The Deuce

One of the primary reasons that Hubs and I don’t have three children is because one of us would have to take the lead again as Potty Training Captain.

Do you know what I never want to go through again?

Teaching a tiny human to poop on the toilet. 

I always thought that the boy was the single worst child to potty train since Eve first gave birth outside the gates of the garden.  I couldn’t imagine that any child would have been more difficult when it came to SEE THIS POTTY?  SIT HERE AND TINKLE.  I was pretty much a sobbing wreck by bedtime during that season of my life, and Hubs just patted me on the back and promised me that we’d get through it with the boy.

And we did.

Of course we recycled a lot of wine bottles during that stage, but the boy was stamped as OFFICIALLY POTTY TRAINED at the age of two years, eleven months.

Then Thing 2 came along.  With the joy of our announcement that WE ARE GETTING A NEW BABY, came my fear of EVENTUALLY HE’LL BECOME A TODDLER, AND I DON’T KNOW IF I’M MENTALLY STABLE ENOUGH TO BE THE POTTY TRAINING CEO AGAIN.  But then I reminded myself that the boy was the!! absolute!! worst!! child to potty train, so no matter what… we were going to be riding potties downhill.  It was going to be smooth sailing.

And then Thing 2 turned three, and I took the bulls by the horn.  I read online articles on POTTY TRAIN YOUR KID IN THREE DAYS.  I read online forums about POTTY TRAINING NAKED (Meaning the toddler is the naked one and not the mother, because EWWW!).  I searched blogs online about I’VE BIRTHED SEVEN CHILDREN AND HAD THEM ALL POTTY TRAINED BY EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF AGE, AND SO CAN YOU.  Except I wasn’t birthing seven children, because by the time I was finished, I’d be one hundred and four.  I asked all of my friends who have potty trained within the past couple of years how they did it.

I was prepared this go-around.  I came to the games with head knowledge and book knowledge and online knowledge and armed with tales from real, successful mothers right here in town.

Six months after taking on this challenge for a second time, I’m here to tell you that there is one kid alive who turned out to be more difficult to potty train than the boy…

… and that child is the boy’s younger brother.


Do you know what the common denominator in both of these potty training failures is?  That would be ME.

I think I’ve reached a point in my journey where I just sign Thing 2 up for Potty Training Camp, pack his duffel bag with three thousand pairs of miniature underwear and enough juice boxes and graham crackers to see him through, and pick him up at the end of the season, when all he knows is dry underwear and flushing.

Thing 2 will be an official three-and-a-half-year-old this week…

… and we are not stamped as OFFICIALLY POTTY TRAINED.

We have been tinkling on the potty quite consistently now, but when it comes to THE OTHER… well… we have refused.

And by we, I totally mean Thing 2, because I don’t do things we cannot speak of out loud in my Hanes Her Ways.

(Also?  Well, I just used the word totally in that last sentence like it was 1986 again.)


Hubs and I have begged and bribed and threatened our toddler over the issue of PLEASE POOP ON THIS TOILET TODAY.  We have spent hours sitting on a wooden stool beside him, reading him books after he’s guzzled juice all morning, because SURELY IF WE SIT HERE LONG ENOUGH, THE DEED WILL HAPPEN.

Except the deed will not happen, because Thing 2 is stubborn, and he is fully prepared to JUST HOLD IT UNTIL CHRISTMASTIME.

Eventually, the kid started asking for a real jackhammer.  He wanted to wear his steel-toed boots, bust up some real concrete and get some heavy work done in the middle of a giant dust cloud.  And that’s when Grammy called and said, “I have ordered a jackhammer.  It’s just a toy, but it’ll be here in two days,” because AMAZON PRIME, Y’ALL.

Hubs and I decided that the jackhammer would become the POOP BAIT.


We showed it to him.

We let him hold that jackhammer.

And then we took it away and said, “You can look at it from a distance every single day, but you will never play with it, until the poop happens where it’s supposed to happen.”

Six weeks went by.

Six very long weeks.

Six weeks when I wanted to throw that toy jackhammer through a plate glass window and buy wine in fifty-gallon drums.


… six weeks later…


IMG_6476 IMG_6481 IMG_6483 IMG_6484 IMG_6485 IMG_6487 IMG_6488 IMG_6495 IMG_6496 IMG_6497 IMG_6499 IMG_6500 IMG_6503I cannot even tell you how loudly Hubs and the boy and I all cheered at 8:00 last night, when THE BIG EVENT TOOK PLACE.  There was clapping and jumping around the bathroom.  There was dancing and songs being made up on the fly about POOP WINNERS, and I wanted to cry, simply because a corner had been turned.

And then this morning…

… Thing 2 filled a pull-up…

… and I feel like we’ve arrived back at Ground Zero.

If you need me, I’ll be in the asylum, wearing the fluffy bathrobe and slippers, chanting, “It’s time for Judge Wapner.”

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