My Jedi Mind Potty-Training Tricks (and Other Completely Ineffective Parenting Tips)

“Sitting in poop is icky.  Doesn’t it feel nice to have a clean diaper?” I just asked my two-year-old daughter in that encouraging tone us parents use when we’re trying to play Jedi mind tricks on our children.  Potty train, will you?  Although I know Skye would be content to stay in a dirty diaper for weeks on end, I’d hoped my continual gentle nudging would eventually make her sit up and think, “Why, yes, now that you mention it, it WOULD be nice to leave my sh*t in a pot instead of my pants!”

Skye did not miss a beat.

“No!  I like poopy diapers!”

Just as the next fifteen years flashed before my eyes — me, changing Skye’s diaper in kindergarten; me, changing Skye’s diaper at senior prom — my crazy child laughed to let me know she was kidding.

Well, half-kidding.

At least thirty minutes of every day is spent wrestling Skye to the ground to change her dirty diaper.  You would think she would be pleased with my offer to clean her free of charge, but no…!  The second I stick a finger in her pants to verify the presence of the cause of the offending odor, she’s already running in the opposite direction, insisting I’ve made a grave mistake — EVEN THOUGH I HAVE SAID NOTHING YET.  At this point, Drew and the cats grab a tub of popcorn and pull up some chairs, because they know an entertaining high-speed chase is about to ensue:  Skye, pushing tiny strollers and dolls in my path to slow me down, and me running after her with wipes and a new diaper, yelling pointless questions like, “Why would you want to stay in a dirty diaper?!”

And now I know why:  SHE LIKES THEM.  *Sigh*

There have been glimmers of hope…fleeting ones, that is.  After completing a Number One in the potty months ago, a feat celebrated with happy dances, high-fives, M&Ms, stickers, and a round of calls to the family and local news outlets, Skye has shown absolutely no interest in using the potty other than to store her stickers there.  Now, to be fair, Mr. Candy and I haven’t exactly pushed potty training yet, either, other than the typical books and videos and puppet show demonstrations put on by the cats, who are tired of smelling her crap.  Our pediatrician suggested we follow Skye’s cues, saying she’ll let us know when she’s ready, and that’s just fine with us.  As unpleasant and exhausting as it can be to change the diaper of a two-and-a-half-year-old (and, oh my, is it ever), I’m in no particular hurry.  When she’s ready, we’re ready — which, hopefully, will happen before she’s picking out china patterns with her fiancé.

My main concern is my mom’s tongue, which she may have bitten completely in half by the time we finally get our daughter potty-trained.  You see, she apparently had my siblings and I potty-trained by three weeks old, give or take a week, and is not-so-secretly dying over the fact that our child still does her business in Cookie Monster diapers.   Even on the phone, I can hear my mom biting her tongue hard when we discuss the topic, to the point there is the faint sound of crunching.  Being the sensitive daughter I am, I may or may not push her buttons to see if we can get that sucker to split in two:

MOM:  (CAREFULLY)  So… have you gotten Skylar to use the potty again?


Hmmmm.  Wonder where my daughter gets it from.

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Candy Kirby

Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Yeah, my mom claims I was totally potty-trained, forevermore, by 18 months. Which I think is a load of crap the size of which is exceeded only by the load I found in my toddler’s most recent diaper.

    We had the false-start potty training too! Everything was going great for a day or two, until the afternoon she dropped the Enola Gay into the potty and was terrified. She hasn’t wanted to go near the potty since and because her little sister is not sleeping through the night yet and I am TIRED, I am not pushing it. I keep telling myself that very few little girls graduate from high school in diapers. Right????

    • She hasn’t wanted to go near the potty since and because her little sister is not sleeping through the night yet and I am TIRED, I am not pushing it.

      Oh yes, that sounds ALL too familiar!

  • Same thing with mine. What saved us is potty training at daycare. She saw all the other kids doing it and she wanted to do it too (and, of course, she was more than ready).

  • my litle guy was the same way, would sit in his crapped diaper forever if i let him, but he did eventually learn to use the potty!! they all do eventually.

  • I haven’t been pushing my Miss S to potty-train either. I’m still recovering from going through it with her older brother, so I’m more than happy to let her take her time. Carrying an extra diaper and some wipes around is so much easier than having to be within 30 seconds of a restroom at all times. (Yes, I’m one of those moms who has left a full shopping cart in the middle of the aisle while I run to the restroom with my baby tucked under one arm and my toddler tucked under the other.)

    Oh, and the logistics of what to do with the baby while the toddler needs your help to use the icky public restroom? I found that using my hip to pin the baby, mid-air, to the side of the stall while simultaneously lifting and holding the toddler over the potty works pretty well.

    Though now that I think about it, maybe Miss S’s resistance to potty training has something to do with how much time she spent pinned to public restroom walls…

    • I found that using my hip to pin the baby, mid-air, to the side of the stall while simultaneously lifting and holding the toddler over the potty works pretty well.

      Oh boy. I don’t think I’m coordinated enough to attempt that. Perhaps duct-taping the baby to the wall is the answer…

  • Not to discourage you or anything, but once potty trained, it’s not uncommon for your kid to relapse. Like, square one relapse. Guess where we are right now?