Potty Training is EXHAUSTING

Wow. What an experience it is to teach a young child that diapers aren’t the only way to go. We decided it was time to pitch the Pull-ups over Fourth of July weekend and officially turn our kid into Captain Underpants. I found a program called 3 Day Potty Training and decided to give it a try…it cost less than another box of Pull-ups, so why not?

Friday morning we gathered all of Tommy’s Pull-ups and took them out with the trash. After waiting to hear its familiar rumble down the street, we greeted the garbage truck (one of our trusty sanitation engineers was actually a lady!) and Tommy told them he was done with diapers and he didn’t need them anymore, sporting only his tighty whiteys, a t-shirt and a smile.

We went back inside and got down to business. Underpants all day AND night. I shuddered at the thought. James and I told Tommy every 30 seconds, “Tell Mommy/Daddy when you need to go potty.” I think I still mumble this in my sleep. And when we weren’t reminding him to use the toilet, we were asking him, “Are your underpants still dry?” Then praising the heck out of him every time they were.

Water. Juice. Capri Sun. Capri Sun. Capri Sun. We loaded him up with the liquids and let nature take its course. With every success he earned a sticker, a treat (M&Ms are his poison) and more atta-boys than we can count.

I made Tommy a chart in the bathroom so he could keep track of his progress. Each time he successfully went potty he got one sticker of his choice. For a poop he got two stickers AND a temporary tattoo. Upon filling in all the boxes on a row, Tommy earned prizes. A ruler (silly, but he’d been obsessed with the one on my desk, so he was really excited to get his own), a foam airplane (I think he’ll be buried with its fuselage), a map puzzle, a jar full of dinosaurs, and the holy grail…a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. He really didn’t care much to talk about the promised Disneyland trip, all he wanted was to go to Chuck E. Cheese.

Tommy's Awesome Potty Chart

Here’s a picture of his ink after a few days of wear…really cool, huge guitars on his forearms. He LOVES it when people ask him where he got his tattoos and gleefully replies, “BECAUSE I WENT PEEEEEEEE AND POOOOOOP IN THE TOILET!”

Tommy's toilet success reward tattoo

The first day was very tough, but the subsequent days improved dramatically. Here our Potty Prince poses with his favorite reward, a foam airplane that he completely destroyed and dismantled in less than 48 hours, and a toy light saber, which was his magic wand to give him a little courage when he was having trouble on the potty.

Proud Potty Champ with his chart and rewards

Tommy was so tired after a long day of potty training that he fell asleep at the kitchen table while I prepared dinner. He was OUT. Only the smell of Annie’s Organic Shells & Cheddar (which should be known as Mac Crack for the preschool set) brought him out of his coma.

Tommy snoozes before dinner

One week later we are still diaper-free. He’s doing great getting to the bathroom on his own volition. There have been accidents, usually involving a little guy who’s just way too busy playing or watching Mickey Mouse to bother with the potty, but they are becoming fewer and further between.

So, there you have everything you wanted to know about Tommy’s potty training but were afraid to ask. I can’t believe I just devoted so much time to writing about the experience, but it’s a…bad pun coming on…drop in the toilet (I warned you!) compared to the hours spent on the training itself. 

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