Girls Who Wear Glasses & Boys That Break Glasses
The (Belt) Loop

Too Soon, Man

Okay, everybody, time for some math.

Ike was JUST born. Right? Maybe five, six months ago, tops. Maybe not even that long. Point is, I brought him home from the hospital YESTERDAY and now my calendar is telling that his second birthday is less than four weeks away. Whuuuut.


1. Sit in a high chair

2. Take a nap, ever

3. Stay inside with me while the big kids are outside playing

4. Eat ice cream (brain freeze related reasons, long story)

5. Tolerate my attempts to thwart potty training

(Humblebrag, ahoy! Right? Am worst.)

He started asking to use the potty about a month ago. I have been KIND OF going along with it, albeit super inconsistently and grudgingly, because GUUHHHHH.

That horrid in-between stage — where they aren't really ready to leave the house sans diaper but you don't want to backtrack, so either you never leave the house for a week or two, or you spend the entire outing terrified, while saying "DO YOU HAVE TO GO POTTY DO YOU HAVE TO GO POTTY" every 30 seconds like a deranged parrot and then the kid STILL pees all over the floor at Target because he is a lying liar, he SO TOTALLY HAD TO GO POTTY — yeah, that stage. I am not ready to deal with that stage again. 

I've potty trained two children already and I know the secret that nobody wants to tell you: It's completely overrated.

A potty-trained toddler is not a genius nor proof that you are amazeballs at parenting. A potty-trained toddler is a liability and a goddamned menace. A ticking pee bomb just waiting to have an accident or to demand access a potty at the precise moment where you have absolutely no access to a potty. (This moment usually happens about five minutes after you DID have access to a potty and offered it repeatedly, only to be turned down because no, I no hafta to go potty.)

(LIAR! Stop with all of your lies!)

So right now the potty remains an occasional nighttime novelty act. I almost feel guilty about my lack of follow-through, since I'm sure we could seal the deal pretty quickly so if I just...cared more? Stuck with it? Did much of anything about it? 

Because of the older boys (and I dunno, OUR LIVES), I simply can't keep Ike and I holed up at home for very long. Even the 24-hour "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" approach feels like a massive scheduling commitment (and commitment is not something I excel at right now; see: Overrated, Completely). Every day, there's somewhere to be or go. So every day, I put him in a diaper because we haven't practiced enough to take it to the next level. Maybe tomorrow we can practice some more. Or the next day. But by then Ike's been wearing diapers for a few straight days and although he still WANTS to use the potty he's backtracked on what is actually supposed to HAPPEN on the potty. So we start all over again, half-assing it all the way. 

And then, of course, there's the part where he's my baby. My last little baby who is not even two years old yet — four weeks! I still have four weeks! — but who is hellbent on growing up as fast as he possibly can and leaving everything baby-related behind. For the first time in almost eight years, my house won't have a high chair or a crib or baby gates. No changing table or diapers. That's a Matrix-style "Whoa" moment, right there. 


(Yes, it will completely serve me right if this window of opportunity slams closed in my face and we're stuck with diapers for another three years, or something.)

(But at least nobody will pee on my couch in the meantime.) 



potty-training is the absolute worst. my son was "potty-trained" last august and then spent the next six months having so many accidents that i can get frustrated, angry, and tense just thinking about it. i kept asking people how we were failing at this so hard and everyone kept telling us that it was normal. this post made me laugh out loud multiple times. maybe i'll start a tumblr "places my son peed (or pooped" and see if i can get on the daily show. thankfully, i didn't take any pictures...


My baby gull just flat-out told me one day "don't you put a diaper on me, Mommy. I NOT wear it." she was so impressed with the "skills" (oh hahahaha) of her two older brothers that she insisted on trying, for several months, to pee standing up. Yes, that was as fun as it sounds.

Ashley // Our Little Apartment

My first child is over 2.5 years old and already feel like potty training is overrated for all those reasons you mentioned.

Once he's 3, the game is on. But till then? I figure it'll just create more work for ME, what with the potty monitoring and such. (Plus, he's terrified of the potty chair. Yaaay.)


My baby will be 2 in 4 weeks also, and has shown some interest in the potty thanks to seeing her sister using it - I'm just not ready for it! It IS completely overrated to have a potty trained toddler! I think we will be waiting until the summertime to potty train... until then I will spend my time weaning her off the bedtime boob...


I was soooo not ready to potty train my third when he started asking to use the potty about 8 weeks shy of his 2nd birthday. Like you, I hated potty training the first two times around, and I wanted to wait until I was good and ready and we could clear our calendar, and etc. However, he was insistent, so we went for it. He had accidents and I had to be hyper vigilant for about a week, which was about as fun as it sounds (accidents in Target, Costco, Safeway, etc.). BUT after that week, he was 100% potty trained, including at night, and he has NEVER once had an accident since, other than one time in the church nursery when they didn't take him because they didn't believe he was potty trained. I take no credit for his success, and I won't claim to have the secrets of potty training unleashed or anything, I JUST GOT LUCKY. For once.

Anyway, point being--go for it! He might surprise you! Now he's almost 3, and many of his little friends are going through potty training now, and I'm so beyond glad we got that over with last year.


I've potty-trained two girls so far, each around the time they were two. They stayed home with me all day, everyday so pretty much just acted as my shadow and went to the bathroom when I did. Easy enough aside from my sounding like a crazy person anytime we went anywhere, afraid they would mess themselves. Now I have a boy and I'm not sure if I'm overthinking this or what, but I figure you're well-versed in this so maybe you can fill me in. He has parts I don't have, obviously, do I train him standing up? Sitting down and lead up to standing? Some people have even said their boys were more focused when they let them go pee outside on a tree to learn? About what age, do I start this en devour? He already runs to the bathroom first thing each morning, but I think that is more or less hoping someone left the toilet open so he can play.


i totally understand. sigh


We've been "potty trained" for almost a year...and by potty trained I mean we do a great job with #1...the other...has been HELL!! Why, why, why...does he only sh!t on the pot 1/2 the time??? All I can say bragging when your 2 year old kicks my soon to be four year olds butt!!! More beer, please!!!


My daughter is just over two and I'm sort of like "lalalalala" when she mentions using the potty. She never actually goes when she sits on it, and I'm in no hurry for her to grow up, so I'm just waiting for her to figure it out at school maybe? Or for her to really get serious about it? I dunno, I'm "potty training neutral" I guess.


Our little guy turned 2 in March. He asks to "go potty" all of the time but I take off his clothes and diaper just so he can sit for 1/2 a second and jump up. He doesn't get the whole peeing on demand thing. I think we have a way to go but he too wants to be just like his big brother.


My almost 2 year old is doing the same thing. I have no desire to start this up right now. We are having a baby any day now, and moving this summer.I do not need this right now. I mean seriously who wants to deal pee on the carpet while we are selling the house. Keep up the stall tactics till he's 3 I say!


A ticking pee bomb...bwahahhahahaa I luff you. That is the truest statement about potty training that I've ever heard.

I am unsure how Ike can be nearly two, but then again, I'm unsure how my wee teeny baby can be going to kindergarten in August either. (Does Ez get to go? They just changed the rules here from Sept. 15th to Oct. 1st, which seems ridiculous to everyone except those of us with late Sept babies who are SOOOO READY!)


I have run across a GREAT potty training ebook and have devoured it and turned a ton if my friends onto it who are having great success with their littles.
It's called "oh crap potty training" and she writes in a style similar to Amy, so of course I love it. She had so much success helping friends and her community potty train their kids that she was able to quit her job and make a living off of classes and what her book brings in.
She says the best window is 20-24 mo the and after that it gets harder for most kids who are then being set in their independent twos mentality. There is some work up front and its not a magical 24-72 training promise but it will work and most kids are done in three weeks or less.
We're starting our DD probably next week at 22 months and I expect good results. Half the battle is trusting your kid and if he or she actually wants to do it, they are MORE than ready.


I will not reveal how old my three older kids were when they potty trained. (old) I will say #4 trained himself. I felt just like you. No potty training. Who has time for that shit. But, right around his 2nd birthday he would strip naked and go outside to the "pee tree". I couldn't keep a diaper on him. And that was the end of diapers.

Suzy Q

Ike's little face just melts my heart.


how about pull-ups instead of diapers?


My youngest is 2.5 yo and I JUST bought a real-life diaper bag for the first time in my mothering life (always used big purses/messenger bags). We are now in the midst of potty-training and I can't leave the house without 3-4 changes of pants, underwear, socks, shoes, and at least one other t-shirt. Seriously, where does it all come from?

I was also spoiled rotten because his brother potty-trained in 3 days EXACTLY. No accidents, no regression, just done.

I do wish I had bought this toilet seat sooner - it is incredibly awesome to not have to rinse out the little potty pots. Best $40 EVER.


I was going to say something, but then it completely slipped out of my mind because that faaaace! That precious, sleepy head face! Squee!


Brilliant post! I was once very anxious about this with my almost 3 year old til a dear old friend advised me, "Relax, there are very few 10 year olds who aren't potty trained." Good perspective.

Leigh Ann

I think you were barely pregnant (or maybe before?) when I first started reading you. And he'll be 2????? Gah.

I have to potty train my youngest this summer. Not looking forward to it, and I've done it before! With twins! But with the twins we were able to stay home for, oh, 2-3 weeks. Not happening now. Send help.


I hate potty training so much that I never want to do it again unless we're rolling in so much money (HAHAHAHAHAH) that I can just pay someone to do it for me. We use the 24-hour method, and it pretty much works, but it is still the worst 24 hours of all time.

If there is a next time, and we aren't rolling in money, I am going to spend the entire day as drunk as possible.


I completely second this entire post. My second kid started using the potty parlor-trick-style months ago, but this ain't my first rodeo, I remember how ... damp that in between stage is.

My first was a whiz (kek) but there was still that transitional 3 month period when there was always the threat of kamikaze potty accidents. Dude once pooped on a friend's enclosed patio, he'd been out of diapers for months and A.O.K. and then BAM! Crap on your porch!

What was I saying? Oh right, reticence in potty training. You are not alone, the potty can wait. Dry floors > than a few fewer loads of diaper laundry each week


My younger one was in diapers forever, to the point where I'd snarl at changing time. Probably wasn't the best approach, either. And thanks for the "deranged parrot" image, which will have me chuckling all day!


If only I had your pain. Number 3 was 3 in March and he won't go near the potty. In fact he is actively at war with all things that resembling potties or toilets. *Sigh*


Yes to all of that. Absofreakinglutely. I only have two, and both of them are girls. The older one was potty trained in one day, boot camp style, when she turned three. The younger one turns three at the end of May and just decided to potty train instead of play at it this past week. It has been over a YEAR of starts, stops and peeing in the floor at target.

The older one did not have accidents. She also wasn't interested until I told her there were no more diapers, and she was older, but still. Accidents suck. I do not like being peed on.


Man, you make cute people.


I got lucky! My daughter showed signs arounf 18 months, and we tried it for a week-end, and it didn't happen even once on the toilet. So I let go. I wanted to try again this summer, but in February, she started to insist on using the toilet. So, on Saturday morning, no lead-up or prep, I put her in underwear. That day, we had 3 accidents. The next day, she used the bathroom EVERYTIME. And it's been like that since. She's day-trained only, but I don't mind that one diaper a day. Yeah, I can't take any credit, she did it all on her own! Let's hope Ike goes that way too!


BWAHAHAH! I have totally been there. The peeing all over Target...Check. The asking over and over before we get in line at Disneyland only to be told 5 min from the ride I HAFTA PEE....check. (not once but THRICE) I am due with number 3 and I am not looking forward to all of the above. HUGS


Oh, the Potty Wars! We're in the middle of it with our 2 1/2 yr old daughter, I've actually considered writing you an Advice Smackdown question I am that frustrated (but at this point to heck with everyone and their 'advice'! No offense, just ENOUGH). She GETS IT, she has for going on 3 months now, she just doesn't WANT to use the potty. The kid has no problem peeing all over herself! At least if she's in big girl panties she always goes poop in the potty. I'm grateful she'll at least concede that. Everything else has been so easy with her I knew something would eventually suck royally, and here it is! It's so great when they're smart and independent - except when they use it against you! :)


Thank you! (I just stop by for the laughs)


My youngest is 2.5 and very nearly almost fully potty trained. I should be more excited, but then I remember that will mean endless pit stops when we drive somewhere because she also has two older siblings. Plus she is scared of public restrooms at the moment (me too, sister, me too). I say diapers and pull-ups until Kindergarten!!


Try the huggies good nights or just plain pull ups for when you leave the house. He can pull them on and off himself and feel like a big kid.


Puddles in Target....sounds familiar. Your posts always crack me up...thanks for the laughs, Amy.


My son (only kid) will be two in July. I do not approve and don't recall giving him permission to grow up this quickly. In other words, I feel ya.

They do potty training at day care and he's doing great, even pooped in the potty a few times? Have we started it at home? HELL NO. To be fair, he doesn't really show many of the signs of readiness, but I'm still in no hurry. I like diapers. Well, I don't *like* diapers, that would be weird, but they're preferable to having a ticking pee bomb.


Currently trying to potty train the MOST STUBBORN 3 year old in the world. He's getting better with telling me when he has to pee pee but down right refuses to poo on the potty. He has a pretty consistence poo schedule so I know when to try and get him to the potty. He'll sit there for 20 mins or more, we'll give up and he has poo'd his pants within 5 mins of leaving the bathroom. HELP ME!!!!

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