Category Archives: potty training


My older girls have a snow day today.  I’m good with that.  We didn’t get a lot of snow but our school system has no bussing and I don’t like the thought of being one of all those parents out there carting around my kids.

Several other things have been canceled today as well, either because of snow or because kids were unexpectedly home from school.  When one person on my facebook canceled something she said she needed to invest in her children today.

This has been gnawing at me ever since.

Most days I am not investing.  And I hate it.  I am not the mother I dreamed of being.  Lately, a day has been a win if I haven’t yelled or screamed at anyone.  That is the only criteria.

It’s not that I don’t desire to go beyond that, but so many days it is just hard.  It is hard to get beyond survival.  Like this morning.  I wasn’t mad at anyone, but it was hard to be investing while cleaning pee off the carpet, being asked for a snack and an additional million things.

How do I thrive in that?

My moments are taken with potty training, homework and book reading.




When do I just be with them and love on them?  How do I balance that with my need for space?  Am I allowed to need space?

When I was working outside the home I gave myself very little time away from them as I was already gone for so much of the day.  Now, I am home, and I give myself even less time away from them.  I wanted to be home.  I should be enjoying every moment, soaking it in, investing in them.

They will be grown and gone before I know it.  I have to invest now before my window of opportunity is gone and they are out in the world.  How dare I, as a woman, a  mother and a Christian, just survive.

More and more often I am coming to the realization I am not cut out to be a mother.  I am failing my children, my husband and my God.  I am a terrible mistake.

Bribery in all it’s glory

So today I was thinking about what an exercise in bribery potty training is.

“You can watch tv if you sit on the potty.”

“You can have an apple with peanut butter if you sit on the potty.”

“I will read you this story if you sit on the potty.”

“You get candy and bubbles if you go potty.”

“You can call grandma if you use the potty.”

Bribery.  And I am not above it.  Nope.

Tuesday and Wednesday we had a couple successes.  Yesterday, no good.

This morning one massive pee pee feet away from the potty.  I told her how sad it made mommy that she didn’t make it to the potty.  We practiced going to the potty chair from various rooms in the house to make sure she knew where to go when she had to go potty.

Then she had an accident while pulling off her undies.  I told her I was proud of her for trying so hard.  Next we had a half accident, half success.

But tonight was the spectacular event.

She not only made it to the potty but she pulled down her jeans and her undies and went when no one was paying attention.


She got candy.

She got bubbles.

She got to call both grandmas.

She got so much praise.

Then this happened.

That's the dog.  That's the potty chair.

That’s the dog. That’s the potty chair.

Yeah, the dog drank some of her pee.

Just a normal Friday night at our house :/  How is yours?


I am Not Ready

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Patrice is showing many signs of being ready to potty train.

I am not ready.

She’s my baby, my last baby.

There is just something so grown up about potty trained, no more diapers.

Don’t get me wrong, no more diapers would be great.  Changing them, let alone buying them, isn’t exactly good times.  But back to me waxing poetic, Patrice is growing up so fast.  It is cute and enjoyable to see all she is learning, but I’d like to keep my baby just a bit longer.

Plus, I’m not ready for all the energy potty training takes.  First, have to teach her what a potty is, then get her to actually use it, then tell you she needs to use it and finally, asking for months on end, “do you have to go potty?

Patrice may be ready, but I am not!


Potty Training Sue Style

As you may remember, Sue had been potty training.  She was doing great.  Then she wasn’t–she stopped.  And I completely stressed out about it.  It stunk…really, as only diapers can.

We had a few battles where she would say she had to go potty, only to not go or even, in mama’s mind, try to go. 

One day, as I fussed at her about why she would not use the potty, she sobbed, “I want to go to Mary’s to learn to use the potty (a neighbor).”  She cried and cried.  It was quite horrid and weird.  But hey, I was a good sport, I texted the neighbor, told her of Sue’s desire and asked when we could drop her off.  The neighbor was game, but we decided to keep Sue here.

So then we made a quick family trip to visit my grandfather who has been ill.  Sue used her pull up soon, but also went potty at all our stops.  It was very confusing, so I asked her when we got home why she wouldn’t use the potty here.  Her response, “because here I have a diaper.” 

True answer kid, but wrong answer.  Daddy and I decided the following weekend to change that reality.  We got out our cloth potty training panties and began to use those…she did great.  There were a couple accidents, but not many. 

The best was her first success.  She said, “I have to go potty!”  So I grabbed her off the chair (don’t tell my midwife I picked her up) and ran her to the potty.  We made it.  She was so proud and kept saying “I had to hustle.  I had to hustle!!!!”  She got a treat.  She will do just about anything for junk food.

We then tried the potty system for the next week as opporutnities presented.  By the following weekend, we made it the whole weekend without pull ups except at nap and night night time.

The next week we used all panties.  A couple accidents, but most mornings she woke up dry.  Can you believe it???

She will even, now, ask to use the potty if she is in a pull up (like when we are out and about). 

But there have been a couple accidents.  The other night I took the girls for a walk.  I asked her several times before we left if she had to go potty, “no, no, no.”  So the girls and I and our dog Stuie set off for a walk.  I hate having my dog pee on people’s yards.  I yelled at him over and over to stop that…

And we got about 1/2 way through our walk.  Sue fell behind mama and Caitlyn.  I look back, and there Sue is, legs spread apart slightly squatting, peeing all over the sidewalk.  Great.  Here I was worried about the dog.  Guess I should have worried more about the 2 1/2 year old!!!!  Oops!

Our walks since have been with her wearing a pull up, just in case 🙂  “Cause sometimes you just can’t hustle enough!!!

Super Proud of Caitlyn—for peeing her pants!

Last Friday, daddy called me on his way home from work and asked if the girls were in a good mood.  Yup, pretty decent…why?  How about we take them to Rainforest Cafe?  He and I had gone there for our anniversary back in October and thought they would like it.  We have been avoiding “sit down” places with them because they don’t often deal well with it, but that place has lots of great animals, trees and fish to look at, everywhere you look is something fun to see, so we thought that might keep them interested.

And it did, we did laps around the place looking at butterflies, elephants dancing and monkeys (who took naps between the thunderstorms, in case you were wondering).  And the girls loved it.

And daddy loved the volcano lava cake and ice cream with the sparklers. 

And mama loved seeing the girls with their daddy.

And Caitlyn enjoying her cake and ice cream
Are you wondering about the peeing her pants yet…keep waiting…
So then we decided to walk around the mall.  This ended up being too much for Sue who had a complete meltdown, but Caitlyn was sooo good.
We got them back in the car, Sue screamed, Caitlyn covered her ears.  And after awhile, Caitlyn fell asleep.  When we arrived home, daddy carried Caitlyn in to her bed.  She woke up enough to say “I’m not tired.”  Then passed back out. 
Sue, on the other hand, had lots of energy, I guess chocolate cake and ice cream will do that to a two year old.  After a while we decided she should invest her energy in sleeping.  We are such meanies, we put the two year old to bed.
I asked daddy if we should risk waking Caitlyn up to put a pull up on.  I have not had the nerve to tackle night time potty training yet.  Maybe I will do that when the new baby comes and I am up any way…oh, I digress…
We decided to just risk having to change the sheets rather than wake up our peacefully sleeping child.  I did put a waterproof pad under her (thanks Lori). 
We went to bed.  We were sleeping.  It was nice.  Then Caitlyn let out a blood curdling scream.  We were no longer sleeping.  It was not nice.
We both ran downstairs to find Caitlyn in the hallway right in front of the bathroom, crying and saying, “I can’t get my pants off.”  She had peed her pants while trying to get her pants off, the belt she was wearing probably didn’t help the situation.
(Here is where I am proud of her). 
She had woken up to go potty.  She may not have made it, but she had woken up.  She knew to go to the bathroom in the potty even at night!  And we have never told her to do that. 
She ended up peeing her pants, her bed was not at all wet, and this mama couldn’t be prouder!