Potty Training Essentials

I’ve recently read about blogging friends who are in the throes of potty training. I feel for you: Breadingwinning Mama and Worldly Girl Turned Mom. 

Though my daughter is almost 3.5, and we made it past the WORST accident ever, we still have issues from time to time!  Like this morning for instance, when she didn’t want to go right away in the morning JUST BECAUSE!  It didn’t end well, so she was reminded to try to listen to her body to avoid accidents.  AHH – a control-freak three-year old is a formidable opponent at times!

Here are five quick things that I consider Potty Training Essentials:

1. Multiple bath mats – the bath mat gets peed on constantly during potty training.  I was tired of our ONE bath mat getting soiled and having to wash it again and again.  One day there was a buy one, get one for $1 deal on bath mats, and my problem was solved – or at least I had a spare bath mat to rotate in while the other one was being cleaned.

2. Clean-up supplies – paper towels, old rags – just have them on hand everywhere! We have to worry about the 2nd floor, main floor, and basement, so having rags handy is a big help!

3. Carpet cleaner – We have a cat, who doesn’t get a lot of blog-love, and like any cat, she is prone to hacking up hairballs.  Our defense – Nature’s Miracle spray. Little did we know that this product would ALSO work wonders for our children’s accidents.  I also would NOT recommend having white carpeting in a child’s room, though Nature’s Miracle and table salt (for bloody noses) have done wonders in removing stains on that white carpeting.

4. Stain remover – You probably are well acquainted with your favorite stain remover if your child is now potty training.  We like Shout and Oxi-Clean.  I also consult my cleaning tips book or Pinterest for unique stain removal needs.

5. PATIENCE – This is the go-to parenting virtue.  I found potty training to be very frustrating until one day I finally told my daughter that SHE WAS IN CHARGE of going to the bathroom.  There are times that I still have to remind myself of this, when I see her doing a potty dance to hold it in. Ultimately, she doesn’t want to stop having fun to use the potty.  Sigh! Most days we are completely accident-free, though I need to rely on my patience for those remaining outliers like today.

Please share any additional potty training essentials or commiserate with parents in the potty training phase here!

It’s Raining Poop

This is the post that I have had waiting in the wings for some time, as I didn’t feel right about sharing it immediately after it happened, which was only a few days before my Grandpa passed away. After some time to grieve and honor his memory, I’m ready to share a real life story that I hope NO ONE ELSE has to experience…..ever.

“It’s raining poop in our house,” I said laughing, which then led to crying.

“What?!” Daddy O. replied.

“It is raining poop into our basement.  The toilet is plugged up and poop water is everywhere. Help me!  I can’t flipping believe this!”

I had never EVER dreamed of saying such words much less experiencing them firsthand.

Let me rewind a bit from the unfortunate phone conversation above.  I have been hesitant to blog about the trials and tribulations of potty training to spare my daughter the embarrassment later in life. After the legendary “raining poop” incident, I think I might as well blog about it, as this story will not be lived down. Heck, it may even be broken out at her wedding…okay…maybe just when we meet some future significant other.  In any case, this incident is forever ingrained in my mind.

I know I’m not alone in the messy accident clean-up. Melissa’s latest square log discovery at Motherhood is an Art reminds us of the creativity and humor that goes into parenting. Poop messes are a mommy rite of passage.  I certainly feel like I deserve a big trophy in the form of a bottle (or case) of wine for surviving this feat!!

Okay, now the back story – big sister has had underwear for about one month and has her #1’s down.  We’re talking minimal accidents and only two bed wetting incidents in one month.  YAY!! #2’s have been more of a challenge. Daddy O. and I have given special “poopy presents” (in addition to potty treats) for successful poo’s on the potty. We’ve read books to big sister about going potty. We’ve talked about staying fresh and dry and have celebrated each of the pees and poo’s on the potty.  Even my son raises his arms up and says, “Yay” when big sister uses the potty.  We’ve even hammed it up when we go potty or poop, talking about how good it feels after using the potty.

Pooping is still a struggle!

I’ve dealt with poop running down legs, poopy diapers, poopy undies, poop on white carpeting in the bedroom, on the stairs, on the tile floor, on the hardwood floors, on the bath mat, poop in the mall where you can NEVER easily find a bathroom without going up an elevator and through a maze of racks.  Poop. Poop. Poop, but only today did I discover raining poop.  Sigh…I’m POOPED just thinking about it.

Today we had some accidents – just not getting to the potty on time to poop.  Big sister helps clean up herself and her undies, so when she was doing so in the bathroom, I let her go about her clean up, planning on checking on her in a bit.  I heard “Mommy,” so I went in to see what was going on.

I saw a toilet filled to the brim with brown murky water.  Oh no…I tried to carefully plunge it without any success. As I was leaving to get buckets to start “bailing,” my daughter pushed the flush lever.  A long, slow motion NOOOOOO came from my mouth as the brown river spilled over the brim, across the floor, into the bathroom closet, onto the hardwood floor hallway and a bit into the dining room. Oh shit!

I frantically ran downstairs for rags and buckets when I noticed it was raining poop in our basement storage area (the base of the bathroom closet is hardwood). AHHH…how to keep two kids out of feces infested water and clean this shit up??!

I needed reinforcements.

English: Toilet paper, orientation "over&...

We now have a two-square rule at our house. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is where my initial phone conversation with Daddy O. comes in.

Thankfully Daddy O. came to the rescue – calm and levelheaded to help me clean and disinfect while our kiddos were preoccupied with lunch.  (When in doubt, wash your hands – and feet in my case – and put food in front of your kids to keep them busy.) Before I knew it, little brother needed a nap and we put on Netflix for big sister.

Three hours later all was clean upstairs and downstairs – just in time for little brother to wake up from his nap and put big sister down for her own nap.

Daddy O. and I split a delicious bottle of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, reminding us of a pre-marriage, pre-kid trip to San Francisco and wine country. It’s amazing to think of all the good times and CRAP we have been through in eleven years of being together!  We will never forget the raining poop, and hope it will NEVER occur again in our home.

Let’s raise glass to the #1’s and #2’s in a non-overflowing potty for a long time to come.


Almost two weeks have passed since the raining poop, and I am pleased to report that toilets have NOT overflowed and #2’s have been going much better. We’ve instituted a two-square toilet paper limit as well. Do you have a horror story like this one? Commiserate with me!

On Being a Type A Parent

cat toilet training phase 2

would potty training my cat be any easier? (Photo credit: reallyboring)

There are times that being a Type A Parent sucks.

Remember, I’m an overachiever type that misses working outside of the home. And there are days – okay maybe only parts of days – when I feel like I’m failing miserably as a parent.

I try to remind myself that when your child is potty trained does NOT go on any college or job application.  I try to focus on the good things that my children ARE doing instead of focusing on what they are NOT doing.

Still with constant access to social media, I can read how other toddlers are faring with potty training.  I hear from other parents and my daughter’s doctor, “Don’t push it.  She may not be ready.”  AHH!!  I’m clearly ready, and my daughter is showing MULTIPLE signs of readiness too.  According to many age milestones, it seems that 3 is a fairly common age to start using the potty.

Maybe I’m pushing too much for me, and realizing that it’s not effective.  How can I turn off the goal-oriented part of me and just accept the here-and-now?  I bought pull-ups and overnight diapers back when there was snow on the ground, shortly after quitting my job, and MONTHS later we just started using them.  I left work thinking I could easily tackle potty training – like any other project on my to-do list.  I guess I was a bit overly optimistic in the face of yet another challenge of parenthood.  Well, at least there’s no performance review in our house.

I’ll go eat my own potty treats now.