Tag Archives: potty training

I’m not a baby!

In the weeks leading up to Violet’s birth, we repeatedly told Rose she was no longer a baby. Indeed, she is 2.5, but looks like she could be 3.5 and is almost as big as her sister. She weighs at least 30 pounds, talks in complete sentences and is capable of doing chores under direction from us. Rose is no baby. However, whenever we told her she wasn’t a baby anymore, Rose would correct us and tell she WAS a baby and not a big girl.

I think if you are old enough to argue you ARE a baby, you probably AREN'T one anymore.

When my mother brought Rose to the hospital to meet Violet, Rose’s eyes were really opened. After Rose had spent several minutes with Violet, she turned to me and said, on her own, “I’m not a baby. THAT’S a baby. I’m a big girl!”


That night, Rose went home and peed on the potty for the very first time. Rose has also been much better about doing chores for me since her realization that she is NOT a baby anymore.

I wish I could say she is now potty trained, but the pee episode seems to be a one time thing. I think she’s very ready and we could finish her off RIGHT NOW if we wanted to, but considering I’m nursing a 1 1/2 week old and adjusting to having three children, potty training Rose is NOT a project I want to take on at the moment. Be sure: I want her potty trained by the end of August so we can send her to preschool this fall, but there’s no way in hell I’m starting that project until at least the beginning of July.

Man, I hope she can make the deadline. She has to be easier than Lily was to potty train, right?


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Carpet Diem

Last night in the battle of Dyson v. berber carpet, the Dyson won.

But not in a good way.

Apparently our berber had a snag in it. The Dyson grabbed on tight. Before I even realized what was happening, we had a rip in our carpet and a LONG strand of berber wrapped tightly around our Dyson’s roller thing.

If this weren’t bad enough, this is the second time this has happened. We have two Dyson-induced runs in our carpet. Our Dyson works a little TOO well. Also, I hate berber. This would never happen with regular carpet.

Our carpet is a mess in other ways. It’s full of stains that the steam-cleaner didn’t touch. We painted last year and I knocked a bucket of green paint on it. There’s a green stain that won’t go away. It’s under our toddler art table, but it’s still there.

We really need new carpet. I wish it could happen now, but it’s not going to happen for a long time. Why? Because one little girl is about to pee all over our carpet. And another little girl will be peeing all over it in about four years. There is no point in replacing this carpet until we get through two nightmare-ish potty training sessions.

I guess we could put in hard wood or wood laminate floors now, but I hate to think of my poor little fetus crawling around on such a hard surface when we have this nice soft gross carpet for her pad her little knees on.

Until then, I guess I’ll just pretend like my carpet doesn’t have holes and stains in it. It’s kind of hard to ignore, but I’ll make it. I guess I have to.

I guess the good thing about having to wait is that by the time we can replace the carpet, I’ll be back at work and we’ll have another income around here to pay for that new carpet.


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Force Field Broken

Lily has finally breeched her force field around her bed, and in fact yesterday morning came downstairs by herself with no one there and stayed there without waking me up. Rose had had a rough night and was up from 2:30 to 5:30 am for no good reason. Rose and I were sacked out together in my bed and Dr. Toy Warden had left for work.

When I came downstairs for the day, I was shocked to discover Lily downstairs completely dressed, alone and waiting for us.

I asked Lily why she hadn’t woken me up.

“I went to go get you, but I saw that you and Rose were sleeping. You looked tired so I let you sleep.”

I told her she could have woken me up so that I could feed her breakfast and she wouldn’t have to be alone downstairs because, you know, she’s only 4 years old. I’m not sure if I’m 100% comfortable with her being alone downstairs for who knows how long without my knowledge while I sleep upstairs. If I had known she was awake, I would have come downstairs!

“You and Rose looked so tired. You needed to sleep!”

Profoundly true. And thoughtful.

I asked her if she was scared or lonely downstairs alone.

“No. I knew you were upstairs if I needed you.”

So… I guess this is something that’s going to happen now that the force field is broken. If only the broken force field would result in her being potty trained for night. That’s probably too much to ask though.



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On Stomach Flu

I had stomach flu (or food poisoning, I suppose, but I did have a fever…) Sunday and am still a little sluggish from it as of Tuesday night. So far, the girls have not caught the bug, which is such a relief, half because I don’t want them to be miserable and half because I don’t want to deal with the clean-up.

Actually, I might be more not want them to be sick because of the mess than because I don’t want them to be miserable. Does this make me a bad parent? Maybe. But if you’ve ever found a toddler covered in puke holding out her arms crying to be hugged by you, you know what I mean. It’s disgusting and awful and nothing anyone should ever have to do.

Unfortunately, if you are a parent, this is one of things that come with it along with the poop up to their neck phenomenon that happens with great frequency when they are breastfeeding, but is more horrific when they are 100% on solids and cow’s milk.

Kids are gross.

I’ve been hoping to toilet train 4-year-old Lily for vomit for a good two years now, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened. Actually, this is partially due to the luck of her only having stomach flu about once a year, so I shouldn’t complain. She hasn’t made it to the toilet because she hasn’t had enough practice with puke to know beforehand that it’s about to happen. I guess this is a good thing. Except it’s a totally gross and awful thing that makes you question your sanity in ever choosing to have children.

It is so gross. There is nothing more horrible that cleaning puke out of the carpet/couch/blankets/clothing. I wish there was a way to make this easier.


Before I realized I was battling stomach flu and not just nauseated and crampy, I told my husband “I think I’m going to throw up.” (A required statement before you go running to the toilet.)

And Lily immediately yelled “Mommy! You need to put it in the potty!”

If I hadn’t been on my way to throw up at that moment, I would have laughed.

At least she gets the concept of throwing up in the toilet. If only she could figure out how to get the vomit in the toilet without any more practice.

Someday, somehow, I’m sure she’ll get to the point where all or most of the vomit ends up in the right place. I mean, we all get here somehow. If only there was a magical way that this happened from the beginning so none of us ever had to stomach cleaning up a bawling, puke-covered child.

So far, we have dodged it this week, but I know it’s coming to get us again soon and when it does… I won’t be ready for it.



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Friday Funnies: Prison Break

Ever since we put 4-year-old Lily in her big girl bed, she’s acted like there was an electrified force field around it. She never ever gets out of bed by herself. Ever since we potty trained her, I’ve been begging her to get out and go to the potty in the middle of the night. She won’t do it. She won’t come out in the morning, even if I call her from downstairs and ask her to do it. She will only get out of bed if I am in the room with her.

Two-year-old Rose has been in her big girl bed for several months now. She seems to have figured out that there is no force field around her bed. Or maybe she found the button to turn hers off.

Whatever the case, she does not always stay in her bed. At first we had a baby gate on her door, but she learned how to open it so we took it off. So, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, we don’t hear her if she wanders off somewhere she doesn’t quite belong. Now, most kids would figure out pretty quickly that middle of the night means Mommy and Daddy are in their room. Not Rose.

One night, I woke up at 3 am to hear screaming coming from Lily’s room.

I think it was a shock to her that everyone was still asleep.

About a week later, I woke up in the middle of the night to hear crying. I had to look for Rose a long time before I found her in our living room on the first floor. She walked downstairs in the dark, walked down the hall and got to the living room before she freaked out and realized she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Where was I at 3 am? How could I not be awake and playing in the living room? Isn’t that my job?

Stuff like this happened for a while until this week, when she finally caught on and this happened:

I was about to kick what I thought was Lumpy, our dog, off my feet. Luckily, I looked down first to discover Rose.

Amazingly, thanks to the force field in Lily’s room, this is the first time I’ve woken up to discover a child has put herself in my bed even though I’ve been a parent for 4 years. There were times when I was nursing at night that I claimed that a baby must have jumped out of her crib and put herself in bed with me because I didn’t remember going to get her, but this was the first time I know for sure I didn’t put the kid there myself.

And because this was the only force field deactivation event that didn’t end in tears and my having to be awake for at least an hour, I’ll take it. A king-sized bed would make tolerating this turn of events a lot easier, but I can deal with being crowded in bed over being forced to watch an hour of 3 am cartoons to calm down a traumatized child.

I have to say, though, I much prefer having a child without a force field to having one with it. In the morning, Rose comes cheerfully downstairs by herself to get her breakfast. Meanwhile, getting her 4 year old sister out of bed still requires the amount of effort on my part as it did when she was a baby.

Oh, Lily, when are you going to break out of your force field? I’d REALLY like to stop buying pull-ups. Among other things.


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Toys R… I have to go to the bathroom

I don’t know what it is about Toys R Us and Babies R Us, but every time we are in there one or usually both of our kids end up pooping. This phenomenon has been occurring since Lily was a baby. We’d go into Babies R Us and she’d be sure to have a diaper blow-out. I guess she wanted me to buy her new clothes while we were there? If I hadn’t had a well stocked diaper bag (courtesy of Babies R Us), she had a lot of opportunities to get her wish.

It didn’t end when she got out of diapers. Now that she’s potty trained, she’s made MANY MANY MANY trips to the Toys R Us restroom to poop. I am very very familiar with their handicapped stall, where I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the wall waiting for Lily to be done.

Lily must have talked to Rose in baby talk because as soon as Rose was born she immediately started having diaper blowouts whenever we were in an ‘R Us facility. She continues to this day.

Trips to Toys R Us usually end up going like this: We get there. Lily is doing a potty dance. I take her. It’s just pee. Rose poops. I change Rose’s diaper in the bathroom. Two minutes later Lily announces she has to go to the bathroom again. She poops.

Seriously we can’t make it out of Toys or Babies R Us without going to the bathroom at least three times.

And while our trips to Toys or Babies R Us tend to run on the long side, they are not THAT long.

It works better than a laxative for my kids. Or maybe they are piping a gas form of laxative? I don’t know. It’s ridiculous though and I’ve come to be fully prepared for it. We pull up and I tell my husband “We’re here. How long do you think it will be before someone poops?”

Usually not more than 15 minutes. I’ll have to start timing it/keeping records. It really is uncanny. I’d say it was a form of poop warfare, but I can’t figure out why they would do that at a place they loved unless it was to keep us there 5 minutes more, if only in the bathroom.


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And So It Begins

While we were getting ready for bed the other day, Rose turned to me and said “UH! Mommy! Poop!” She hadn’t pooped yet, but it was clear that one was coming.

“Do you want to try to put your poop in the potty?” I asked.

And lo and behold the child whose favorite word is “no” said “yes”.

So we ran to the potty and made it there on time. A tiny pebble of poop was deposited before she got weirded out and stopped trying. Still, this tiny poop was worthy of major celebration at our house. We all cheered, including Lily, and ran and got her a jelly bean.

This, combined with her recently correctly asking me with words to be changed when she’s wet or poopy, indicates to me that she may be ready to potty train before her big sister.

But, because of my last potty training nightmare I have no desire to get back in the game right now. Or ever, really. I mean, clearly I have this second child here that will eventually need to be potty trained, but I dream of a world where she magically starts doing her business without my doing extra laundry or suffering for OVER A YEAR.

It has to go better this time, right? I mean, Lily STILL doesn’t tell me if she’s wet. Just Rose telling me these things has to be a good sign, right? Right?

I’d say it can’t go any worse than it did last time, but with Lily we never had any poop accidents so I guess it COULD be a lot worse.

But surely potty training couldn’t LAST any longer than it did last time in a child who shows signs of being smart, right?

Yes, I'm talking about potty training a child who refuses to drink milk out of anything that's not a bottle.

I will put Rose on the potty when it’s convenient, but I’ve made a pledge to myself not to do anything heavy duty until 26 months, the recommended start age in the potty training e-book I used to train Lily. Maybe we can really get this done in 3 days and then not have a million regressions?

I doubt it.

I’ll tell you one thing, there’ s no way in hell I’m becoming a bag lady again. This kid will be forced to suck it up and sit on public toilets without a potty seat. At least I say this now. We’ll see if she cooperates.

EDIT: I wrote and scheduled this post about 2 weeks ago. Since then, Rose has put no further poop or pee in the potty although she does tell me she is wet or poopy. I guess that first event was a false alarm, but it’s still a world of difference from her 3.75 year old sister who was wet today and didn’t tell me until I felt it when she sat in my lap.



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How We Ended Potty Training Regression (For Now)

After months of potty training regression after regression with Lily, I was ready to throw in the towel. Seriously, I was close to putting a diaper back on the kid and pulling her out of school. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I couldn’t stand having to wash a load of her pants a day. I couldn’t stand her not telling me she was wet even if I asked and only finding out if I checked her pants (which resulted in her saying “Don’t feel me!” when she was wet and didn’t want me to find out; a statement which could cause a myriad of other problems if someone heard it out of context.).

I had asked friends, teachers, my mom and my pediatric resident sister what to do and nobody had a good answer. Finally I asked my dad what to do. I had THOUGHT I’d asked him before because that would be the smart thing to do. He’s a psychologist who does family therapy, so obviously he has some professional experience with potty training. When I asked him what to do, he apparently hadn’t even heard we were having a problem. So I guess I didn’t ask him before. Oops.

My dad said to put the jelly beans and stickers back out and not say anything about them.

Believe it or not, I hadn’t tried this before. I’d tried offering coins or big rewards at the end of each dry day, but I hadn’t put out jelly beans or stickers just for peeing in the potty since about 3 months after she potty trained. I mean, I would think just staying dry and not having my mom get exasperated and disappointed would be motivation enough to stay dry. And really, eating a jelly bean every waking hour couldn’t be good for her teeth. So jelly beans hadn’t been available in a long, long time.

Taking away the jelly beans was apparently the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. When we brought them back, she immediately started staying dry all the time.

Was that all it took? Nine months of on again off again misery and all I needed to do was put out some jelly beans?

I really thought that once she was potty trained she would WANT to stay dry, especially considering how upset we all get when she has a ton of accidents.

But apparently all that matters is getting a jelly bean.

So she’ll get jelly beans every time she pees for the rest of her life. Her teeth will fall out, but at least she’ll stay dry!



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Auto Hell

I’ve discussed this before, but automatic flush is my absolute least favorite part of trying to use a public toilet with a newly potty trained(ish) child. The flush often goes off before it’s supposed to and leads to my child fleeing across the stall screaming and in tears. Such an event happened yesterday, leading to Lily yelling “I’m scared! I’m so scared! Why did it flush? I wasn’t done! I don’t like that!”

Why do we need autoflush? Germs? Taking care of people who forget to flush?

I was never worried about toilet germs. We wash our hands after we use the restroom. I grew up flushing the toilet with my own hands and while, yes, I was a sickly kid, I probably would have been a sickly kid either way. The introduction of autoflush didn’t improve my health. Did it improve yours?

If they are trying to take care of people who don’t flush, I’d wager an equal number of auto-flush toilets malfunction and don’t flush when they are supposed to. I’d also imagine the repair costs for an auto-flush toilet have to be more expensive than those of a regular toilet.

So why must we have these things everywhere? What was so wrong with regular toilets?

You’re scaring the children! Bring back the manual flush (or install those awesome Kohlers I posted about before).



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The Worst Changing Station

Last year I wrote about how changing stations are never put in convenient locations. If a store even has the luxury of a changing station, it either blocks the path to the restroom stalls or is placed to closely to something with an automatic trigger, which goes off whenever you move.

The worst changing station situation I’ve come across is in every Indiana Tollway rest stop.

First of all, where are you supposed to stand to change your kid? Oh, at the bottom of their legs? I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t fly with me. I mean, I can change a diaper from just about any angle, but my most skilled and practiced angle is with the baby horizontal to my front with her butt by my right hand. Changing her with her butt toward me is just plain awkward.

To the right, there’s absolutely not enough room to stand. I mean, I guess I could squeeze between the counter and the changing station, but it wouldn’t be comfortable. Besides, my butt would probably set off that automatic sink somehow. If I were standing there, I’d probably want to put my bag on the counter, but chances are it would fall in the automatic sink and get soaked.

I COULD possibly change her to the left of the station. I’d block the door to the stall that’s just outside this picture, and while I was changing her I’d repeatedly set off the automatic blow dryer right by her head. This would be uncomfortable and annoying for me, and disturbing enough to Rose to make her cry. This station is almost unusable.

I suppose it could be worse. There might not be a changing station here at all. I should be thankful for what I get, right?

But seriously, there has to be a better way. I’m not sure where they should be putting this station, but putting it here just makes changing Rose’s diaper that much more unpleasant. And yes, I could be changing her in the car. And I do. But when I’m traveling alone with the girls and it’s an emergency potty stop for Lily and Rose is poopy, I’m not about to head back outside with both of them.

So, businesses everywhere, I beg of you to consider how these changing stations are being used. This sort of set up just doesn’t work for any of us.



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