10 Things I’ve Said Over and Over While Potty Training…

… and the approximate number of times I’ve said them in the last 3 days (in descending order).

“You’re such big kids.  You can do this!” (1,400 times)

“Remember, tell me if you have to pee or poop, and we’ll run to the bathroom, OK?” (850 times)

“What are you going to say if you have to pee?  ‘Daddy, let’s go!’  Yeah!” (700 times)

“Every time you pee or poop in the potty, you get a balloon!” (550 times)

“I’m proud of you, just for trying!” (490 times)

“Let’s check underpants!  Still dry?  Yeah, I’m so proud!” (320 times)

“Who wants more juice?” (300 times)

“Guys, please stop walking in the pee!” (250 times)

“It’s OK.  Everyone has accidents.  I’ll be right back with the Windex and the paper towels.” (32 times)

“Yes, you get a balloon!  Hooray!” (2 times)

41 comments on “10 Things I’ve Said Over and Over While Potty Training…

  1. Do like I did: I enrolled him in a summer camp when he was about to turn 3. The school required they be potty trained. I lied and said he was. Later when I picked him up, the teacher reprimanded me and stated my son was NOT potty trained. I looked her in the eye and said: “Well, he was when I dropped him here, what did you do?”.

    Next day I dropped him, he was potty trained….peer pressure & school…lol…

    • That is brilliant! They start school in two weeks, so I’ll probably be relying on the teacher to finish what I’ve started – or more accurately, to clean up the mess I’ve made.

    • Thanks. I can’t imagine training them separately. They’re both so resistant. I just know the one I was training would say, “Well, why doesn’t he/she have to do it?” In my experience, either they’re both on board with something or neither is. Potty training, unfortunately, is a “neither”.

  2. I am right there with you. We have all kinds of ridiculous sayings that get repeated. And, it amazes me that my little boy could care less about the whole process. Sometimes it works for him, other days … not so much. He’s 3 1/2. Dude — you gotta use the potty!!

  3. I bought bead chains and pony beads for my boys. Everytime they peed in the potty, they got one bead. They got two for poop. At first, if they got five beads, they got to pick out whatever they wanted from the Dollar store. As they got the hang of it, I increased the number of beads they needed for a trip to the Dollar store. It worked wonderfully 🙂 Good luck!!!

  4. We sing a slight variation on the Lady Gaga song–“Daddy I’m so sorry, I’m so so-so-sorry yeah, I just like to potty like to po-po-potty yeah….” Of course, it doesn’t actually accomplish anything, but makes working with the Windex and papertowels more fun.

  5. Oh I have so totally enjoyed reading this and the comments. 🙂 I have 3-year-old twins too.. and they are entirely disinterested in the potty. They have all of the “readiness” signs. They know when they have to go. But the little boogers will flat-out tell me “No, I’m ok. I’m going in my diaper.” …to which I can only say “Oh.”

    • Yeah, my kids were perfectly fine with going in their diapers, so we tried this method, which had us put them in underpants. The idea was that if they actually felt wet, they’d learn they HAD to go to the potty. It didn’t quite work out that way. We’re back in diapers now.

      • Glad we’re not alone. We tried the “put them in underpants” method. My girls would play along, sit on the potty, act like they were trying to go.. but when they actually had to go, they’d ask me to put their diapers on. We try this every so often. No one is getting potty trained, but it does seem to suddenly increase their vocabulary skills every time. Last time I heard “I’m not a big kid yet, I’m a baby. I’m going to put my diaper on. I’ll wear underpants later, ok?”
        So.. it’s not a total waste. They’re becoming quite eloquent to avoid being potty trained 🙂

  6. Jerry – just a quick question: are you me? Or rather, am I you? I’m confused b/c EVERYONE I’ve hear blogging/writing/talking about potty training is making me feel like I’m the only parent with kids over 3 who aren’t using the damn toilet effortlessly. B/G twins here. I have been consistently training Phoebs for a couple weeks, but if I didn’t reminder her (every 22 min.) she’d just pee her underwear. My son just started yesterday – I kept wondering why I was so unbelievably tired… So few people get how unreal this is. Thanks for the interlude of humor. Back to the grind after naps.

    Btw, my older kid trained at 3 1/2, the day after she started preschool. This was after 6 mo of potty training. My twins just turned 3 and are starting school Thurs…we’ll see. No delusions here.

    • I like you, Anonymous-Living-Jerry’s-Life person. I have watched Jerry handle EVERY twist and turn of being a parent with twins with the stock ‘grace and aplomb’ answer. This one has been the trickiest, and I think so much of the frustration has been the blogging/outpouring of sentiments that ‘potty training is so much easier than you think.’ Our twins are really good about so many things (they’re Olympic gold when it comes to sleeping — even in their new ‘Big Kid’ beds), but for this, they are completely, entirely disinterested.

      And when I walk in the door at night from work, the potty training days are marked with a palpable ‘sadness/anger/resentment’ that I have never seen from our little family unit.

      Nothing was better than the night I came home from work and everyone was happy and smiling and laughing.

      I turned to Jerry and said, ‘You stopped, didn’t you?’

      His smile and knowing nod relieved me. And I remembered that oft-recounted story that no one’s kids walk up to get their high school diploma in a diaper.

      Here’s hoping we aren’t the exception to the rule there, too.

      Good luck with your twins! Thanks for making us not feel like we’re alone in our peeing and pooping pain!

    • Anonymous, My twin girls were 3 in May and aren’t potty trained either. We’ve tried before and we’ll try again…and sure, I’d love to be done with diapers, but ultimately it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. 🙂 They’ll all get there 🙂

    • I’m so glad to hear from you. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I’m planning to write a longer post about our potty training struggles. Needless to say, we’re still not there — and school starts for us a week from Wednesday. Eek.

  7. Wow, sounds like you missed a window there. My little monster started using the potty (just a plain old basic plastic thingy, not a fancy throne like yours) when he was barely 2. I just put it in his room and asked him whether he wanted to try. He loved it and was super proud of his accomplishment when he actually did wee into it.

    And here are the buts:

    1. It actually took another 6 months or so before he didn’t want the nappies anymore and went regularly to wee in the potty (what I call him being potty trained).
    2. He still has accidents today, usually we will go 4 weeks without any and then there will be 2-3 days when he has several in a day. It’s mostly not a full load, more like spillage (sorry for the picture). Not sure what brings this on but we just deal with it and wash some more for a couple of days.
    3. He can, at almost 3 1/2, still not sleep without a nappy, he just doesn’t wake up when nature calls. Even his afternoon nap, he doesn’t make it through. And trust me, we tried! About 6 months ago he had a phase when he refused the nappy at night and I – happy to oblige – changed his bed sheets up to 4 times a night. Until I called it quits and convinced him that the nice nappy-undies are just like undies and for big boys only. So we’ll see how long this will go.
    4. Wearing a nappy twice a day (nap and night), he doesn’t feel the need to poo into the potty or toilet. To the extent that he usually waits until I put the nappy on him and then comes to me 5 minutes later because he needs to be changed. Whereupon he will happily go to sleep.

    So all in all, there are no rules to this game. As someone said earlier, hang in there, one day (hopefully not too far in the future) one of them will decide that nappies are uncool and the other one will follow suit. Thanks for the giggle 🙂

    • Thanks, Sandra. A couple things I’ve learned from these comments: 1) every kid is different and 2) it’s never easy. Everyone seems to have their setbacks. I know my kids will get it at some point, but it sure has been one of the harder things I’ve had to do as a parent. 🙂

  8. So, my b/g twinks turned 3 in June. I started my daughter a couple weeks before my son, about a month or so ago. Right now I am taking both twins to the potty every 30 min or so. No one is really going by him/herself although when my daughter has an accident she finds me to tell me. My son could sit in wet underwear most of the time but sometimes tell me. He did try to make it to the potty this morning but ended up pooping in his underwear and getting it all over. .

    What’s kind of annoying is a lot of the literature from the *experts* talks as if all those training are between 2 – 3. If you’re older than that then the clock’s really ticking! And good for you if your kid trained himself at 22 months. The way my husband and I are potty training is very indicative of the kind of household we run, the kind of parents we are and the nature of our children. When I decided to get serious about training I did make a big deal about picking out underwear and potties, getting some books that we read daily, and from that day on we make some kind of effort each day to get someone on the potty. But potty training twins is absolutely exhausting. Way more exhausting than a singleton and even harder when you’ve got an older child’s needs to meet and a life you want to pursue outside the home. So I’m not going to knock myself out with this. When I do get discouraged I remember that this is very similar to how my older kid trained.

    The kids start a 2 day preschool program on Thurs – I am sending them in a pull up and hoping no one poops. But I know someone will. We’ll just deal with it as the school wants to. I feel like I have nothing to lose by trying (my brain is already mostly shot from having all these kids anyway) and maybe there will be a breakthrough related to school like with my older one.

    Good luck to you, Jerry! You’re speaking my language!

  9. OK – now I feel like a complete airhead. I wrote a comment 8/31 and then thought it didn’t post – it’s the Anonymous one where I ask if Jerry is me. I came back to my computer and the website was closed so I assumed someone’s little fingers closed it out and the message was lost. Further proof that my life is a new level of twin insane. While I was writing that last post, my son peed in his booster seat while eating a snack.

  10. This brings back so many memories! I got a lot of conflicting advice – my grandmother insisted she had her boys (my dad and his 4 brothers) trained by 18 months (!!) but I think she just sent them out to pee in the yard. Our parents encouraged us to start at 2, 2 1/2 and bring them to the toilet every 30 minutes. Our doctor said don’t stress them out, they’ll get constipated. So I started trying at about 3 but kept it low key, mainly because I don’t have time to rush them to the toilet 24 times a day. They didn’t finish training until they were 4 and both went through a period of constipation; the younger one still has to take Benefibre because she doesn’t like the look of the toilets at school. I’m just glad we’re done, so my sympathies are with you.

  11. A chart I made really helped us, each time our daughter did pee or poo in the toilet or potty she got a sticker to put on her chart, once she had filled up a row she got a prize

  12. I have to say, I have laughed just as hard at these comments and I did at the original post. I know it probably wasnt your aim but you made my morning. And right now I am so glad only one egg was ever released from my body at a time!

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