More On Ike's Hairz; Ezra Be Umperprising
Adventures in Cloth Diapering, Part Whatever: THE FINAL CHAPTER


If I'd bothered to get out of my pyjamas this morning, I might have taken a photo of myself spiking a football to illustrate today's post, because BAM. POTTY TRAINING ACHIEVED. FOR THE THIRD AND FINAL TIME. 

The toddler program Ike attends promises to get everybody potty trained by age three, and for awhile I was willing to be patient and wait for the teachers to declare him "ready"...while even dreaming of the Mystical Potty Training Unicorn of Ike deciding to be "ready" all on his own. 

But it turns out 2.5 years of diapering is my own personal limit of patience, and once it became clear that the only thing standing in our way was Ike's own stubbornness (i.e. His Royal Inherent Ikeness), I was like, "fuck this, I am down for a battle of wills, because my will is stronger and also I am bigger than you. SIT ON THE TOILET. DO YOUR BUSINESS. LOVE ME AND DESPAIR."

And in the end, that's really the secret to potty training: You have to want it more. Well, that and a lot of paper towels. And a solid couple days of singular, obsessive focus. And more paper towels. And finding the correct bribe incentive. 

This was Ike's, by the way:

Photo (90)

The Hulk (or "Da Whoolk") is Ike's favorite superhero — his other favorite character is Wreck-It Ralph, so I guess he's got a thing for comically over-sized hands and bodybuilder physiques? — and conveniently wears purple big boy underwear. We practiced putting Da Whoolk on the potty and made up a little story about him defeating dirty diapers and had him whip a prefold around like Loki.

(Thanks, Joss Whedon! I'm sure this is exactly what you had in mind when you filmed that scene. You are truly doing the Lord's work.) 

And although things were still pretty shaky by yesterday morning, I sent him to school in underwear. Along with a big bag of extra clothing. Although I forgot to send in an extra pair of shoes.

(He peed on his shoes.)

That one accident at school was enough to break his will and award me the victory. He came home like, "Yeah, that was unpleasant and I would like that to not happen again. Please to be taking me to the toilet now." He has been absolutely on point ever since, Mystical Unicorn style. 


(I still sent in an extra pair of shoes today, because I am not completely delusional. But still: there's always that undeniable breakthrough moment with potty training when you realize that the worst is behind you — the "worst" being a kid who will sit on the potty and do nothing and then pee on the couch 30 seconds later out of sheer, blind spite. Now we've moved on to the in-between "practicing" stage, wherein I am required to prompt and remind my child of his bladder's existence every two minutes.)

(Tomorrow I will further mark this momentous occasion in raising semi-functional human beings with one final cloth diapering post. Cloth diapering toddlers, re-purposing stuff for training, what diapering purchases ended up being the most useful/valuable and all that. Thrilling, thrilling stuff, I'm sure. But then I'll shut up about cloth diapers forever.) 

(Unless you send me a question about them at the Advice Smackdown. Then I will continue to talk your ear off, because OPINIONS.)



Congratulations! Boys can be such pills. My one and only son was almost 3 1/2 before he got it together, with the help of bribery (every time you use the potty, you get a piece of penny candy) and threats. He was so terrible, he would sneak off and squat down behind a door and fill his diaper, then bring me a clean diaper and tell me to change him. I was desperate and like you, with threats and bribery, got it done in one day. Whew!

Both girls, on the other hand, were totally trained well before they were two. Girls are easier. Please have just one more child, a little girl?!? PLEEEEEEZE!


Where were the Avengers/Joss when I had to potty train! I had to make do with dinosaurs and M&M's.

Liz L

I decided to train my twin boys (28 months) because one is 35+ pounds and I was physically tired of wiping his butt and wrangling him into a diaper. We still use a diaper at night, but it's undies all the rest of the time.

What do you do for night time? One of my boys wakes up dry most mornings and I was trying to come up with a night time solution for him that was reusable.


Weird question. My son is basically trained (2.5 years old) but I can't seem to figure out this whole boy thing. Pee sitting? Seems to spray out of the toilet All. The. Time. Standing? No aim. Please tell me - how does this work?? My husband is no help at all!


Am I the only one who began humming "I whip my drawers back and forth....I whip my drawers back and forth". To the tune of the Willow Smith song?


Oh ok. As you were


Totally jealous! My almost 3yo has been able to pee in the potty - will stay dry even for naps and night time - REFUSES to poop in the potty. She's so frustrating.


Just wanted to comment that I will miss the cloth diapering posts! I love them. Too much probably. My sister is pregnant, and I'm trying my hardest to get her to cloth diaper just so I can talk about it with someone. There is just so much to say!! :)


Wow, end of an era of diapers, but still. Congrats!


@Liz L Right now I'm still putting Ike in diapers at night since he's only about 50/50 on staying dry all night. They do make cloth training pants though, though I've never used them. Did the same thing with Ez -- cloth diapers at night until his track record was solid for about a week, then just a good waterproof pad. He was in a bed, though, so he could get up to go. Ike's still in the crib, which we will change soon-ish, I guess. (UGH.)

I'm actually sewing some old diaper doublers into the toddler underwear as a kind of MacGuyver'd training pant -- to give us a little protection when we're out running errands. Those hopefully will be useful for the nap/bedtime dilemma at some point, once Ike's a little further along.

@Jackie UGH. YES. THIS. The physics of the penis. Make no mistake, there have been a couple times I've counted as "successes" because Ike was sitting on the toilet at the time, even though the pee ended up on the other side of the bathroom, on the wall.

We start out sitting ( real toilet w/ Bjorn adapter seat), and "help" with the aiming down. Now we're working on having him do that. It's tough because he usually insists on bring handfuls of toys in there with him and just wants to stare while the stream goes everywhere.

My other two graduated to standing once they were really and truly accident free and were using public toilets more often (having them stand was preferable to hauling around a disgusting seat or cover or some such thing). I kept a bag of Cheerios in the bathroom and would toss one in for aiming help and tell them to "make bubbles" in the water. Gross but effective.


You are hilarious! We're potty training in our house this week because it's time to be done with diapers! 3 yr old boy totally doesn't care, 2.5 yr old girl is SO easy.


I trained my boy to be a sit-and-tucker. Sit down and tuck that spray nozzle down, please! Then, when he was almost 4, I had a stint in physical therapy, and he came with me. Every single visit, three times a week, he'd need to "go" at the very, very interesting different toilet, and I found my helpful PT assistant (male) insisted he stand and deliver so he could pee like a man. Oy.


"(He peed on his shoes.)" made me snort coffee out of my nose.
We've been putting off potty training at our house for...too long. I think this weekend might be The Weekend...or maybe next, no I have to work....maybe the one after that. GAH I AM AFRAID OF POTTY TRAINING HELP ME!

Jessica V.

I tried to use Cheerios once as a "target" but my son was horrified that we had wasted food, and tried to recover them from the toilet so he could snack (gag), so we had to change tactics at that point. ;-)


Yay for Ike! My daughter is fully capable of using the potty, and does sometimes, but other days insists on a diaper. I feel like it is one step forward two steps back. Should I just be forcing her to wear underwear? Ideas anyone?


This gives me hope! My own 2.5 year old says he only wants to wear diapers and "I'm just one! I'm just a baby." (His brother is one.)


I'm reminded of the Petey Pablo song Raise Up. The chorus involves a command to "take your shirt off, twist it 'round your head, spin it like a helicopter!"

Only this time its underwear.


@Jackie Butting in: I was lucky enough that my already "sit & tuck" potty-trained son was taught to stand & pee at Daycare. I don't know what they did, but I should've asked, because he never made a mess once he started standing.
BUT! I came here to say that I recently ran across a whole slew of "target stickers" on Etsy for this very purpose. You apparently stick them in the bowl (above the water?) where you want the kid to aim, and...hope for the best? Just wanted to throw that out there.


Um the picture of Hulk on the toilet is kind of the best thing ever.


@Em In my experience (with boys, sooooo...maybe not relevant) none of my kids ever fully trained until we ditched diapers completely. Even pull-ups gave them reasons to regress or backtrack. Or hide behind furniture to poop. Once we go full monty and refuse diapers for anything other than sleep (since that's a developmental leap separate from daytime control(, they make big leaps into full training.

Though Ike was not super "on point" tonight and kept asking for a diaper. I am mean, so...nooooope. (DAMMIT, BRING ME THE PAPER TOWELS.$

Lynda M Otvos

I have only trained girls but am now nannying a 14-month old boy whom I will have to train. So I ask husband and his advice is this: let him play with peeing in the tub/shower and he'll learn how to steer it, then he'll be able to potty himself and get it to go in the pot whether he's sitting (my preference) or standing. Looks like I'll be having some shower fun in the next year or so then, huh ?~!

Sarah Lynn

Even though Ezra is a big guy now, I'm guessing you still remember the locations of all the toilets in the county. For that first month or so.

Sarah Lynn

Even though Ezra is a big guy now, I'm guessing you still remember the locations of all the toilets in the county. For that first month or so.


Thank you so much for the suggestions! Good to know I am not alone. When I trained my daughter, if she made it to the toilet then the pee went in the toilet. Not so much with the little guy!

I like the "sit and tuck" - definitely going to use that. My husband just insists that I am being too delicate, but with my sons huge thighs, it just doesn't seem to want to point down. I will check out Etsy too. Though maybe not from work. Don't want anyone to know that I am searching for "toddler urine targets."


YAAAAAY Mom! and also I am really looking forward to the cloth diapering post. 1 year old girl in Bumgenius at daycare and prefolds with Thirsties or Bummis covers at home (and disposables at night because I'm a wimp). I need inspiration to make it to 2.5...

Robyn Allyn

This is off topic but I"m not sure how else to reach you. I posted a little while ago and am only doing it again because of your Lego instagram. I work at WB in Film Publicity and I have a decent amount of promo items from the Lego movie (and of course the film poster). I would love to send you some things for the boys. If you are interested, please email me and I can get it over to you. :-)
~ Robyn


Congrats on being free! Sooooo I guess you've got some extra diapers huh? Huh?!? Maybe someone with a 10 month old and more in the future could take them off your hands?


Great news! Can I just offer a bit of a counter-perspective? I also have 3 boys and with the first I "trained" him by trying stickers, gifts, bribery and ultimately he decided when he was really ready, so with my next two, I just kind of told them about the potty and this is what you do when you're a big boy and they started to know when they had to pee becuse they shared a bathtub and NO PEEING IN THE TUB! was a nice reminder from older brother every night and they both decided well before their 3rd birthday that today I am wearing underwear. With the middle son, I said, well you can't bc you've never pooped on the potty and he pooped right then! So how could I say no? I sent him to school in underwear that day and he was great. He had his one and only accident about 3 days in and that was it. Done. With the youngest, he started letting me know when he had to go and I thought this is ridiculous? Why am I taking a diaper off a kid who tells me when he has to go potty? And he said I am wearing underwear today on Thanksgiving and even though it was not the most convenient time, I put it on him and we were done. He never wore diapers again. So...I guess I just wanted to say if you are a first-time mother reading this, you can also just wait for the kid to be ready and potty training might be super-easy and not a battle of the wills...or maybe i am just extremely luck? IDK, but i do have a neighbor who tried the same approach and her oldest was just over 3 when he trained and the younger son was about 2.5.


Fun, witty and just totally adorable :). Go, Ike, go!


Thanks for the input, Amy! I am going to take away the diapers. I have lots of paper towel on hand. :)

Jenny H.

I just now got around to reading this, for who knows what reason. Kids? My own forgetfulness? A combination of both?

This was SO my son Brannon! Also my third boy child. And apparently my very own stubborn mini me. My mom just laughs and laughs. We started potty training and it went well for the first day and a half. Then it sucked. He refused to pee in the damn potty. I tried EVERYTHING. I refused to buy any more diapers so I finally just stuck him on the potty one night and told him he was staying there until he went potty. 45 minutes later? Victory. Now he's fine. Goes eleventy bajillion Times a day, but hey...who cares?!


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