Potty Training

by Meri on May 19, 2012

We started potty training and I’m very much regretting my decision to try to train all 3 kids at the same time. Although to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if it’s potty training all three of them or simply that I may not have the right personality for this whole thing. You see, when I’m in a relaxed environment like  hanging out at a cabin by the lake, I can totally relax with the best of them. However, when I’m in work mode I’m a more hyper-high-energy kind of person and potty training is definitely work mode. 

I sit here and imagine other mother’s all calm and excited when their little ones say, “pee mommy!” That mom might slowly and kindly take their little hand and say, “ok, let’s go walk to the potty chair!” My experience is a complete madhouse of panicked calls, “MOMMY PEEEEE” and myself and my kids running this way and that. Perhaps I have too much nervous energy for this task. One thing I do know is my kids and I have been on a stress induced cortisol roller coaster for the last 5 days and while we’re making great strides it isn’t over yet.

I did the unthinkable move that I swore I would never do; using treats for getting pee in the potty chair. I’m not a fan of rewarding with food as that kind of  conditioning can lead to some undesirable habits later in life and I know many of my colleagues are probably cringing at me right now. I know…I know… but I need to get this done and my kids aren’t motivated by stickers so gummy bunny fruit snacks it is (at least they’re partially fruit juice). I figure it’s a bit better than straight up candy and I can make sure they don’t continue to use food as rewards for a job well done in their later years.

This is a glimpse of what my afternoon looked like:


Me: “ok…let’s run to the potty chair!” Keep in mind there are 2 potty chairs within 3 feet of him

Mr: “My Truck!!!! MY TRUCK!!!

Me: “Go to the potty chair first and I’ll bring your truck”

Mr: “MY TRUCK!!!!” as he runs in the opposite direction of the potty chairs to assure he gets his truck

Me: “I’ll get it…run, run, run to the potty chair.” Just making it with a little pee in his pants, but he has his truck. Sigh of relief.

Mr: “Treat!”

Me: “Yes, you get a treat”

Girls: “Treats!!!”

Me: “No, just for pees in the potty chair”

Girls: screams and cries, “treats, treats, treats!”

Me: I know you want treats, but we only get one of these special bunnys when you get pee in the potty chair, then you get to have one”

Tiny: “OOOO K”

Me: “Why don’t we go sit on the potty chair and see if anything happens”

Tiny: “OOO K”, as I put her and Birdie on the potty chairs. Phone rings so I go to answer and come back to the girls standing at the television watching their show with their pants around their ankles…pee dripping down Tiny’s legs.

Tiny: “uh oh! PEE!!!”

Me: “yes, well that’s alright, you had an accident. You can try again next time to get your pee in the potty chair. Accidents happen.”

Tiny: “OOOO K”

As I start to make dinner awhile later…

Mr: “PEE!!! Mama! PEEEEEEEE!!!!

Me: racing from the kitchen, “ok buddy…let’s go sit on the potty chair!”

Mr: “My RED CAR!!!”

Me: “I’ll bring you the red car”


Me: “Yes…I’ll bring the red car to you, now run, let’s get on the potty chair”

Mr: giggles as he gets pee in the toilet with his red car in hand

Me: “Great job! You did it! Let’s go dump it in the toilet” as the girls follow us into the bathroom

Tiny: As Mr is proudly pouring his pee into the toilet, “uh oh…PEE!!!” as it runs down her leg right in front of the toilet.

Me: “That’s ok…you were so close!”

Birdie: “uh oh”

Me: “Did you pee in your pull ups?”

Birdie: “pee”

Me: “ok…let mommy run and take the food out of the oven since I can smell it burning, then we’ll clean up the pee on the floor and change Tiny’s pants and then change Birdie’s pull ups.”

Tiny: “OOOO K”

Mr.: “Treats?”

Me: “yes, you get a treat, I’ll grab one on my way back from pulling out our burning dinner”

Girls: “treats, treats, treats!!!”

Me: “Well, Mr. gets one because he got pee in the potty chair. You’ll get one too when you get pee in the potty!”

Girls: cries and screams, “TREATS!!!”

Me: “After I pull our burning dinner out of the oven, pick up Mr’s treat, change Tiny’s panties, clean up the wet spot on the floor and change Birdie’s pull ups we’ll all sit on the potty to see if anything happens and if it does you can have a treat.”

Tiny: “OOOO K”

Birdie: “pee”

Me: “yes…pee”

Let’s just say I’m pretty tired and I’m not sure when the end of this training is going to happen. I heard stories of toddlers being potty trained in a day. Mine are up to a week so I think it will be more of a slow process. Getting control of the rushed, stress roller coaster we’re on might be in order for me. I’d like to create a more calming environment so we aren’t so frenzied and my kids don’t feel panic every time they have to go to the bathroom in their later years. Are there any zen potty training books out there? 

Meanwhile, I’ll focus on assuring I get in a Kale smoothie every day, lots of water, decrease the sugar and focus on some deep breathing. A glass of wine in the evening might be in order as well.

So moms, give me your best potty training tips or your best war stories.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple May 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Oh my god.

Well, I gotta tell ya. We did it over Christmas when Nick was 2.75 years old. And by “we”, I mean “Mike”. Because I’m hyper work-mode mom like you. We used a “potty train in 3 days” method. And I don’t know more about it than that, other than you stay home, keep them next to you, and throw away the diapers. I think it took Nick less than a day.

I’ll have Mike give you the details later. What he can remember.


Maryanne May 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Meri, you deserve a medal!!! I have no advice or war stories because we aren’t there, but i do wish you the best of luck. On the bright side, it sounds like Mr. is making great progress.


Christy May 19, 2012 at 11:14 pm

This is hilarious and painful all at the same time. I so get your pain EXCEPT I only had to do it with one kid at a time! This sounds like hell multiplied by three. And honestly I don’t know how anyone can be casual about potty training. Like parenting wasn’t difficult enough without having to clean bodily fluids up – everywhere – for weeks or months on end until they get it. Good luck my friend! I guess try to focus on how great it will be when it is all over!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: