Potty Training


There are things you never understand until you’re a parent. For instance, cheering over piss. My littlest is 3 years, 9 months old. We started seriously potty training him last week. There’d been earlier efforts, but, being the most stubborn of our brood, he resisted and won out.

I took him to Sprawl-Mart last week and let him pick out a potty chair. That was the first mistake. He picked one with a built-in splash guard — you know, the little shield that allows a boy to sit to pee, redirecting the pungent fluid into the bowl of the chair. Trouble is, the built-in splash guard wasn’t tall enough. So, after the first day, in which he wet himself many times, he would hold his pee as long as possible before letting someone drag him to the chair. Then he’d squirt all over his feet, the floor, the rug … anything in a remarkably impressive range. That ain’t gonna work.

We went to Target over the weekend and got another chair with a decent splash guard. This one also plays music. Seriously. It has a laser inside the bowl area and whenever something breaks the beam it plays a royal fanfare. That freaked Jake out at first. Now, however, he loves it. He’ll pee a little bit, wait for the music to stop, pee a little more, and so on. (Girls, apparently, can’t really stop the flow of pee once it starts. Peeing and talking do have a lot in common …)

Everyone has to clap when the music plays. Oh yeah. That pee makes me a happy camper. Diapers ain’t cheap. And they’re nasty. In the past 14 years we’ve only had a short interval of maybe just over two yeas where we had no kids in diapers. And now the youngest is leaving them behind. It’s good, but also a little sad. He is the baby, and this is even more of a sign that he’s growing up than his ability to use the DVD player.

He won’t willingly poop in the chair yet. Somehow he’s gone to skipping days, holding it in. He skipped yesterday. My hope is that he’s letting that stuff go this morning, while Kim’s home with him. Yeah.

Does this relate to writing? Of course! Ordinarily, my work-at-home day is filled with interruptions as I feed those insatiable children. Yesterday, add to that running to the bathroom to cheer every time I heard music from the potty chair. Yes, I applaud for pee.


0 responses to “Potty Training”

  1. It’s stories like this remind me how easy I have it being a stepfather. I showed up just as she was becoming full potty-trained. Never had to change a diaper, and the only pee I cheer for is my own when I get it in the bowl.

  2. My neice & nephew both (cousins, not brother & sister) refused to use a regular potty chair. They wanted to use the big one. So they got the little toilet seats that fit over the big one but don’t let them fall through and a stepstool. I can totally relate — somewhat indirectly, though — about cheering for pee.

  3. you can write about anything
    Dare I say, I found this entertaining?
    I thought for little boys you were just supposed to toss some Cheerios into the toilet and encourage them to sink ’em?

    • Re: you can write about anything
      Jacob didn’t seem to take to the standing up thing. Not yet. I’d try to place him before the toilet and he’d wrap his legs around it. It’s very cute to watch, but not very practical. As he gets used to going in the bathroom, we’ll work up to that. Next winter he’ll be out there writing his name in the snow with me. Assuming we get snow next year.

  4. Congrats!!
    haha!! congrats on the training and thanks for the signing of my other book. finished reading called.. and i really enjoyed it. i’m finishing up murdered..tonight. by the way, good luck when you have to teach jake to pee standing in front of the toilet. do i here music?? CLAP CLAP CLAP!!
    NIQUEE

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