I’d describe myself as an “average” parent, somewhere between hand crafting organic applesauce and leaving my kid in a closet all day. I’m also woefully unprepared for certain toddler milestones. The one we are tackling now is potty training.
A Google search produced dozens of articles about the “best way” to train my son. Some claimed candy is the trick. Others promised to get him out of a diaper in seven days (or I’m a terrible mom). Honestly, I’m skeptical of internet parenting advice, so I borrowed a book that promised to be “a simple guide for non-coercive potty training.” It told me to let my son go pants-free, avoid pullups and set up my home with—ha!—no distractions. We talked about being a “big boy.” I made a show of hiding the diapers and placed the training toilet in a central location.
We went about our day, making breakfast, playing with blocks and reading a few books. I was running out of things to do. Meanwhile, my son displayed tremendous bladder strength. In a momentary panic, I broke the distraction rule and consulted the book, just to see if it had any tips on life-threatening boredom and toddler stubbornness. Then I noticed it: my son was silent. He was on his stomach playing with trains, and he flashed me the “poop” grin, a version of the “I spilled milk all over the floor” grin.
I ran over to find that he had peed straight into the carpet. I whisked him onto the training potty, explaining, “This is where we go pee-pee.” Apparently, this did not go over well. He screamed and cried, then ran to his room, only to return holding a diaper. Now, he is terrified of the training potty. I hope whoever marries my son is fine with potty training, because I have no idea what I’m doing, and the future looks bleak.
Carrie Taylor is a native Texan and mother of one.