Potty training minus the potty …..

Potty training is not going as well as anticipated.

Partly because it is not going at all.

I did buy the book, and handed it over to Pepe with firm instructions to read and highlight the important bits, so I could just go over it later and just get the executive summary.

<Pepe by the way had Friday off so she went and got her learner’s licence.  She passed first time.  Now she wants to learn to drive.  I sense things are going to be changing dramatically in our household quite soon.>

Pepe was a tad skeptical about potty training, but excited that Isabelle was going to be in “big girl territory.”

But that being said, there does appear to be a rather crucial problem with our plan.

Isabelle hates the potty.

I don’t mean Isabelle hates to use the potty, I mean she hates the potty.

The mere sight of the thing makes her point and start screaming like a demented Justin Bieber fan.

It is mildly disconcerting, and if there is any doubt that it is the potty causing the problem.  I have tried to move it towards her to desensitize her to it – but her screaming hits “screech” pitch and she backs into the corner, pointing rather furiously.

So I have no idea what the potty has done to her.  But it has made me wonder what goes on at home while I am at work.

With a rather depleted looking credit card in hand, I went to purchase a new potty on Saturday.  I was using the theory of “throw money at the problem” and it will go away.

I stood at Baby City and evaluated the various kinds of potties.

Some are really complicated, and some play tunes, and convert into desks and some into indoor  braais.

All the while I kept thinking that though I quite like the Nimbus 2000 of potties that I was holding at a mere R450 and change, I just had this nagging feeling that if I arrived home and unpacked this little beauty and Isabelle started screaming again – then I would have two high end potties without an arse willing to sit on them.

I uh’med and ah’ed and eventually I bought the R39 cheap-yet-cheerful white potty – no features, no air bags, just looks like a large coffee mug made from plastic, and I took that one home. 

As I had just saved R410 I stopped and bought Isabelle a “play phone” as an incentive to bribe her to use the potty, so my purchase still sort of came out to the same at the end.

I have not read the potty book, so I am not sure of the baby whisperer’s method yet.  My methods (for most things) tends to rely on dramatic hand movements, pleading, begging, threats and finally bribery.

I arrived home in a flourish with the new (and cheap) potty (and the other ton of shopping). 

I placed the potty down on the dining room floor in the hope that Isabelle would toddle over and take a look.  I made a bit of a ceremony of it, like it was super exciting.  Connor even got into the spirit of the new potty – bless that child!

What Isabelle did was release a blood curding scream.

Then threw herself against the child-gate and the top of the stairs, and screamed until I took her down to the lounge where she could sit with Kennith, suck her thumb and be far away from the potty.

Disturbing?  Yes.

Difficult to potty train a child who is scared of the potty! 

My last resort is to give her stickers and let her stick them on the potty to make it appear less scary (and less hygienic).

If that fails, I have resigned myself to leaving potty training until she is three and she goes to a school, someone with more experience can pick it up from there.

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16 Comments

  1. Get a child seat to put on top of the toilet with a step and I found both mine were very happy to go there. Both had no interest in a potty. But both of them we waited until they were about 3. I simply couldn’t do the whole take them every 15 minutes to sit there and more often than not it failed. When you decide, you go “cold turkey”. No more nappies or pull ups unless it is sleep time. So buy some pretty undies (lots of) and loads of changes of clothes when you go out. Should take no longer than about a week. You go to the shop and straight away “let’s go to the toilet Mummy needs to make a wee”, get there and suggest they try to wake up their wee and this way they get the message.

    Reply
  2. My little one wouldn’t go in the potty – we tried everything for six months. But immediately we switched to the toilet – the problem disappeared. She seemed happy, confident and in control – which she felt she wasn’t on the potty – she just felt we were forcing her to stop being a baby on the potty. Even tho’ her cousin was terrified of the toilet. Also, if u use the ‘big’ loo, put a foot stool (plastic is fine) under her legs. It helps them ‘push’ and keeps them secure. NB: I stressed so much I cried. And then it was suddenly fine – she was potty trained. I could still cry now.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  April 19, 2011

      Thanks so much – I will be honest I am not stressed about it, but I did dream about her taking a dump in the toilet last night, and I recall I was jubilantly happy …..

      Reply
  3. I got Noah that seat cushion thing with handles on the side… that kinda cips on to the toilet seat? Was like R20, also at baby city. He sits on it and thinks it’s rad. Doesn’t wee or anything. Obviously. But it’s soft and they can hold on I guess..?

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  April 19, 2011

      I have not seen that ….. now I have another reason to to to Baby City …..

      Reply
  4. Oh my word, this sounds just like Nienke! She also HATES the potty. She holds her pp in until she is in the bath. So she KNOWS what it means but refuses the potty!

    Reply
  5. joanne

     /  April 18, 2011

    Its been about 3 years since I had to potty train and I think I was also one of the ‘lucky moms’, either that or creche was really good at getting it done.

    Things I do remember reading at the time that might be helpful are:
    – Let the trainee choose the pottee 😉

    – Kids do not seperate themselves from their boby waste (apparently) some kids have issues with cutting hair and nails, while others can’t flush the loo and watch it go down….

    Sounds tough – good luck

    Reply
  6. To Love Bella

     /  April 18, 2011

    omg. i am scared. so very scared. i thought about buying a cheapy really soon for bella to play with. letting her kewpie dolly sit on it and all that… oh gosh. sounds like this is more terrifying than teething. oh shit.
    your connor is an old soul. that boy could dissolve me at the drop of a hat.

    Reply
  7. Scared & Imperfect Mother

     /  April 18, 2011

    I hate potty training, the daymother potty traines and as soon as she tells me the child no longer wears a nappy in the day I start. Yes lazy mother I know, but then I know for sure that my child is ready. RM I think your little one is telling you she is not ready, I agree, wait until trained proffesionals can handle it.

    Reply
  8. Elaine

     /  April 18, 2011

    I bought about 5 different potties, and when we started with the potty training my little one didn’t want to use any one of them. So we took out the step and put on the ring for the toilet. Every time he wanted to go to the loo I did not make a huge fuss of it. We potty trained in 3 days. And up to date we did not have one “glipsie”. We waited until we thought he was “ready”. I think we were just lucky.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  April 18, 2011

      Yes, very lucky – but as you said, it might be finding that right window of when they are ready, they are willing, and you are available – and when the stars align, then it is all pretty good stuff!

      Reply
  9. Countess Kaz

     /  April 18, 2011

    Just use the toilet? my son hated the potty too. OR just leave her until she wants too.

    P.S please forgive me if this comes across as any thing other than trying to be helpful, it is not meant to come across as “school marm-ish”, ” smug mother of a potty trained child-ish”.

    P.P.s loved the description of the potty’s converting into indoor braai. Those sarcastic descriptions crack me up EVERYTIME!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  April 18, 2011

      I might try her bum on the toilet, but I recall that both my other kids were “afraid” of the toilet, but fine with a potty – I think it was the big hole and the fact that it sucked up water and other debri to be whisked away to some secret place that scared the crap out of them.

      I am desensitising Isabelle, and when water goes out of a drain or down a plug hole, we stand close and wave the water good-bye …. you can see I am trying various angles here can’t you?

      Reply
  10. Romaine

     /  April 18, 2011

    Very interesting post, too be honest I have forced potty training on Morgan the day she turned 18months, it went well for a week or two and then she refused, tried again at 2years and I became disheartened I was adamant she needs to be potty trained(society pressures) she became so worked up that she ended up with constipation. I promised myself with Baby Number 2 I would do it differently and I am. Noah will be 2 on Wednesday and I am relaxed he will not be on a nappy when he is in Grade 1, nor will it be on his CV so when he’s ready it will happen. My sister’s little boy is 3 years 6months and he just recently decided he is ready a bit late according to society but he is BRILLIANT and literally potty trained himself so this will be my approach as well.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  April 18, 2011

      I think part of me wants to organise potty training because, well, I sort of skipped it in the past. But that being said, I do not really have the heart to drag Isabelle to a potty (which she detests) every time she gets that twinkle in her eye.

      I am kind of hoping she will just whip off her own nappy one day and do a number 2 on the potty …. and yes, sometime before Grade 1 would be great!

      Reply
  11. Oh my gosh! My two are going to be three in November and we haven’t even started yet! Will start soon though. Hope its gets better for you. I’m dreading going into that territory. Maybe my nanny will (actually ill just politely inform her) get that task!

    Reply

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