I was showering when Luke (3 yrs. old) came stomping into my bathroom with his pants off and two thumbs up announcing, “Mommyyyyyyy, I did poo-poos in the potty!”
I panicked a little considering that this act usually requires assistance on my part. If I hadn’t been in the shower I”m pretty sure I would’ve had a sweat mustache just from the anxiety.
I inquired as to whether he had completed the paperwork that is required afterward.
He responded with, “Nah, I not need to, Mom. It was just all happy down ‘ere.”
“Get in the bathtub NOW!”


Today Luke and I ventured to Whole Foods to have lunch and grab a few grocery items.  After about half an hour, I decided Luke needed to try to potty.  Needless to say, ten minutes later, he had still not gone to the bathroom, but had managed to touch every filthy surface in the room.  I washed his hands in the sink, and then began to wash my own.  At the same time, Luke heard another bathroom patron begin to use the bathroom.  Without a second thought, he immediately stuck his head under the door of her stall and said, “Oh! Good job, sir!”

I scooped him up, with soap still on my hands, and ran out the door.  So, to the lady wearing gray sweatpants and brown Birkenstocks, in the next to last stall at Whole Foods, I apologize.

The Potty Wars

“Get him a toy out of the treasure chest.”
“No,” I told my husband.  “Pooping in front of the potty does not qualify him to go to the treasure chest.”
“But he was trying.  He went into the bathroom, stood on the stool…”
“And crapped on the floor,” I interrupted.
There we were, husband and wife, in the throws of an argument over our two and a half year old son’s potty training antics.  Fundamental differences of opinion had plagued us recently when it came to Luke’s bathroom use.  Truth be told, he was doing quite well as long as he was completely without pants or a diaper.  He would go into the bathroom, get on the stool and perform a number one like a champ.  Numero dos, however, was another story. 
We provided him with positive reinforcement, made him a treasure chest and a sticker chart for his successful visits to the bathroom.  Still, he didn’t seem motivated to do the part that required sitting down.  “Why should he?” I thought.  Who wouldn’t love to just go wherever they are and have someone else clean up after them and powder their behind?  Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. 
But, maybe something else was slowing his progress.  Maybe I was a bad teacher.  That had to be it.  Who was I, to tell him how to use the potty when I clearly had my own hang-ups about it?   As a child (read: and adult) I had always been afraid of the dark.  One night, my older, and meaner, sister said something to me that I’ve never forgotten, despite how ridiculous I now know it to be. 
“You should never, ever flush the toilet at night.  If you do, monsters will come out and kill you because they know your parents can’t hear your screams over the sound of the toilet.”
I was horrified, and to this day, I will not flush a toilet after dark.  My husband has come to accept it, although I now say that I don’t want the sound of the flush to wake up Luke (who sleeps on the other side of the house).   Yet, there I stood, a grown woman who saw fit to pass judgment on her kid because he missed the bowl by a couple of feet. 
“Here you go, Luke.  Come pick something out of the treasure chest,” I told him.  He was delighted over his reward and I was proud of his effort.  True, it may not have been a perfect attempt, but I’m not a perfect mom.  The fact is, potty training takes time, a lot of time.  My hope is that he can accomplish that without being scarred for life.  If that happens, then I have done my job.   My other hope is that my older sister has kids one day so I can totally mess them up.  Revenge is sweet.

Joining the Movement- A Story of Triumph

Hard core potty training began at our house four days ago, and since then we have given prize incentives to Luke (2 ½) to help spur him on. I made him a treasure chest and stocked it full of crap from Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar bin. This method began working pretty quickly and gave Luke the little bit of motivation he needed for going peepee. Numero dos, however, was a different story. Nothing in the treasure chest seemed worth his trouble. I needed to raise the stakes.

“If you go poop in the potty, we will get you a Cranky,” I told him. Cranky is a crane, and member of the Thomas the Tank Engine family. Luke has wanted Cranky for sometime, but we couldn’t ever find one in the store. “No big deal,” I thought. “We won’t be needing him for a while.”

I was wrong. Lo and behold, did the boy go poop in the potty this morning AND almost all of it went into the potty. He began shouting, “I get a Cwanky!” Brantley and I were shocked, but a promise was a promise. The three of us got dressed and to Toys-R-Us we went.

I wish I had thought to check the price of the toy before promising him to Luke, and next time I will. I never imagined it would cost $40, thus making this morning’s bowel movement the most expensive in history. It better be worth it.

All Aboard the Potty Train!

The potty wars have begun at the Wescott household. Some days we are victorious, and others, not so much. It is proving to be a very good lesson for me in patience because we are sometimes in the bathroom for an eternity while we wait for a result.
Yesterday, Luke grew bored of standing in front of the commode and decided he should stick his whole head in there and enjoy the sound of his voice echoing in the porcelain.
This didn’t please me. “Luke, get your head out of the commode right now!”
He pulled his head out and looked especially proud of himself. “Oh Mommy, it smells wike chocowate!”
I gagged and called an end to our potty session prematurely. Instead, I explained that we should never stick our head in the potty, and under NO circumstances do we ever eat chocolate out of it either.