The Pissing Contest.

February 10, 2011 at 7:46 am | Posted in Battles (aka: toddlerhood) | 21 Comments

You know it’s not all that good when the NICE daycare teacher is frustrated with your kid when you come for pickup.

O is in a phase. He won’t sit on the potty.

Which, you know, whatever. He’s not PT yet – it’s still early, yada yada.

The problem?

He won’t let you change his diaper, either.

Seriously, the diaper changing battles are EPIC. And it’s not with just us, apparently, either. His teachers at school all do battle with him daily.

In fact, my favorite teacher said to him at one point, over his screams, We wouldn’t HAVE to change your diaper if you’d just go on the potty!

(Seriously, I think that nearly EVERY TIME, so I’m thankful someone else thinks that way too.)

I think, if it were up to him, he’d wear magic diapers which, after he goes, miraculously clean themselves.

It’s so frustrating.

Because all of us – his daycare teachers, J and I, that is – that he is PERFECTLY capable of being potty trained. He knows that pee and poop go in the potty. He’ll SAY that when you ask. He will flush the potty whenever we go, ask to see the pee and poop.

He knows the language.

He just won’t, you know, DO anything about it.

And again. I’m not so gung ho about potty training my kid that I’m UPSET about it. I will admit I, personally, want to be done with diapers. But I also do not want to do battle to force him to do something he doesn’t want to.

And that’s his answer whenever we ask him to sit on the potty, btw. I don’t WANT to.

Most of the kids in his class are PT at school, so peer “pressure” doesn’t seem to affect him.

Bribes are not so much effective either.

Battling your kid for potty training just seems like a world of frustration and hurt until he’s really READY.

At least, I FELT that way.

But since a freaking diaper change requires battle gear? Why NOT battle him for the potty?

So yeah. I’m not sure where that leaves us.

Waiting until he magically decides to deal with the fact that part of the human condition is to stop what you’re doing in order to go pee or poo or change a pee or poo diaper, I guess?

*sigh*

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  1. Hell, I want those magic diapers too!!!

    I keep putting off potty training with K. Yesterday, I had my nephew and he is training and it is an all day constant thing and it can be very frustrating…wanting me to put it off further with my own child.

    Of course, battling diaper changes…I guess you have to pick your battle. I would pick the potty too.

  2. My son was the same way. HATED diapers. HATED the potty. Was smart enough to know where it all went, but just didn’t want to. My solution?

    I stripped him down naked. He hated it. Told him he had to do this until he started using the potty. He was trained. COMPLETELY. By the end of the day. I swear it works. You may have to clean up a mess or two (or more) but it’s so worth it.

    Good Luck!

  3. We had these battles too, a few months ago (my son turned 3 in late December). My son is one of the most stubborn individuals on Earth (a trait that I am self-aware enough to realize he gets from me), and he knew how to use the potty, knew when he had to go, and just wouldn’t. No amount of arguing, bribery or peer pressure worked. We told him once he was 3 we were ramping up our efforts, with the help and support of his daycare teachers. So, one day, we just sent him in underwear. The teacher was on board, told us to bring extra clothing since he would definitely have accidents, and off we went. The first day he had 2 accidents. He hasn’t had one at school since (I am knocking on the wood of my desk as I write this). Getting him to poop on the potty was harder, at first, because he wasn’t used to it as much as he was used to peeing. We used bribery, he gets to play more Go Fish and CandyLand and this Brown Bear game we have, when he poops. Anyway, something just clicked, and now I feel comfortable saying he’s like 80-90% trained (I’d say 100% but we still have him in diapers overnight, but it’s been dry every morning for weeks).

    So, all of that rambling to say it really is just a phase, and I always feel of two minds about my son’s stubbornness. It makes life so hard for him and for us at times, but I love that he has fire in his belly. See if perhaps your daycare will do the underwear thing, if not now, maybe once he’s actually 3 (he’s not yet, right?). It really shocked us how much it worked. I still can’t believe after all of the battles we had that he is potty trained.

  4. I can’t offer much in advice on this b/c my son was a very, very, VERY late PT’er, but one of the smartest things anyone said to me in those years (and years!) is to get him out of pull-ups and diapers. They work TOO well. Padded underwear or just regular underwear. Stubborn or not, wet underwear does NOT feel good. Try it on a weekend where you can be with him the entire 48 hours (bed time can be an exception). If by Sunday he shows no sign of trying, then skip it for a couple more weeks and try again.

    Aitch is in no hurry either no matter how often I flaunt the Mickey Mouse and Cinderella underwear in front of her. I’m in no hurry, either, because whenever she decides to be done with diapers will be earlier then when Dood was done with them.

  5. I am there with you on the potty training issues. I have been putting it off and I pretty much have the same feelings as you do about not pushing it. BUT this weekend she suddenly wanted to “try”. So far we are slowly easing into it. We bought her underwear–but that did not last long–too soon for this one, I guess. So now she is mainly in pull ups. The first day at daycare–no way was she on the potty. But yesterday–1 time. So, she is SLOWLY doing it. We had some battles with diapers–but it seemed to be related to a diaper rash issue (oh and that she insists that she wants pull ups). Hang in there!

  6. I think boys are usually harder to potty train than girls, no? I guess it’s because boys can stand to sit in their poop on principal and girls won’t? 🙂 But I was old enough to remember this being an issue when my mom PTed my little brother. With, um, #1, she made it a game. She put Cheerios (I swear to God) in the toilet, and it would be a game to pee through them. I think #2 was a little more difficult, but I do remember her trying Stacy’s method of stripping him down naked. She also used to sing him a poop song. (Again, I wish I were making this up. I’m pretty sure she sang it to me, too.)

    Good luck!

  7. My oldest wasn’t potty trained until he was 4 1/4. There was no question that he had the self-awareness and the language skills for it. What he lacked was the motivation and the attention span. There was no way we could force either of those onto him prematurely.

    There are three things that kids are in absolute control of: when they eat, when they sleep and when they use the potty. You can’t force any of those things on him, so it’s not worth the frustrating, inevitably failed battle.

    One day my son decided he was ready – and by the next day he never wore a diaper again. I hope it’s that simple for you. And, um, I hope it’s that simple for my triplets, too. Since, er, they’re 3 1/4 and I haven’t even TRIED to potty train them…

  8. This morning, J was in the middle of a tantrum about brushing his teeth, when I decided I had to use the toilet. He started screaming “no, *I* use the big toilet!!” So I said okay, took off his pj’s, and sat him down. And he did. And he stopped screaming (briefly).

    I’ve been in the camp of just leaving J alone, as he’s like O and knows exactly what he is supposed to do, but just won’t do it. I figure he’ll learn eventually. But he’s younger than O, and he’s not fighting me during diaper changes. It sounds like the others gave you some good suggestions, and it might be time for those with O. Sigh – I am SO not looking forward to that.

  9. I am *so* scared about potty training. I keep putting it off until “when we get through IVF”…and well, that’s been going on a year now…

    Nathan seems interested in the potty, but only wants to sit on it AFTER he has gone.

    There was an article in the washington post a week or two ago about a 3-year-old that was SUSPENDED from daycare b/c she wasn’t potty trained. That’s only 9 months away! Ahhh!

  10. Well. You know my experience, a great tale of what NOT to do. At the same time, it may be time to give him a stronger messages that he should be using the potty.
    Good luck.

  11. I have a little guy a tiny bit younger than your O. He is 34 months today (3 on 4/10). I also have a 15 year old and a 14 year old. With all three, I did exactly what several others have suggested already. Go underwear only. I bought a few of the multi-packs and just did it. ALl 3 of my kids, 1 girl and 2 boys, were trained completely in 2 days. No exageration at all. It totally takes away the battle. If you don’t want to go in the potty, whatever, but you are going to wear underwear, you are going to be uncomfortable, and after I clean you up, you get a brand new clean pair of….. underwear!!! Rinsing the poo out into the toilet works well, and honestly I maybe had 2 poo accidents per kid and maybe 7 pee accidents. That’s estimating high. My son has been PT for about 3 months now, at night too. Best of luck!

    My pediatrician always told me PT has absolutly nothing to do with your kids intelligence. It’s just a battle of control usually, with the more stubborn ones taking longer to give in to the change.

    Maybe you could take him to pick out his own special undies? They make them in just about every character known to kids these days!

  12. Similar problem over here. Ruby wants to pee and poo in her diaper but then kicks the shit out of me when I try to change her diaper. She knows how the potty works and occassionally will pee in it but no where near ready for full time pottying… Like you, I’m ok with waiting until she’s really ready but I don’t want to fight everytime there’s a diaper change.

    So… no answer, just commiseration.

  13. My only bit of advice is to get Potty Training Boys the Easy Way. I got it on Amazon this summer. It is short and has a lot of good points about boys. There were some comments that she used sexist language in her writing, but it didn’t really bother me.

  14. You know, O is cautious like my A. He could just be nervous about the whole thing. I had the general sense that A might never potty train if I didn’t give some extra encouragement. So when she got to the point where I felt she was ready to PT, and I was ready to PT her, I put her in underwear. There were accidents, of course, but I didn’t make a big deal of them and just told her to try again next time to use the potty. We ended up needing some bribes in the mix (one M&M for sitting on the potty, two if something came out) but she got the hang of it pretty quickly and was very proud of herself. Do you have a book to read to him about learning to use the potty? We read A books about it for a while before attempting PT. We really liked My Big Girl Potty. A boy’s version exists too.

  15. My strong willed, head strong, and stubborn son was similar in that he knew where pee and poop went and he knew when he had to go, but he wouldn’t, under any circumstance do it on the potty. Oh, he’d sit there all the time (for a year, actually), but wouldn’t release until he had a diaper on.

    I took a very laissez faire attitude toward it, when PT happened it happened. Only, it wasn’t going to just happen as that isn’t the way my son is wired. His school finally gave us The 3 Day Potty Training Method and encouraged us to use it. My husband read it first and was all gung ho. I read it (it is a 40 page e-book that you can download for $24, I think) and thought, no effing way. But, we wanted him to move up to the 3 yr old room early (over the summer when only half the class was there so he could adjust to the new teacher) and with Memorial Day coming up, we knew we had our chance.

    We followed it to a tee. We let him pick out new underpants (in advance), we stopped all other potty training efforts for 30 days as required, we talked up the ‘big’ weekend. I pulled out the long put away sticker board and bought some $1 items from Target (which is NOT part of the program but she (the author) isn’t against it), we ceremoniously threw away all remaining diapers and wiped on the morning of Day 1 (we ended up donating them to his school), and we worked the program.

    Day 1 was intense, I won’t lie, but only because it requires such vigilance on the part of the parents. The crux of the program and why I think it works is that you are helping the child associate the urge to go with getting to and on the potty to release and you are putting them in control of letting you know when that is. And, you WANT them to begin to pee or poop in their underpants (which, because of your hyper vigilance, you see happening) so that you can scoop them up and rush them to the toilet (or potty chair) so that they finish in there.

    The morning of Day 3 (which was Memorial Day 2010) was the last accident my son had. He has been peeing and pooping full time (naps, overnight, play dates, long car trips, etc) no matter where we go or what we are doing, ever since. It was remarkable, especially to this nay-sayer.

    Here is a link if you dare: http://www.3daypottytraining.com/

  16. oh girlfriend, I have NOTHING to say, I have twins that need to PT …I mean you wonder why I keep Xanax at the ready…LOL
    they are kind of past the “don’t change me’ , GIo doesn’t like to sit in a yucky diaper, but Jacob has been better about using the potty on the whole. Gio wants to poop in his diaper and then be changed immediately.

    God help me, PT is going to be the hardest thing ever. LOL

  17. Well, I have no advice, except that I very much see your logic when you say if you’re going to battle him anyway, you may as well try to make progress towards something! PB was very bribeable – sorry! sorry! rewardable! 😛 – so that helped a lot. He also really loves songs and would sit still anywhere if allowed to choose the playlist, so that helps. I have also heard of people using the potty seat as a TV chair for distraction until the child gets used to and comfortable with sitting on it, so whether that would help take his mind off things…? I really don’t have any suggestions, as the 3yo personality is quite different from even a few months back, but in case you are looking for another book suggestion, we used the No Cry Potty Training book (Elizabeth Pantley) for suggestions. She has a range of approaches to choose from in there.

    And… good luck!

    Bea

  18. It’s a hard transition! And he’ll do it when he’s ready, probably in a weekend. It’s just frustrating to wait when it seems that everyone else’s kid is there already. My son STILL waits until the very last minute … the world is just too damn engaging!!

  19. Can you take a weekend and stay home with a bare bum O? That’s what works for us. We stayed home for two days sans pants and it really helped him figure things out. Bare bum, no underwear, because Auden just treated underwear like a diaper. He’s still in a diaper overnight, but I’m okay with that for now… Good luck! I would be cautious about battling though as that may only extend the time it takes for him to learn.

  20. I have no potty training advice or tips since we haven’t gotten there yet. But I am in love with the title of this post. 🙂

  21. J is exactly the same way. We tried underwear for pretty much the past year. he would gladly pee in them too. I have no clue what else to do, but I think we may try the bare bum method everyone else is suggesting.


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