parents who have just said to persevere and it will get easier. I know it will but it’s still difficult to cope with at the moment. I’ve got to be calm, consistent and patient. After all, he is still a baby and he needs me.
I feel like I’m drowning in a puddle of pee.
Tell me it will get better? Soon?