Potty training: I just don’t know if I can face it again

When I was pregnant for the second time, I wasn’t particularly worried about labour. I’d had one positive experience already and having pushed one out, I was confident I could manage another.

That being said, by ‘positive experience’ I would like to stress that I didn’t have one of those mythical ‘orgasmic’ birthing experiences. It hurt, rather a lot. I was already “in transition” by the time I arrived at the hospital, so the worst part took place at home. I lay in bed trying to imagine each contraction as being like “going over a hill”, just as my books had told me. Unfortunately, I kept visualising a hill and then seeing whoever it was who played Jack the Ripper in the film From Hell coming over it, reading to slice up all my womanly organs (can’t think why that kept popping into my head). I remember staring up from the bed, at the cuddly toys from childhood we kept on top of our wardrobe, and hating them and their stupid cuddly toy faces and wishing that Pigwig and Teeny the panda were feeling it all instead of me (we’ve since been reconciled – they’re aware it was a bad time for me). Anyhow, by the time my second was due, I’d forgotten all about it. Until we were in the car on the way to hospital again, at which point I was thinking “fucking hell! How the fucking fuck did I repress all THAT!”

The thing is, though, labour itself didn’t last that long. It didn’t last, say, a whole sodding year. Unlike potty training my eldest. Jesus, that was a real nightmare! Wees in Sainsbury’s, impromptu poos in soft play, pair after pair of underpants painstakingly scraped and then thrown away anyhow because, sisters, I know when I’m defeated. It was AWFUL! And now I have to do it all over again. But unlike with labour, I have some say in when it starts. Hence I’m putting it off. And putting it off. And putting it off just that little bit longer.

Youngest is nearly three now. I really ought to get going. With Eldest, it ended up being a race against time before he started school, with a photo-finish that involved some serious Thomas the Tank Engine bribery. I don’t want it to end up like that. I want to do it “the right way” this time. Unfortunately, “the right way” was going to include starting much, much earlier. I’ve already missed the boat on that.

It will be different this time. My youngest can talk, for starters. Eldest had delayed speech development (now miraculously sorted thanks to the insertion of grommets). When we started potty training, he couldn’t tell us how he felt or what he wanted. It’s not like that with Youngest. He’s a right little chatterbox.

I can ask him if he’s done a poo, for instance. He always denies it. And to be fair, sometimes he is “falsely apoosed”, as we so hilariously put it. But most of the time we’re right. Right now I sometimes ask him if he’d “like to” go on the potty. Alas, he always tells me he wouldn’t. I can’t think why. It has a sticker of Thomas on the front. I mean, what more could you want?

Before we get started, I’ll buy him some nice pants, just like I did with Eldest. That didn’t help much, though. They were Thomas pants, but to be fair, I think my partner and I chose them because they amused us far more than they amused our son. It was the Thomas slogans that ended up being emblazoned across our son’s crotch. These included:

  • Toot-toot!
  • All aboard!

And our personal fave:

  • Ultimate engine!

All very inappropriate, I think you’ll agree. But to be honest I’m having a bit of a giggle right now, just thinking about them. So I guess potty training’s not all bad.

Anyhow, I do really want to do it better this time. So, any suggestions? (Providing they’re not “start early” or “it’s easier if you have a girl”, because I’m fucked on both those counts.) I just need that extra push to get started. And Youngest needs that extra push to get poos and wees in the potty instead of re-commencing his brother’s mission to fertilise Britain’s carpets. Right now I’m feeling like a soldier who’s been on leave and can’t face going back. Don’t make me go there. You don’t know what it’s like. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE *clings helplessly to the maxi pack of Junior disposables*. I can’t go on like this. Any ideas?


9 thoughts on “Potty training: I just don’t know if I can face it again

  1. My HV informed me to wait until they wanted to do it as then it would happen in a few days instead of weeks and weeks as they start to get an awareness of “going” and then will start to want to do it. Oddler is 27months. She shouts “i did a poo mummy” constantly but hasn’t it’s just a fart and is a bit scared of the potty so we are just leaving it for time being. She changes her own nappy so it’s no big deal! Suppose I might start worrying by 3 maybe. That of course is no help to you. Has he shown any sign at all? Have you seen poo goes to pooland? (I read about it on mumsnet!)

    1. I’m worried Youngest went through a phase of awareness about a year ago and we didn’t strike while the poo-iron was hot (or something). My partner read the pooland thing and we did use that with Eldest. I think it worked some of the time, but he then got quite distressed about the destiny of his brother’s poos! (but we wouldn’t have that problem this time, providing Youngest doesn’t get a guilt complex about poos past…)

  2. I’m thinking I need mr poo and pooland for #3 who consistently does them in her pants. A joy. (I did pm somebody on mumsnet but she never replied: why isn’t ere a normal way of getting hold of the damn thing?) #1 drove a hard bargain – only did it in nappies despite me bein nice/being cross/bribery/ everything. One day in frustration I said look, poo in the toilet and I will buy you a pink bike. Little sod did it the next day. Middle child just did it herself and we have forgotten. Poor child.

  3. We cheated somewhat and started on a Weds – he goes to nursery Weds-Fridays. By the weekend he was pretty much trained, and they did most of the work…

      1. I am celebrating fedrnis and family.I am celebrating that tomorrow a friend will have a bunch of necklaces to try to sell.I am celebrating that I have gotten 12 bracelets and 6 pairs of earrings to sell, with the profits going to breast cancer research.I celebrate myself, and all that I am and all that I will become!

  4. With the boy an awareness that his friends no longer wore nappies (which I meanly kept pointing out to him) was the spur into pants. He was just short of his 3rd birthday. We managed it over a half term before the return to childminders.

    The girl was much, much easier. And younger.

  5. Harry was one of the last of his friends as well, which may have helped. And we never did potties at all – at nursery they have small toilets, and at home we used a step and seat on our toilet. And yep, three days! Ten accidents on day one, about three on day two, none on day three. Obviously there were still occasional ones for a while, and we didn’t tackle the nights till later, but we were very lucky.

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