Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

On Potty Training


See that pony? It might have been the secret to our success. Or not.

Sabrina potty trained herself at age 2. We tried once and failed. Then we tried again a couple of months later and she has had less than a handful of accidents since that day. (Not counting night time – that is a whole other ball of wax.) Tessa? Heh. She hasn’t been easy in any way, shape, or form. Potty training is not the exception.

Tessa will be 4 this month. We have tried countless times to start the potty training process. And each time I have cried “UNCLE!” She has had zero interest. We tried just about everything. We set the timers. We rewarded with M&Ms. We put her in panties. We let her sit in wet diapers/pullups/panties. We let her go naked. We rewarded her sister for going hoping it would egg her on. Nothing. She would go in the potty once or twice and then nothing. One time, after sitting her on the potty for 5 minutes, she promptly came out and squatted and peed on my fireplace hearth. Finally, in a fit of irritation one day, I threatened if she didn’t start going potty I was going to make her go poop in the yard with the dog. She got fairly upset about that and started going potty. Huh. Then after some success and then a stomach flu that derailed us, we were back to nothing. So I made her go outside without pants (we have a 6 ft fence – and I had to follow through with my threat) and she proceeded to poop in the yard. She was quite proud of herself. Backfired. I told Steve I was done. I hate potty training. 2 years of trying to get this kid to go potty had broken me. I didn’t care anymore – she could go to college in Depends for all I cared.

Steve then told Tessa that we didn’t care anymore. She could go potty or not. She could wear diapers or pull ups or panties – whatever she wanted. She could go in the potty or her pull up – completely her choice. She had to change herself (she is able to do that) but we would help wipe if there was a mess. Otherwise, she was on her. And you want to know what happened the next morning? The little shit put on panties and started going potty. At the same time, I also offered the bribe of a new My Little Pony each day that she spent completely dry. I put them up high where she could see them. So it was either the choice or the ponies. Or both. She earned 5 ponies in 6 days. We are not accident free by any means but she is doing great. It has been 3 weeks and most days than not she is completely successful. Tessa does everything in her own time on her own terms. We are in so much trouble.

posted under parenting
9 Comments to

“On Potty Training”

  1. On July 3rd, 2012 at 10:25 am Kim Says:

    Alex has giving us so many problems over the years. But, I thank God almost every day that potty training was a non-issue in our house. He was like Sabrina. He just decided one day (and he was also 2) that he was done with diapers. And that was it…..both day and night! Here’s hoping that Tessa continues do make the choice of staying clean. 🙂 (and I have to admit that I giggled at the thought of her squatting in the yard!)

  2. On July 3rd, 2012 at 10:33 am Heather Says:

    Phoebe was also easy to potty train and the boys have not been easy at all. They are starting preschool in September, so when they come back from their grandparents, we’ll be working on the potty training hard at our house. We’ll see how that goes. We’ve tried before with very little interest.

  3. On July 3rd, 2012 at 11:59 am Yo-yo Mama Says:

    Tresses just goes to the beat of her own drum. I know you’ve heard that a million times by now, right? That girl was stubborn enough to hang on for nine months before she was even born! Having girls who are opposite makes you a more rounded mom. Plus, after potty training what else is there to look forward to? 😛

  4. On July 3rd, 2012 at 12:01 pm Yo-yo Mama Says:

    Pardon the typos. Doing this via my phone was an effin PITA. of course I meant Tessa.

  5. On July 3rd, 2012 at 10:13 pm dana Says:

    Glad to see an update. I hope Tessa continues to go in the bathroom to do her thing. I know having a child who likes to do things on her own terms is verrrryyyyyyy scary! Good luck with that and wish some luck for me too. I hear ya!

  6. On July 3rd, 2012 at 10:14 pm dana Says:

    I always thought Tessa looked like Steve but now I’m seeing more of you. Great to see pix of the girls!

  7. On July 4th, 2012 at 12:12 pm Merlot Says:

    We have the strong willed wonder over here. Maybe we’ll give that a shot. Thanks for the suggestion.

  8. On July 4th, 2012 at 10:51 pm Andrea Says:

    We’re still struggling with night time here. Littleman was trained at preschool in a matter of days, so I admit I escaped that torture. I just don’t know what to do about night time-that is a whole different beast.

  9. On May 9th, 2014 at 3:30 am jc Says:

    Try the towel potty training method.